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Yummy surf-and-turf fare at Bull & Claw
By Pasty Yang

Several newly opened restaurants and bars have been drawing us to the northern reaches of Jing’an District. The Bull & Claw is a pleasant addition to the dining and drinking scene in the area with its straightforward concept aiming to simply offer the best steak, lobster and craft beer in the city.

“Our motto is ‘do it right’ so we bring our guests the three things we love most and do them right, at an affordable price,” said Hardeep Somal, partner and head chef of The Bull & Claw. Somal is also the executive chef of the Camel Group, which is responsible for a growing collection of bars and dining outposts around the city, including The Camel Bar, Sliders and El Luchador.

The Bull & Claw is their most upscale venture to date. In an ample dining space with 85 seats, guests can savor live lobsters flown in daily from Nova Scotia, Canada, premium Australian steaks and 18 craft beers on tap.


Born and raised in London, Somal explained that the concept is inspired by London’s ultra-popular chain Burger & Lobster that offers only three items on the menu.

“However, our menu revolves around our two main ingredients presented in quite an extensive variety of styles, as I believe Shanghai is not ready for an ultra simple menu concept yet,” he said.

Since opening in June, over 2,000 live lobsters have been brought to the kitchen, kept in live display tanks and then prepared either steamed, char-grilled or thermidor (cooked with cream, brandy, onions and garlic and topped with mild cheddar cheese) depending on diners’ preferences.

“Boston Maine lobsters are well-known worldwide, however I believe Canadian ones are better quality, with more meaty tails and smaller claws,” Somal said. For lobster lovers, there’s also a thermidor Caesar salad (148 yuan/ US$23.2), lobster bisque (68 yuan) and lobster sandwich (148 yuan). The lobster bisque requires some effort to make but The Bull & Claw’s version is superb, capturing the true essence of lobster with a slightly sweet complexity.

The highlight of the menu is the half lobster & 250-gram veal fillet (378 yuan). Some people prefer the lobster steamed retaining the original delicate taste, while the char-grilled version has a slightly smoky, charred flavor that adds a deliciously savory element. The baby veal fillet is also exceptionally tender.

They have selected beers with a story, encouraging people to stop and appreciate how they were made and what ingredients have been used in the brewing process. Cider Republic (60 yuan) is one of the signatures. Brewed in Shandong Province from dessert apples, it has a crisp taste that sets it apart from mass-produced ciders.

The Bull & Claw has a welcoming, homely feel, inviting guests to slow down and enjoy a break from the hectic pace of Shanghai. A lot of green has been used in the design, including an impressive living plant wall. They’ve also mixed in soft, deep-red leather on the comfortable chairs and added a rustic touch with century-old floorboards salvaged from Shanghai lane houses.

In coming months, a selection of set lunches and a weekend brunch menu will be introduced. Expect a continuation of the lobster theme complemented by an oyster and Champagne buffet.

The Bull & Claw

Tel: 6266-6819

Address: 466 Xikang Rd

Average check: 300 yuan

Opening hours: 11am-late

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