The team behind Boxing Cat Brewery — one of Shanghai's first breweries — and Mexican favorite Cantina Agave has launched this gastropub concept on a bustling corner in the French Concession. It was the talk of the town in 2014, with the restaurant packed even on a Monday night. The space feels hip, urban and spacious, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a wood-and-metal motif with lots of dark and white tiles sprinkled about. Its strengths lay in the brewed-on-site beers and fantastic cocktails, the desserts (the ice creams are made onsite), and the house-made charcuterie including the sausages and cured salmon. All meats are sourced directly from producers — bypassing suppliers — chickens are brined for more than 2 days, and chef Sean works for two weeks on his chorizos. All in all, Liquid Laundry has great promise but it appears to be trying to do too much in its launch year with its eclectic offerings. A cured salmon appetizer was fantastic, but would diners want to pair that with an evening out to enjoy Liquid Laundry's rotating list of excellent brews? The chorizo was flavorful, but it's not clear it belongs on the American pizza, which makes that dish just so-so. A few other kinks need yet to be worked out such as service and food quality that can be hit-or-miss. Whether expats will return again and again may not matter, as the restaurant has already become popular with free-spending local Chinese.
KWah Centre, 2/F, 1028 Huaihai Zhong Lu
Our Rating Neighborhood Huaihai Zhonglu, near Donghu Lu Hours 5 p.m. to midnight Transportation Metro: Shanxi Lu Phone 21 6445 9589 Prices 300+ rmb Cuisine Type Mediterranean, American, brewpub Web site Liquid Laundry
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