Editors' Picks

Lost Heaven

Yan'an East Road Tunnel, Pudong, Shanghai, China

(86 21) 6330 0967

See Website

Parts of Lost Heaven, the wildly popular restaurants (there are two branches) featuring Yunnan folk cuisine are admittedly gimmicky. The wait staff is dressed in the traditional, colorful costumes of the Yunnan region (which encompasses parts of southwestern China), which would be charming if the place wasn’t so large that it also required them to wear ear pieces into which they discreetly place the orders. The sultry, black-and red-clad space, enhanced by a groovy soundtrack, brings to mind the early days of Buddha Bar.

That said, the food here is unique, beautifully prepared, reasonably priced and consistently delicious, which explains the crowds, especially on weekends. It’s a fun spot to come with a big group and to try as much as possible from the large menu, which is illustrated with photos of the region and of the food (helpful when it comes to deciding between such dishes as tea-leaf salad and Yunnan scrambled eggs with white-mushroom). Some of the bites showcase the signature Yunnan heat, but not everything is spicy, making this a great spot for picky or timid eaters as well. There’s also a good selection of vegetarian dishes.

The original branch is in a Colonial villa in the French Concession; larger and more flashy is the second outpost just off the Bund, a good choice for guests of the Peninsula Shanghai, Fairmont Peace Hotel or Waldorf Astoria Shanghai and looking for a good local option that doesn’t require another taxi ride. After or before dinner, the glamorous Bund bars are all a quick walk away.

Written by Simone Girner

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