Add:789 Wuyi Rd., near Zhongshan Rd. W.
Credit Cards Accepted
English Service Available
Gran Bodega's reputation as the original and the most traditional Spanish restaurant in the city has made it a must-visit venue for some time. Interestingly, it has the self-assurance not to be Pasa-Dobleing in a whirl of publicity but cooks up a stir all the same. Many of the Spanish chefs sprinkled around Shanghai have some kind of personal affinity with, or even affection for this place, with some regularly revisiting to get their Spanish food fix. It has the substance, simplicity and subtlety of a well-kept secret; a recipe that none of the Iberian-inspired imitators springing up over the city can capture. The authenticity of Gran Bodega is obvious from the outset; bare-brick archways, azulejos, ceramics and Jamón hanging from the ceiling add to a purpose-built yet personalized Spanish feel, the music adding a mood-enhancing Andalucía atmosphere.
To follow, a fruity Sangria and a selection of old favourites got mouths watering. Notably, the Croquetas de Jamón Iberico were creamy, crispy and comforting all at once (48RMB). The over-hanging ham was put to good use stuffed into bite-size mushrooms adding to their melt in the mouth appeal. Chorizo Frito (45RMB) hand in hand with a crusty Pan con Tomate was a real highlight. A curiously coloured and memorable dish was the Chipirones rellenos en su tinta or baby squid enveloping a pork centre and served in squid ink, its ominously dark fa?ade proving appearances can be deceptive (68RMB). A palate-cleansing Ensalada Mixta (38RMB)) paved the way for the Paella de Marisco served on your behalf by a Spanish-speaking waiter (158RMB). To round it off Leche Frita Flambeada (35RMB), fried milk with a kick of Cointreau was as homey and satisfying as they come. Offering Spanish cuisine that's good for the soul, this fondly regarded restaurant can sit back and take stock of its place in the Hispanic hierarchy safe in the knowledge that Gran Bodega really is the Godfather of its genre in Shanghai.