Published June 14, 2017

WATCH: SHEX Tries Shanghai's Best Spanish Restaurant

Woo Pirata is back!

By Dan Entwistle


Now regular SHEX readers will know we don't usually review western restaurants in Shanghai unless they're outstandingly bad. With Pirata though we decided to make an exception. We loved this place when it was located on Xinle Lu and to be honest the only way we could get away with expensing a meal here was by writing a review and filming a video, so that's what we did. On a completely unrelated note, keep an eye out for our "SHEX Tries: Ultraviolet" article next month.


Before we first visited Pirata back in 2015, we'd had mixed experiences with Spanish food in Shanghai. While some of it was decent, a particularly bad bout of food poisoning brought on after an afternoon spent at Elefante's Feria de Abril celebration threatened to put us off Jamón ibérico for life. Luckily a Spanish friend convinced us to give Pirata a shot one night and boy are we glad he did.




Run by the former head chef at Elefante (we know!) Ling Huang, Pirata's new location on Dongping Lu picks up right where the old one left off. The menu here is comprised of incredibly flavourful tapas, made up of a mixture of locally sourced, and imported Spanish ingredients. While we were unfamiliar with a number of the items on display, our amazing Catalan videographer Júlia Pujol actually yelped in joy when she saw some of the ingredients behind the bar.


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The restaurant itself, with its long wooden bar, open kitchen, Spanish decorations and wine bottles on display has an authentic feel to it that sent us back to our student days and the months we spent bumming around the streets of Seville. As with Pirata's last location the open kitchen provides a mesmerising site for those lucky enough see Chef Ling and her team smiling as they quietly move around slicing ham, grilling octopus and prepping plates to be sent out to the rest of the restaurant.


While we could go on and on about the restaurant's incredible chorizo, jamón, grilled octopus, and bravas, we're just gonna shut up and let the video below get your appetite going.


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