Place and Vibe
If you are looking for an upscale date night with incredible views – this is your place. CHAR sits on the top floors of the Indigo Hotel Shanghai on the Bund. It has a classy steakhouse downstairs and a trendy bar upstairs with an outdoor terrace, offering a panoramic view of the Huangpu River. We opted for a lavish steak dinner at the restaurant, followed by a nice glass of wine at the bar. The restaurant gives a very sophisticated yet homey, rustic feel with dim lighting and comfy black and white chairs with floral chairs.
Let’s get straight to the main event and talk steaks. All of CHAR’s Wagyu eye-fillet beef is imported from David Blackmore's award-winning, environmentally sustainable ranch in Australia. CHAR uses the marbling score system for their beef, which categorizes the beef based on visible forms of intramuscular fat (IMF). All you need to know is that the higher score, the better the flavor.
We tried the 250g eye fillet stockyard grain fed Black Angus (RMB468, marble score 3) and the 220g eye fillet Jack’s Creek Wagyu (RMB668, marble score 6-7). While both steaks were excellent, we could definitely taste the difference between marble scores, with the Jack’s Creek Wagyu being noticeably more tender and juicy.
If you are a true steak lover, you will appreciate CHAR’s efforts to provide a unique dining experience. Before your steak arrives, customers are presented with a box of handcrafted steak knives from around the world. Your table will also be adorned with flavored sea salts from different countries and a variety of mustards. Although we were a bit apprehensive about the condiments and seasoning, we were delightfully surprised. Our favorite was the smoked hickory salt from North America as it really brought out the flavor of our steaks.
For something to start your meal, try the king prawn cocktail (RMB198) and the duck consommé (RMB98). The prawns are placed in individual shot glasses with avocado puree, marie rose sauce and a touch of zest from the lemon, while the duck consommé has a more light and delicate quality that makes for a good starter before the main course.
Their side dishes (all RMB58) are great for sharing (two is plenty) and change regularly according to the season.
Date Night Approved
Although this may not be a traditional romantic restaurant, CHAR offers a high-end and contemporary dining experience with superb food. Plus, it won Hotel Steakhouse of the Year at That's Shanghai Food & Drink Awards this year.
We wouldn’t suggest bringing kids here due to its low noise level and a lack of kid-friendly menu items. Save this one for just the two of you when you need a well-deserved night out on the town and make sure you stop by upstairs for a post-dinner cocktail on the terrace.
Price per person: RMB800-1,500 (with drinks)
Who’s going: Couples, hotel guests and business professionals
Good for: Dinner and drinks
See a listing for CHAR.