It’s always a tense moment unveiling a new Thai restaurant in Shanghai.  You plan every single detail to perfection and hope (fingers crossed) that nothing goes wrong on opening day.  In the restaurant business, first impressions matter and every detail counts.  That’s what soft openings are for.  It’s so that everyone involved— the owner, manager, and staff—can rehearse, see what needs improving, and finalize everything.


Our Humble Thai Restaurant in Shanghai Was a Full House!

With that in mind, Urban Thai gladly served up its soft opening last March 6, Thursday.

Initially we invited only twenty of our closest friends to join us for one fine evening.  We would have wanted to keep the party as small and intimate as possible.  Somehow though word got out about our soft launch, and soon we found ourselves answering phone calls from people who were just as excited as us about Urban Thai.
Of course, we couldn’t decline.  After all, the more, the merrier.

Before we knew it, Dagu Lu’s newest Thai restaurant in Shanghai was a full house!  All in all, there were eighty—yes, 80—of us who partied that night, each one of us eager for great Thai cuisine.  Even our good architect friend, Ruxandra Corfita aka Ruccu , who by the way did a wonderful job in decorating Urban Thai’s interiors, graced her presence.
All the while, electro swing and lounge music softly emanated from the bar, giving everyone the good vibes to last us through the night.


One of the Best Thai Food this Side of Shanghai

Our menu for the night was a sumptuous sampling of Thai cuisine, all for the gorgeous price of just 168 RMB.
For starters, there were Som Tam (green papaya salad filled with summer flavours),Yum Woon Sen (glass noodle salad), Larb (spicy Thai salad), and a spicy beef salad called Yum Neua.
The soup selection was either a choice between Tom Yum (hot & sour soup) andTom Kha (chicken coconut soup), both of which was hearty, delicious, and warmed our souls.

We especially made sure the entrées were representative of classic Thai cooking, so we served up our very best and authentic versions of them.  There was the richly flavoured Geang Keow Wan (Thai green curry), the not-to-be-missed Gai Pad Med Ma Muang (chicken with cashew), the yummy Massaman Neua (Massaman curry with beef), Pad Krapow (stir fried basil), Nuea Nam Man Hoi (beef & oyster sauce),Pad Pad Ruam (stir fried mixed vegetables), Guay Tio Nam (Thai-style noodle soup).   And of course, everyone’s favourite essential Pad Thai (stir fried noodles).  Where applicable, we served vegetarian versions of some of the dishes for our vegan friends.

The menu offered two selections for drinks: a glass of Thai Tea (cold/hot), and a glass of Villa Perco Italian Wine (Merlot/Sauvignon).  Our guests especially loved Urban Thai’s choice of beer, no less than Thailand’s very best, Singha draft beer, which is actually hard to find anywhere in Shanghai.

Finally, the sole dessert in the menuthe delicately-flavored Khanom Thuai or coconut pudding, beautifully capped the evening.
Incidentally, this special 168 RMB deal is for the entire month of March.

 Hats off to Urban Thai’s Staff and Crew

Obviously, serving a sudden and unexpected deluge of people is no easy task, so hats off to our kitchen and floor staff who worked efficiently and gracefully even under pressure.  Judging from the happy, satisfied smiles of everyone in the room, all their hard work certainly paid off.  We hope we’ve made a good impression on our guests that night.


Urban Thai’s soft opening lasted well into midnight.  We like to think it was a huge success since everything went as planned.  We had such a good time with our friends and families, and in turn the event was a great opportunity for us to gain feedback from them.  We need that feedback to help us iron out a few details, so that we can perfect our act in the succeeding days, weeks, months, and years to come.

Thank you all for sharing that lovely evening with us.

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