One of the great mysteries of expat life in Shanghai is where to find cheese. Some expats rely on expensive cheese sold in small delis in the French Concession or places like the deli at the Westin Hotel/Bund Center. Some rely on cheese sold at supermarkets such as Tesco, Metro, Carrefour, or City Shop. Laviezine goes on a taste test across the city to find the best stores, delis and online shops to buy imported cheeses in Shanghai.
Cheese & Fizz
With a rotating selection of French cheeses available, the range at this pleasant Xintiandi spot can be unpredictable, but on a good day you can find some true gems. The friendly staff members are happy to give you tasters from big wheels of cheeses such as Saint-Nectaire (75RMB/100g) Brie de Meaux (80RMB/100g) and Munster (80RMB/100g). Given the quality of what’s available, prices are a little higher than in the major supermarkets, but you can still pick up around 100g from under 100RMB. The store also has indoor and outdoor seating and you can hand pick a selection to eat in (188RMB for five cheeses,88RMB for 10), sit back, grab a bottle of wine (at take away prices) and watch the world go by in Xintiandi.
Add: Unit 101, Xintiandi South Block, 119 Madang Lu, near Taicang Lu, Huangpu District
Tel: 0086 021 6336 5823
Open: 10am-11pm daily
Of all the mall-based import specialist supermarkets (including Ole’ and City Shop), City Super has the widest selection of cheese available. With the large wheels of Manchego (from 44.50RMB/100g), Comte (121RMB/100g) and Gorgonzola (29.80RMB/100g) among those filling a large deli cabinet, as well as a selection of pre-packaged cheeses available, you could comfortably do all od your cheese shopping here. Having racked up a 150RMB charge for a small sliver of Comte on one visit however, we can verify that prices aren’t cheap.
Add: LG1, IAPM Mall. 999 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Nanchang Lu, Xuhui District
Tel: 0086 021 5466 1588
Open: 10am-11pm daily
Quality certainly trumps quantity at Pudong cafe and deli, La Parisienne. A handsome cheese cabinet displays a slection of harder to find quality French cheese at reasonable prices. These include Roquefort (70RMB/100g), Saint Maure (120RMB/piece) and a delicious 18 month aged Comte (80RMB/100g). They also stock Spanish cheese Manchego at the affordable price of 60RMB/100g. While you’re there, we recommend you pick up one of their excellent baguettes and French pasteries. Dinner sorted.
Add: 88 Zhangyang Lu, near Puming Lu, Pudong
Tel: 0086 021 5897 9725
Open: 7am-7pm daily
With a bursting cheese cabint and some glorious wooden cheese cupboards, Shaanxi Nan Lu delicatessen La Formaggeria offers a decent array of Italian import cheese in their store opposite the Culture Square complex. With tasters laid out in front of the counter, it’s easy to pick up a toothpich, try a few varieties and make your selection. In the cabinet, there are options such as Verena (from 20RMB/100g) and Parmigiano Reggiano (upwards of 20RMB/100g), while in the fridges, there’s a healthy stash of Mascarpone (60RMB/500g).
Add: 434 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Yongjia Lu, Xuhui District
Tel: 0086 021 5459 1973
Open: 10am-9pm daily.
Similar to the layout at City Super, an array of flags displaying country of origin are on show at Ole’s deli counter, while pre-packaged cheese sits in the dairy section. English flags feature heavily in the deli (including Double Gloucester for 29.80RMB/100g), with a somewhat suprising;y small selection of French, Swiss and Spanish cheese also represented (including Mancheo for 65.50/100g). In the pre-packed fridge selection, the brands that dominate are Kerrygold (from 35RMB/200g block of Cheddar), President (including grated Emmental from 29.50RMB/70g), Mainland (55RMB/250g of Vintage Cheddar) and The Laughing Cow (27RMB for a 140g box of 8 wedges).
Add: NB2-01, North Area, Kerry Centre Jingan, 1563 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Changde Lu, Jingan District
Tel: 0086 021 6067 3067
Open: 10am-10pm daily
If you love Mozzarella, you’ll love Solo Latte. Produced and delivered in Shanghai by Korean Kyeong Joo Lee, you know you’re getting fresh products. A 100g ball of mozzarella will cost you 28RMB, while Bocconcini packs (10x25g) cost 62RMB amd a custom made Burrata will set you back 420RMB/KG.
With a large variety of cheese ranging from Babybell (36RMB for 110g of mini Babybel) to a half wheel of Raclette (1,064RMB for a whopping 3000g), Epermarket’s selection is certainly plentiful. There are options to sort by origin (with 11 countries represented ), brand (10 brands and counting) and then type (processed, hard and soft, and blue and goat), which makes buying the cheese pleasingly straightforward. There’s also a solid selection of cheese which are cut from large wheels rather just pre-packaged options.
Another wonderful item available is the Fondue Dinner Party Set (from 1,218RMB) and the Swiss Raclette Party Set (from 1,105RMB) with the Raclette grill and everything else you’ll beed to cook up (you guessed it) Raclette, to 787RMB without the girll, again. Don’t miss the online sale, which is on now.
Kate & Kimi have a huge variety of cheese available online. So much so that they’ve handily separated them into categories, including firm cheese, spreadable cheeses, goats cheese, ricottas and shredded cheeses. Productions from Beijing-based French artisanal cheesemaker ‘Le Fromager de Pekin’ feature heavily on the digital shelves and are moderately priced (most around the 50RMB mark for 120g), alongside French imports (President Brie at 35RMB for 125g). The mozzarella mostly comes from China and is quite affordable (from 20RMB for two pieces). Italian versions are also available and cash in at around 44RMB for 125g.
Quality online grocers Fields feature a reasonable, if not overwhelming amount of cheese on their website. There’s a suprising amount of different processed slices, snack sticks and spreadable cheeses. Prices start at 16RMB for some Emborg Cheddar cheese slices (100g) and jump up to 148RMB for President Goats cheese. In the middle, there’s a variety of Pecorino (from 79RMB for 200g of Ambrosi), Brie (70RMB for 200g of President), blue cheese (50RMB for 125g of Saint Agur) and much more besides.