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A Brunch Affair at the Commune Social

The Commune Social is my current go-to spot in Shanghai. I love their beautifully-curated brunch menu and the restaurant’s desserts are simply to die for. Plus, it’s located in a stunning space designed by famed Shanghai-based architects Neri & Hu. Good food and a trendy vibe? Be still my heart. For brunch, the set menu is 188RMB for 3 dishes of your choice. Plates are brought out tapas style and great for sharing. I like that you can add additional plates for 68RMB, which is overall a steal for the quality of food you get.

I’ve been wanting to share this restaurant for a while now because a lot of readers visiting Shanghai have asked me what are some of my favorite spots. The team behind Commune Social (led by Chef Jason Atherton with Kim+Scott Melvin) are incredibly talented and I genuinely love how well crafted each dish is. The Commune Social doesn’t take reservations, so queues on the weekend can be 1hour+. If you don’t like waiting, either go early on weekends or visit for their weekday lunch menu.

The Commune Social is ‘食社’ in Chinese, which translates closely to a social space (commune) for food

Right when you walk in, you’ll find the dessert bar on your right hand side (after your meal, you can grab a seat here if you want to watch them make dessert in front of you!)

Berry smoothies as we wait for our party to get here…

brunch plates commence:


Scallops with chorizo on toast with a splash of beautiful brunch colors

Super creamy assortment of roasted and pureed sweet potato (photo by the lovely Colin Shun)

Soy marinated scallops with fennel and orange. Look at those beautiful layers of ingredients+colors!

Hot smoked salmon with beets (I didn’t get to try this dish but it looked beautiful)

Roasted eggplants that were super tasty and surprisingly filling (this is a special lunch menu item I had when I came on a weekday)

Tender and savory roasted beef tongue, this is one of my favorites on the menu!

and dessert…


The extensive and ever-changing dessert menu (my favorite is the beetroot chocolate cake!)

Pastry chefs at the dessert bar, making magic happen…

Dessert assortment of caramel popcorn, olive oil cake, and scoops of ice cream (the green scoop is their housemade basil ice cream that’s just out of this world, definitely worth trying)

Olive oil cake (this was good but not too different from conventional ones)

A fun and fancy twist on peanut butter & jelly–assortment of red fruits, peanut butter ice cream, and peanut caramel!

Beetroot and chocolate cake, my favorite. Super creamy and thick with a lovely meringue added to the mix

Simple industrial interiors

There’s a central courtyard in the middle of the restaurant that’s perfect for outdoor dining

Connected to the restaurant is Design Commune, an up-scale, and well curated design store for those interested in interior design pieces

I visited Commune Social last weekend with a group of friends so it was fun to try nearly every dish on their current menu. Verdict? Fresh ingredients, and well-balanced plates of sweet and savory. I loved both the scallop options (marinated and grilled), and the beef tongue was phenomenal. Other table favorites include kingfish carpaccio and the sweet potatoes. If you like seasonal menu changes, you’ll appreciate how Commune Social’s dishes are constantly evolving as they swap in different ingredients accordingly.

Because we had such a large party this past weekend for brunch, we didn’t switch over to sit at the dessert bar afterwards. But know that you have that option if there are empty seats! The whole idea is to enjoy the dessert bar where the pastry chefs make your desserts in front of you. There’s even a cocktail bar upstairs if you want to see mixologist magic happen. From the dessert menu, I love the beetroot chocolate cake just because it’s so indulgent without being overly sweet. I think depending on availabilities, different fruits are swapped with the beetroot. The peanut ice cream with ‘red fruits’ (strawberries & raspberries this time) with peanut caramel is also super decadent and a must-try.

Overall, great ingredients, beautiful plating, fun vibes, and always a good time. One of my favorite brunch spots in Shanghai, finally reviewed!

eatprayjade x.


The Commune Social
Address // 上海市静安区江宁路511号 Jangning Lu 511
Tel // + 86 021 6047 7638
Website //
*Closed all-day Monday and closed Sunday for dinner 


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