After going to The Nest, I have always wanted to come to The Cannery. One evening after a hard’s day work, the whole company came over to share a meal with me.
The Cannery is located on the mellow and historic Yuyuan Road, very different from The Nest, which was on Ground Zero of the chic and trendy on The Bund. The food is inspired by New England-Canadian fare.
One of the main themes here is the sea, but there were only a small selection of fresh seafood in the menu. The other theme is canning (hence the name), so they can and sell a lot of items like duck liver and steamed clams.
Besides the antique canning equipment on display, they can their own foie gras and delicious shellfish and seafood. They don’t do it on a commercial scale, so you have to come here and see what they have canned recently.
The duck liver mousse was smooth and rich, but made even better with a layer of crushed pistachio nuts on top to supply texture.
The last time I ordered so much canned food in a proper restaurant was in Barcelona. And I really enjoyed the canned sardines the last time when I was in Spain. I saw canned pickled sardines on the menu and could not resist. The company thought I was mad, but they soon realised that this was not they usual canned sardines. Au contraire, these were gourmet canned sardines that would not have taste as good if they were fresh. Not too salty, just the right amount of vinegar.
Not that they have canned this, but they have served it in the tin can that were used in the cannery.
The dressing was the steakhouse classic of vinegar and olive oil with just salt and pepper. There’s bits of mustard seeds and black caviar with good chunks of venisons. The mustard provided some heat while the caviar gave it umami.
The Raw Bar – Imported Oysters
King Henri IV (1553-1610) was said to eat 300 of them at a time, his grandson Louis XIV had them delivered fresh daily to Versailles or wherever he was and was known to eat six dozen at a time. Diderot the French philosopher and Voltaire the writer and philosopher ate them for inspiration, as did Napoleon Bonaparte before going into battle. Casanova, the 18th century lover used to breakfast on 50 of them. I am referring to huîtres or French for oysters, of course.
98% of oysters are cupped but they can also be flat (called plats) – and much more expensive. They are ranked for size by number: from 0 to 5 for cupped oysters and from 000 (the biggest) to 6 (the smallest) for flat ones. Cupped oysters are designated “fine” or “special” which indicates the amount of meat, with special oysters being the meatiest ones. So this French #4 Special was of a good size with a big piece of flesh.
Artisanal Meats Board
House made meats, pimento cheese spread, pickles
A board of different cuts, some of which were cured in house. It was a selection of favourites like chorizo, salami and others.
Eat Your Greens
Kale Caesar Salad
Caesar salad replacing the usual Romaine lettuce with kale. Surprising delicious even with the slightly bitter variation.
On Tuesday, they would offer fajitas on the hot grill. Tex-Mex is not very popular in China, and I don’t like it too. But the rest were reminiscing the days we went Salt Lake City for our annual company kick-off, so we ordered a portion to share.
The word ‘fajita’ is actually a reference to the type of meat traditionally used in the assembly of the dish—carne asada, or skirt steak. This tough cut of meat is sliced against the grain, grilled, and accompanied by grilled vegetables with flour or corn tortillas on the side.
Fajitas become Tacos
Tacos are just fajitas and other meats or fish wrapped and served with corn tortillas. And it is so similar to Chinese 卤肉卷 braised meat rolls.
The Hot List
Besides the cold stuff, they do a limited amount of cooked items.
Crayfish, crab and smoked tomato risotto
It could do with a few more crayfish and slightly more moist risotto.
Arugula pesto, spinach, sun-dried tomato, goat cheese
I love artichokes, so I was looking forward to this pasta dish with my favourite ingredient. But it was not what I was expecting because canned artichokes were used. Disappointed.
Beer-battered icelandic cod
This was a repeat of The Nest, but the presentation was more interesting at The Nest. But it was just as delicious here.
The Famous Firepit
Right behind the wall of whiskeys was a hidden smokehouse. You can peeped into it when you are walking to the washrooms. This is where all the smoked and barbecued food are prepared.
Charred Jacket Potato
Some say “Po-Tat-Toes”, some say “Po-Tay-Toes” – let’s just order one of each. Russet potatoes were used because they tend to be larger and more oblong in shape and therefore perfect for the roast, Served with the standard chives, butter and sour cream, there were three toppings to choose from. The dressed shrimp was just like shrimp cocktail, bacon and cheddar was the classic potato topping and smoked salmon was the deluxe one.
Salmon on the Plank
And the piece de resistance from the firepit was the salmon on the plank. A nice piece of salmon was nailed on a plank and the placed in the smokehouse. The slow heat cooked the salmon perfectly and still retained the moisture of the fish while giving it a nice smokey taste.
From The Grill
While this was not a steakhouse, they did have a proper grill that served a good selections of cuts for sharing.
Thick Cut Aussie M5 Wagyu Ribeye
The ribeye was nicely marbled and each piece was tender and juicy. It was medium rare, the right doneness, but the redness freaked out the rest. But it was perfectly grilled piece of beef. We ordered a side of steakhouse style mushrooms which were a pan of brown mushrooms grilled with olive oil and topped with bacon chips.
The grilled asparagus was dressed with a mustard honey drizzle with pickled shallots, the same jar of pickles.
Cannery Ice Cream (Salted Caramel)
I had to say I was disappointed when they served the Cannery Ice Cream. When I tried it for the first time in The Nest, they were canned and you have to pull the lid off to serve. Here, they were open faced and served as it was. It was still the same delicious salted caramel flavour, but the fun was no more.
This was the ladies’ favourite. I didn’t get the chance to taste it 🙂 so it must be good.
About The Cannery
The Cannery shares the ground floor with The Commune Social in a co-work building by Space by Creater. The occupants of the co-work space are mainly innovators and creative types working in the vibrant Shanghai expat community.
Little design touches include a gold roof, an antique canner brought over from Canada and an HG Wells-esque fish installation, while kitchen staff wear a gumboot-clad look inspired by the West Coast’s wet markets.
The Cannery serves as a great alternative from your usual 外滩 The Bund spots to impress guests. Beautiful lounge with great food at good prices. All the draft beers are craft beers prepared in small batches. The whiskey selection is sizable, and decidedly leaning towards bourbon, rye, and Canadian. Definitely a good spot for a get-together, or the start to a night out. Casual but nice, and pet-friendly. The beautiful crowd brought their flurry ones and there were special menu for them too.
1107 Yuyuan Rd, Changning District, Shanghai, China, 200336
Tel : +86 (021) 5276 0599
Date Visited : Jul 2021