Gold Standard Mac and Cheese at Diner
We loosen our belts a notch to eat Shanghai's best versions of the quintessential American comfort food—mac and cheese.
Address: 145 Wuyuan Lu (near Wulumuqi Zhong Lu) 五原路145号 (近乌鲁木齐中路)
When Austin Hu does mac and cheese, he does it right—thick, gooey, creamy, gluttonous, and artery-clogging—all the words hat describe the richest and most guilt-inducing of cheese and carb partnerships. Like the pancakes, burgers and French toasts, it’s available three ways: ‘classic’ (RMB98) with cheddar, American, gruyere and mozzarella; ‘fun’ (RMB138) with truffle oil and mixed mushrooms inside and a crunchy topping of deep fried ‘shroom slices on top; and the insane gold standard (RMB198), topped with an entire crispy batter-coated soft shell crab and fried red chillies, further amped up with bottarga and shrimp mixed in with the mac.
Address: 2/F, KWah Center, 1028 Huaihai Zhong Lu (near Donghu Lu) 淮海中路1028号2楼 (近东湖路)
Available as a side dish, the macaroni and cheese (RMB40) at Liquid Laundry is a classic. Each serving combines gruyere, cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan and fresh thyme into a creamy, well-made sauce that coats every little nook and cranny of the mac. It’s thoroughly satisfying and tastes like home cooking. Grab a craft beer to help wash down the calories.
Address: 45 Shaanxi Bei Lu (near Beijing Xi Lu) 陕西北路455号 (近北京西路)
A new menu item from consulting chef Gavin McAleer, The Rooster’s big bowl of crispy bacon-topped mac and cheese (RMB55) is made with heaps of Sartori Montamoré cheese, a dash of mustard, a bit of white wine, and a whole lot of cream. Like, a whole lot.
Address: No. 101, 199 Hengshan Lu (near Yongjia Lu) 衡山路199弄101号 (近永嘉路)
Crafted’s lobster mac and cheese (RMB158) is one of the best renditions you’ll find in the city. This copper pan comes laden with an awesome herbed mac and cheese blend topped with half of a well-seasoned, perfectly grilled lobster whose meat slides silky from the shell.
Address: 209 Maoming Bei Lu (near Wujiang Lu) 茂名北路209号 (近吴江路)
If you’re going to hit Goose Island for anything besides a sour ale, make it the IPA mac and cheese (RMB58). Served in a cast iron skillet, this hot pan of bubbling glory has a hoppy flavour that makes the perfect match for the sharp blend of cheeses.
Address: L4-403, IAPM, 999 Huaihai Zhong Lu (near Xiangyang Nan Lu) 淮海中路999号环贸IAPM商场4楼 (近襄阳南路)
Morton’s smoky macaroni and cheese (RMB100 plus 10% service charge) marries cream cheese, smoked gouda and nutty parmesan into a deliciously cheesy melt. Jalapeños and salty bacon bits only add to the addictive experience. We especially enjoyed the contrast of large pasta tubes with the baked breadcrumb crust.
This article was originally published April 2016 by Cristina Ng. It has since been updated by Elysia Bagley, January 2018.
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