[Shanghai Girl Eats] Sober Company
Sober Company | Dianping
Address: 99 Yanding Lu near Nanchang Lu / 雁荡路99号(南昌路)
Date visited: 2017.02 for dinner
Price: RMB250-300 per person for food; RMB 100-180 per drink
Will return: Yes
What to get:
– Beef tartare with roasted bone marrow
– ahi poke
– Grilled jie lan
– Foie gras ma po tofu
Shingo Gokan, best known for Speak Low in Shanghai and Angel’s Share in New York (and also very handsome might I add), has struck Shanghai again with Sober Company — part cafe, bar, and restaurant. This latest creation gives us Speak Low quality drinks plus the option of an Asian fusion meal in one place.
Sober Company is split into three parts. Here is the lay of the land:
- Sober Cafe for lunch and coffee — spiked if you wish (first floor)
- Sober Society for drinks (second floor)
- Sober Kitchen for food (half floor?)
At Sober Kitchen, only parties of 6 or more can make reservations; otherwise, you can put your name on a waitlist upon arrival and grab a drink in Sober Society while you wait. This has been my routine here.
I have been to Sober Company twice now and both times have waited around 45-60 minutes for a table at Sober Kitchen. The wait was not so bad while we had a drink or two at the bar.
There are quite a few drinks I would like to come back to try. Here are the ones I am eyeing:
- Calvados Flip (RMB120) Calvados, dulce de leche, egg, bitters, five spice
- Matatlán (RMB130) Mezcal, Tequila, sweet vermouth, amaro, bitters, pepper smoke
- Old Invitation (RMB180) Yamazaki, wasanbon sugar, bitters, yuzu peel
- God Father III (RMB130) Laphroaig 10y, hoji-cha, apricot brandi, bitters, candied prosciutto
I had the Manhattan Toddy (RMB120) with brown butter-washed Bacardi 8, hot apple cider, sabayon, miso powder, which was a great pick-me-up for the cold weather.
Inside Sober Kitchen is the dining room and a separate drinks menu from Sober Society. Please note that you cannot bring your drink from Sober Society into Sober Kitchen and will need to order new drinks in here.
Beef tartare (RMB128) with roasted bone marrow, crispy mushroom, horseradish, hoisin sauce
Scrape out the bone marrow and mix into the beef for maximum damage to arteries. Pretty solid beef tartare.
If you prefer something lighter, the ahi poke (RMB68) with tuna, dashi soy, egg, yolk, dumpling skin (not pictured) is a nice starter as well.
Grilled jie lan (RMB48) with parmigiano crisp, charred soy sauce, ichimi pepper
Jie lan is Chinese broccoli, which is a great vegetable by itself made even better with crispy sheets of parmigiano. The other vegetable option is kale salad (RMB68) with truffle balsamic, you cong su, and pine nuts.
Uni ban man (RMB178) with roasted bone marrow, bottarga, bamboo shoots
Though I love the idea of this dish, I have mixed feelings about it because the uni tastes very fishy. Perhaps upgrading to a higher quality uni would do the trick — it is after all a 25 dollar bowl of noodles so I expect better. You must eat this soon after mixing or else the bone marrow will congeal and end up tasting like chunks of grease.
Foie gras ma po tofu (RMB128) with ground pork, fermented black beans, peanuts
My absolute favorite thing here combining ma po tofu and foie gras, which I think works extremely well because I like both things very much. As with most mapo tofu dishes adapted for Shanghai, it is pleasantly spicy so you can taste the rich flavors and not have your mouth lit on fire. It didn’t come with rice when I visited so be sure to ask for a bowl.
Generous pieces of foie gras spread throughout the tofu. I could come here just for a drink and plate of this and be very satisfied.
Word on the street is that their olive cake (RMB30) is very good but I was too stuffed to try. Will need to squeeze it in next time!