Best Finds in Shanghaiby Soo Eelee
Still pining for that summer vacation? Find out what Shanghai has in store for you in 5 simple steps!
Located in the South Bund district of Shanghai, Waterhouse is a 19-room boutique hotel serving as a cool antidote to all that glitz and glamour of the city’s modernity. Brainchild of one adventurous developer, Loh Lik Peng, and a pair of talented designers, Neri&Hu, the hotel saw the transformation of a crumbling 1930s factory and former Japanese army HQ into one of the most architecture-driven buildings in Shanghai.
The industrial chic décor of the hotel is complemented by the architect’s sleek adaptions of minimalism and contemporary furniture collection. Influenced by modernism transparency, the boundaries between the rooms and public spaces are somewhat artistically blurred. Inviting residents to look out into the public areas while encouraging the public to peek into the comfort of the private rooms, an element of surprise interactivity is tastefully injected.
Also offering a destination restaurant serving world-influenced modern European cuisine, Table No. 1 introduces a brand new dining concept through the implementation of communal tables that almost forces interaction between fellow diners. Unwind and relax at the rooftop bar, which offer magnificent views of the Pudong skyline, where the city’s quaint low-rise architectural is still largely intact.
Waterhouse at South Bund
Maojiayan Lu N1-3
Zhongshan Lu South
Huangpu District 200010
Tel: +86 21 60802988
For the full Shanghai experience, dine with the locals.
Not for the claustrophobic or shy, this wildly popular noodle bar demands that you elbow your way through the crowd for a taste of the city’s best sesame paste noodles. Located in a rather grimy spot on Yandang road, this unassuming store has been slinging noodles for years so do not be surprised to find a bee line of people queuing outside during lunch.
Once you get over the grubby walls and not-so-friendly attendant, head over to the counter to order. While the menu may look rather intimidating, don’t get distracted and go straight for the Majiang Mian (Sesame Paste Noodles) and Xiao Niu Tang, which is a bowl of piping hot spiced beef soup. For less than S$2, you get to enjoy a sumptuous bowl of wheat flour noodles boiled to a perfectly springy texture and smothered in a slightly sweet, creamy, sesame sauce and a healthy dash of chilli oil. Complemented with a small serving of dried beancurd cubes and beef soup, don’t be surprised to find yourself slurping along with the locals sitting next to you.
Wei Xiang Zhai
14 Yandang Lu,
Near Huaihai Lu
Bespoke cocktails are huge in Shanghai, and with cocktail bars like Commune Social, it isn’t entirely uncalled for. Designed by Neri&Hu to breathe life into a historical and charming neighbourhood, the second floor craft cocktail lounge is dressed down and simple with naked light bulbs, exposed concrete and plain white tiles that create a tapestry of texture and patterns aligned with the rest of the establishment.
Serving a wide array of creative cocktails while injecting zest of life into the more traditional cocktails, one is certainly spoiled for choice at this chic bar. One of our favourites was the Jing’An’ Juice, which was a truly divine combination of Tanqueray Gin, Pineapple, Basil, Ginger and Citrus. Cheekily nicknamed the drink for locals only, the light and refreshing notes that is brought to live by the talented bartenders is no doubt a great way to start the evening. Don’t forget to also try the bar’s iconic London Julep, which is a unique concoction of Bombay Sapphire Gin, Mint, Cucumber, Elderflower and Lemon. Serving as a good reminder of a nostalgic English garden party, it is no wonder that it is a particular favourite amongst the Caucasian crowd at the bar.
The Commune Social
511 Jiang Ning Lu
Jing An District 200041
Tel: +86 021 60477638
Opening its doors in late 2013, this three-story club is impossible to miss thanks to its brightly lit exterior. Commanding the likes of Paul Van Dyk, W&W, Sander Van Doorn and numerous big names in the DJ world, MYST is definitely the place to see and be seen. Designed by Gan Tailai, a Taiwan renowned designer, MYST’s architecture is a strong advocate of the ultimate fashion lifestyle showcased in a new era of high-end entertainment institutions.
For a more lounge vibe, head on to the bottom floor, which is popular both with locals and foreigners who like to start the party early. If you are the kind that like to dive straight into the party, head on to level 2 where you will find the most happening and fun loving crowd infused with lots and lots of champagne. If you do get a chance to sneak to the top level that is reserved for VIPs, look hard enough and you are sure to catch a glimpse of local and international celebrities. For a night of nonstop partying, this is the place to be!
1123 Yan’an Zhong Lu
Near Fumin Lu
Tel: +8621 64379999
The next time someone distastefully tells you that ‘there’s no original art in Shanghai’, please direct them to M50 Creative Park where they will find a modern art scene that is alive and kicking. Comprising of more than 10 reconstituted old warehouses and factories on the upper reaches of the Suzhou Creek, the park houses 140 odd studios, galleries and creative agencies from all walks of life, nationality and culture.
Despite being one of the best-known creative places in this metropolis, strolling into M50 still give visitors the feeling that you’ve stumbled across a hidden gem. The beauty of this park lies in its unification of established and emerging names in the art scene, which drops all the fake pretence and allows one to fully immerse themselves in art the way it should be.
M50 Creative Park
50 Moganshan Lu
Tel: 86 21 62660963 800