Sophie Loras spoke to the Australian community in Shanghai to find out about the city’s lavish nightlife.
Pavilion Director and Deputy Commissioner-General
Australian Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo 2010
I love this city! Shanghai is going to play host to probably the world’s biggest ever expo, the Australian pavilion is certainly the largest and most complex at any expo to date and the journey so far has been spectacular and it is only going to get better for the rest of 2010. For a post expo drink I would thoroughly recommend the Australian pavilion! Every night during Expo we will have cold Australian beers and a selection of Australian wines available for purchase.
Also, for each of the 184 days of expo we will have live entertainment in and around the pavilion. We have two resident groups of performers as well as a rolling program of visiting artists from Australia, including a mix of jazz, blues, rock, classical and even hip hop if that is your thing!
Other bars, clubs, watering holes and restaurants which have stood out for me during my time in Shanghai include Southern Barbarian. It is hard to find, and the food is OK, but the atmosphere is great and the beer menu is unbelievable!
When I need a burger, it is hard to beat the Blue Frog in Lujiazwei on a Monday night – two for the price of one! For a slightly fancier Chinese meal, it is soooo hard to go past Lost Heaven, at either of their locations. For a beer, it is has to be the newly opened Camel bar… I should stop now, as it may sound like I am never actually working!
For bars and restaurants with a specifically Aussie feel everyone loves M on the Bund, and there is nothing better than a nice Grey Goose Martini in the Glamour Bar before a great meal! Also, our friends at Kakadu are terrific. We had all of the Australian pavilion new recruits there for a BBQ for around 250 as a social event during our training week and the Kakadu team did a great job! For the all-round Shanghai experience, for me, it is a late lunch at Din Tai Fung in the Super Brand Mall before a walk along the Pudong side of the waterfront, looking across at the Bund, followed, if the timing/weather is right, by a Martini at the top of the World Financial Centre as the sun is going down… hard to beat! ■
ANNE AND CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT
Christopher is Austrade’s China Country Manager
and Senior Trade Commissioner, Shanghai.
In Shanghai, we are spoiled for choice. Shanghai is a town where east and west have mixed for 150 years, so there’s a fusion here that goes a bit beyond the name. Our favourite outdoor bar in Shanghai is Kommune – it’s casual and relaxed and a little Bohemian. We take visitors to Xiao Nan Guo for authentic Shanghainese food and good service. It does great hairy crabs in season. Gu Yi is Hunanese cuisine, hot and earthy and lots of chillies! It’s always packed, and it’s the sort of place where you know you’re in China – and glad to be so. For Western, we take guests to M on the Bund – great views, great food. I love the suckling pig – and never go home without the Pav! A table inside is fine – but make sure you take your pre-dinner drink out on the balcony. Laris is all stars. It’s panache with quality and always adventurous, just like (Australian) David Laris, the founder of the restaurant. Kakadu has great hospitality and out-there outback food. The Camel is a place to hang if you’re after a ‘local’. We went three times in the first week – you just keep bumping into people there and that’s what a local is! For bars – the Glamour Bar where the name says it all. I like a cigar and scotch – and it’s very good for that – or if there are two of you, buy a bottle of bubbly and settle in for the evening. Another favourite is Mesa & Manifesto with its outdoor terrace, especially in the summer.
