While the Shanghai summer certainly can be the mean side of muggy, sitting on Hai Pai’s patio with a cool glass of Chardonnay in hand, the water fountain spraying just off to our right and some funky beats snaking around from the front, l can only think of the good side.
Strolling along one of the twin walkways that flank the Cantonese restaurant’s sides, my eyes followed a singular tunnel of lights snaking above the entirety of the restaurant, a reflection of the dragon and how tied in Paradise Garden is with Chinese Traditionalism. Decorated throughout in rich crimson reds and glittering gold, to my right were private rooms beyond glass walls and shimmering screens to one side. And to my left, a large opening that let you look onto the six floors below. I began to feel a bit like royalty as I moved ahead.
A comfortable environment for both the Shanghai foodie and novice alike.
The newest addition to Tianjin’s historic Wudadao neighborhood recreates traditional Shanghai Cuisine with an interesting fusion twist. Located on Chengdudao, Sheng 88 offers a comfortable environment for both the Shanghai foodie and novice alike.
A restaurant villa that captures Shanghai’s elegant past in both taste and tact.
In Hongqiao District, on Hongqiao Road, is Big Windmill Private Kitchen, which allows its patrons a historical step back into the Shanghai of yesteryear. Originally the home of US Air Force Flying Tiger’s pilot, Claire Chennault and his wife, Chen Xiangmei, the Spanish villa has been transformed into a three story restaurant, dressed in antiques and snapshots of the city’s roaring thirties, from the famous actors and actresses of the time to what Shanghai had once looked like.
You could be forgiven for not noticing No. 99 Fuxing Lu. There is no sign outside, the windows are veiled. Indeed, as far as appearances go, there is nothing to distinguish it from any of the other 1930s colonial residences in the area. But if you're a regular evening stroller of said leafy avenue, you might sometimes have detected a stir of activity across the threshold of No. 99. You may even have glimpsed the glint of wine glasses on a set table, the door swinging shut as you passed, like the wink of an eye. This is a place that breathes as if it is about to speak, but never does.
Zip18 is at the top of a mid-range hotel on Beijing East Road, an area that is strangely empty in the evenings. The restaurant itself was busy, but mostly with hotel guests. They have both Western and Chinese menus, which are totally unrelated. The Western menu looked interesting, so you may need to visit here twice!
As I approached the Gothemesque giant called Jin Mao or Golden Prosperity, I wished the top was visible. The fog/smog that grips Shanghai throughout most of Spring and early Summer, would not allow one of city’s marvels to be witnessed that night. After a quick peak at one of the world’s tallest atriums, and scaling multiple elevators within the Grand Hyatt, security all long-legged and attractive, whispering into their radios the minute you move onto the next station, I eventually arrived on the 86th floor, sole property of the Jin Mao Club.
In the early 20th century, and particularly in the 1920s, Shanghai was both prosperous and dangerous, with elevators and centrally heated hotels, gangs and guns. The imperialists were still here, but there was hope – hope that the imperialists would be sent home, that a strong and forward-looking government would come to power in China and that China would become a modern nation. The world was changing - there was rationalism, science and modernity.
The great white building, four stories high, its sign lit outside, you know you are entering a bit of history, curious to find what it may just be. Formerly a French missionary church, which evolved through Shanghai’s decadent and stylish history, opium pipes to fashionable qipao’s, this is a living and breathing museum, where the food is the star of the historical show.