Shanghai needed a good Aussie joint, and The Camel Group has finally brought a great seafood restaurant to Found 158, aka Datong Mill, aka the “new Yongkang”. This below-ground F&B space promises to become the communal grave of hundreds of drunk expats, frequenting iconic French bar Le Cafe des Stagiaires and some other popular clubs that will be opening in the next few weeks. Maybe they want to circumscribe all Westerners down there so it’s impossible to escape the drug tests, or so we don’t ruin the lives of quiet old locals by gentrifyng them with our poor quality bars, our screaming and our puking… anyways.
Back to Hooked. The maritime atmosphere with pastel colors, dim lights and up-beat lounge music is perfect for hip dinners and brunches; this promises to become a place to be seen wearing fancy outfits, eating oysters, sipping champagne and all things that are classy AF.
Service was fast and professional, which is not surprising, with Hooked being part of a larger, established F&B group. Full marks here. There’s also little to complain about with the carefully selected, yet inclusive, menu offerings.
Let’s start from the New Zealand mussels in tomato sauce (RMB 98). This type of mussel is quite big and usually results in a chewier texture compared to blue mussels. Nevertheless I loved them and the sauce was just unbelievable (pro tip, clean it all up by dipping your chips in it).
The owners say Hooked has the best fish & chips in town. Not being particularly obsessed with this dish (and not being fair comparing this version to Sailors’…), I can’t really confirm. But it is indeed a delicious fish & chips. Counterintuitively, we chose to accompany the fish with rice and salad instead (two of our other dishes already came with fries!). The rice is unexpectedly rich in flavor, like its been cooked in meat stock. RMB 98 for a huge portion of haddock crumbed fillet.
The Ahi Tuna poke bowl was flavorful and had many different pleasant textures. Great as a brunch option and definitely a satisfying portion for RMB 68 (add RMB 15 for avocado).
The soft shell crab burger (RMB 98) featured a buttery bun, coleslaw and plenty of perfectly crunchy crab. Maybe a tad too sweet for my taste, but would definitely order again. Same as the mussels, this dish comes with hand-cut chips, which are thickly cut to achieve a chunky and crispy texture.
All in all, I believe I’ll be back here quite often: a Hooked poke bowl + a slice of Homeslice pizza = the perfect weekend meal.
Address: Shanghai, 158 Julu Lu, Found 158, Room 5137, near Ruijin Yi Lu – 巨鹿路158号大同坊5137室, 近瑞金一路