Our favourite spot for a night cap is our balcony. Late at night, after work or a function, it’s a place to light a cigar, savour a scotch, and pretend to be Denny Crane as we look out across more of Shanghai’s very built up skyline. ■
Executive Director, AustCham Shanghai
My favourite outdoor bar in Shanghai is Mesa & Manifesto. It’s the perfect escape away from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. Start with a few signature cocktails on the outdoor terrace, head downstairs to the fine dining restaurant, and then make your way upstairs again for night cap in the chic bar. Constellation 2 is a classic cigar and whiskey bar, and one of the best places to find a great cocktail in Shanghai. The stylish décor and lighting really set the mood for a great night out. Lost Heaven is a hugely popular Yunnan restaurant with exotic décor and dishes making it a favourite with visitors. Di Shui Dong and Gu Yi are both institutions amongst locals and foreigners thanks to their exquisitely prepared Hunan dishes. Don’t miss their delicious spicy ribs or the sticky banana desserts. Also Din Tai Fung (various locations) for their world-famous xiao long bao! M on the Bund is essential for first-time visitors to Shanghai. Founded by Melbourne born Michelle Garnaut in 1999, the restaurant offers one of the city’s most spectacular views across the Huangpu River (pictured right). Select from the delicious menu of modern European dishes designed by Sydney-born Hamish Pollitt, and don’t miss M’s signature Pavlova. Mr Willis is a gem is the heart of the French Concession. Australian Craig Willis is the man behind this fabulous new restaurant offering simply prepared modern Australian dishes with high quality ingredients. For a night cap, Glamour Bar – one of the most glamorous and sophisticated bars in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Gosney & Kallman’s Chinatown is one of Shanghai’s hottest new venues. The racy three-storey burlesque club, set in a 1930s Buddhist temple dazzles with music, dancing girls and floor shows. M1NT is a hip and stylish night club with dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular 360 degree views. The first thing you notice upon entering is the jaw dropping 17-metre long shark tank. During Expo I’d encourage visitors to join the Australian community at Aussie Drinks, hosted by AustCham Shanghai every Friday night from 6pm at Kakadu. It’s a great place to relax and unwind at the end of a busy week, and during the Expo it’ll be the unofficial watering hole of the Australian pavilion. Don’t miss it! Australians visiting Shanghai in September should also keep Saturday, September 11, free to attend the annual Aussie Ball. ■
More information about Aussie Drinks and the Aussie Ball are available on the AustCham Shanghai website, www.austchamshanghai.com
Director of Development, Shanghai, Australia China Alumni Association.
Project Manager, Beijing Consulting Group
I adore Mesa & Manifesto – they have a huge terrace, great service and the cocktails are fantastic. They change every season, so you never get bored. If you are looking for somewhere with a view, pop over to Bar Rouge on the Bund. Other favourite bars of mine include Izumi sake bar for cosy atmosphere and personalized service, but this one is for sake lovers only! Boxing Cat Brewery and the Camel are great for those feeling a little homesick for Aussie pubs. For Chinese, Pin Chuan Sichuan is a great restaurant with authentic yet creative dishes and a fun atmosphere. Try the cucumber skins – they’re a great conversation starter. It’s also one of the few Chinese restaurants with a decent range of options for vegetarians. My favourite spot for a night cap is El Coctel and if you’re a wine lover, head to Dr Wine on Fumin Lu.
For Clubs – Monkey Lounge is always a safe bet, and reminds me a lot of clubs in Sydney’s King’s Cross. If you’re looking for a more authentic, local experience, you can’t go past Bar 88. A favourite haunt of Shanghai’s wealthy 20-somethings, the ornate booths, flashing lights and candelabras will surprise even the most jaded club-goers. If you’re in town briefly, head over to South Beauty on the top floor of the Super Brand Mall in Lujiazui, Pudong. The South Beauty chain of Chinese restaurants is well-known and popular in Shanghai, and this particular location has an awe-inspiring view over the Bund and Puxi. ■
BRODIE MCDOUGALL (AND BABY LACHLAN)
Senior Manager, Michael Page International
President, Shanghai AFL
My favourite outdoor bar in Shanghai is Vue Bar, top of the Hyatt building. It has an outstanding view of the city, great drinks, an outdoor spa and big couches. Another favourite is the Camel in the French Concession which is Shanghai’s newest sports bar. Any sport you want, they have it live and it’s the home of AFL in Shanghai. Great service and the coldest beers in town, you can’t go wrong. It’s also run by a great group of Australian blokes! Our favourite restaurant to take visitors is the original – and still the best – M on the Bund. It has the best Australian lamb in Shanghai! For a night cap, the best “old fashions” in Shanghai are at Constellations on Xinle Lu. Also check out Kathleens 5 at Peoples Square – an excellent bar that overlooks the Huangpu district. As for clubbing – I’m too old! ■
To see a full calendar listing of Australian community events during Shanghai World Expo, click here.
To learn more about Australia’s involvement in Expo, click here.
To read more about the Australian pavilion and its development, click here.