Liquid Laundry is the latest restaurant concept to open in Shanghai from Kelley Lee, of Boxing Cat Brewery, Cantina Agave, and Sproutworks. With her Boxing Cat partner, Lee Tseng, together they’ve opened the first Gastropub in Shanghai.
Located in the trendy Former French Concession area of the Xuhui District, Liquid Laundry occupies one of those All-Restaurant Buildings. With Element Fresh and Spicy Joint restaurant formerly in this building, the question will be whether Lee and Tseng have that magic touch to endure this Shanghai fickle market. Inside, they maximized their huge space to include a rustic bar, 4 large beer distillery cauldrons behind glass, lots of seating, and even a large copper pizza oven.
With all due respect to Kaiba, Paulaner, and perhaps Kabb or Boxing Cat, Liquid Laundry is the first Gastropub. While all others focus on drink, Liquid Laundry, with Lee at the helm, will focus on the food. Even with the threat of cannibalizing on her other establishments, Liquid Laundry, will surely draw success from the lunchtime crowd of Kwah Centre, Iapm, and Huaihai International Square. They plan to open by mid May.
When browsing the menu, there were honestly more things I wanted to try, than I had room in my tummy for, which had me thinking it would have been like which children to save (like from the movie the Good Son). Yet, we started with the Bacon-Gaujillo Cornbread, that had a moistness that you find in a really good cornbread – not the dry yucky stuff found in Texas ones, with a bit of bacon, with fat, was strewn on the tops with bits of whole kernels of corn in each bite. Still haven’t figured out the Gaujillo part. Then there was the Rotisserie Chicken, which was juicy, but more importantly had the unabashed flavor with her “Ancient Chinese Secret” – WTF is that? But wherever it was, it was good, so much I think they she bottle it and sell along side with something like Sriracha sauce.
Anyways. . . Though Liquid Laundry is not perfect, but they are smoothing a couple of rough edges, as with the pizza crust, which they are going with style similar of the Italian pizza Napoletana style and the New York thin crust, they will win over the Shanghai fickle eaters, both local and expat.
1028 Huaihai Road, 2nd Floor, Kwah Centre, near Donghu Lu
Last note – I know I should have tried the beers, but I will do so next time. I only tried the Miami Weiss.