Sophie Friedman

Correspondent

  • Shanghai, China, Asia

Sophie Friedman is a correspondent who lives in Shanghai and covers hotels and travel trends in Asia for Forbes Travel Guide. The American journalist has covered a range of travel-related topics including the development of the mountain resort town Moganshan, the Chinese fashion scene’s rising international profile, and the expanding craft cocktail and beer scene in Asia. She has written half a dozen Shanghai guidebooks and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the city. When not writing, Sophie loves cycling through the former French Concession and getting bargains on everything from Pellegrino to porcelain.

  • On July 24, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What’s new in Shanghai?

    Courtesy D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana Restaurants
    Even in the high heat of summer, new restaurants are firing up their kitchens and throwing open their doors to hungry hoards. Inside the new Jing’an Shangri-La  (http://blog.forbestravelguide.com/checking-in-at-shanghais-newest-hotels ) is 1515 West Chophouse, a traditional steakhouse gone contemporary, with a film theme and top-shelf cuts. The steaks are the main attraction, but beyond that is a raw seafood bar and a cheese room packed with gorgeous hunks. Also within the hotel is Chinese restaurant Summer Palace, which serves delicate dim sum.

    Down at the Bund, inside a gorgeous landmark building, deCanto serves superbly executed Italian food with an emphasis on top ingredients, either imported or made in house. The thick menu is packed with traditional dishes—buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes, an enormous beef shank, ricotta-filled ravioli—and a few more unique offerings like rosemary tiger prawns with mango puree. Pizzas, done in the restaurant’s gleaming pizza oven, are thin and crispy.

    For a slightly more low-key Italian meal, D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana, in the heart of the French Concession, duly fits the bill. Pizzas include the summery Pizza Fontina, topped with pear, lemon, zucchini blossoms, gorgonzola, and mozzarella.

    Nightlife
    Cool off after a long, hot day of sightseeing with a cocktail or glass of wine at some of Shanghai’s newest bars. La Vite is half restaurant, half watering hole, so you can nosh on Prosciutto pizza while sipping an earthy red or crisp, cold glass of white. Wine Plus Enoteca, not to be confused with Shanghai’s other spots Enoterra and Enoteca, offers nearly 100 pages worth of options. Sixteen wines are available by the glass and hundreds by the bottle. If you can’t decide on just one (or two…or three), Wine Plus offers a tasting menu of five.
  • On July 24, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What’s new in Shanghai?

    Courtesy D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana Restaurants
    Even in the high heat of summer, new restaurants are firing up their kitchens and throwing open their doors to hungry hoards. Inside the new Jing’an Shangri-La  (http://blog.forbestravelguide.com/checking-in-at-shanghais-newest-hotels ) is 1515 West Chophouse, a traditional steakhouse gone contemporary, with a film theme and top-shelf cuts. The steaks are the main attraction, but beyond that is a raw seafood bar and a cheese room packed with gorgeous hunks. Also within the hotel is Chinese restaurant Summer Palace, which serves delicate dim sum.

    Down at the Bund, inside a gorgeous landmark building, deCanto serves superbly executed Italian food with an emphasis on top ingredients, either imported or made in house. The thick menu is packed with traditional dishes—buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes, an enormous beef shank, ricotta-filled ravioli—and a few more unique offerings like rosemary tiger prawns with mango puree. Pizzas, done in the restaurant’s gleaming pizza oven, are thin and crispy.

    For a slightly more low-key Italian meal, D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana, in the heart of the French Concession, duly fits the bill. Pizzas include the summery Pizza Fontina, topped with pear, lemon, zucchini blossoms, gorgonzola, and mozzarella.

    Nightlife
    Cool off after a long, hot day of sightseeing with a cocktail or glass of wine at some of Shanghai’s newest bars. La Vite is half restaurant, half watering hole, so you can nosh on Prosciutto pizza while sipping an earthy red or crisp, cold glass of white. Wine Plus Enoteca, not to be confused with Shanghai’s other spots Enoterra and Enoteca, offers nearly 100 pages worth of options. Sixteen wines are available by the glass and hundreds by the bottle. If you can’t decide on just one (or two…or three), Wine Plus offers a tasting menu of five.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What is the best new restaurant in Shanghai?

    courtesy Mandarin Oriental Shanghai New restaurants pop up in this city like worms after a heavy rain, so to choose the best new restaurants in Shanghai is a difficult task. Here are two places that opened up recently where the gorgeous food is as delicious as it looks

    D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana
    The junction at which this restaurant sits is a favorite of expats, packed as it is with restaurants and bars. D.O.C. has risen quickly above its neighbors to become the go-to spot for wood-fired pizzas. The dough, according to the chef, is made with bottled Acqua Panna; toppings like prosciutto and mozzarella come from San Daniele and Campania, respectively. Among the pizzas is the delightfully summery (though far from bathing-suit-body-friendly) Pizza Fontina, topped with pear, lemon, zucchini blossoms, gorgonzola, and mozzarella. Pastas and a few meat offerings, like handmade fennel sausages, round out the menu.

    Fifty 8º Grill
    Mandarin Oriental Shanghai’s Western restaurant is a contemporary, upmarket steakhouse where meat gets the royal treatment, but so to do dishes for pesce and vegetarians.  Among the cuts of meat are tenderloin, strip loin, a 28-day dry-aged prime rib, flat iron steak, and a Wagyu tri-tip. The rest of the menu includes a buttery, to-die-for cod, John Dory with garden peas and morels that’ll leave you much-needed room for dessert, and sublime, thick-cut gravlax. For dessert, chocolate soufflé is not to be missed.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What is the best new restaurant in Shanghai?

    courtesy Mandarin Oriental Shanghai New restaurants pop up in this city like worms after a heavy rain, so to choose the best new restaurants in Shanghai is a difficult task. Here are two places that opened up recently where the gorgeous food is as delicious as it looks

    D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana
    The junction at which this restaurant sits is a favorite of expats, packed as it is with restaurants and bars. D.O.C. has risen quickly above its neighbors to become the go-to spot for wood-fired pizzas. The dough, according to the chef, is made with bottled bottled Acqua Panna; toppings like prosciutto and mozzarella come from San Daniele and Campania, respectively. Among the pizzas is the delightfully summery (though far from bathing-suit-body-friendly) Pizza Fontina, topped with pear, lemon, zucchini blossoms, gorgonzola, and mozzarella. Pastas and a few meat offerings, like handmade fennel sausages, round out the menu.

    Fifty 8º Grill
    Mandarin Oriental Shanghai’s Western restaurant is a contemporary, upmarket steakhouse where meat gets the royal treatment, but so to do dishes for pesce and vegetarians.  Among the cuts of meat are tenderloin, stip loin, a 28-day dry-aged prime rib, flat iron steak, and a Wagyu tri-tip. The rest of the menu includes a buttery, to-die-for cod, John Dory with garden peas and morels that’ll leave you much-needed room for dessert, and sublime, thick-cut gravlax. For dessert, chocolate soufflé is not to be missed.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What is the best new restaurant in Shanghai?

    courtesy Mandarin Oriental Shanghai New restaurants pop up in this city like worms after a heavy rain, so to choose the best new restaurants in Shanghai is a difficult task. Here are two places that opened up recently where the gorgeous food is as delicious as it looks

    D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana
    The junction at which this restaurant sits is a favorite of expats, packed as it is with restaurants and bars. D.O.C. has risen quickly above its neighbors to become the go-to spot for wood-fired pizzas. The dough, according to the chef, is made with bottled bottled Acqua Panna; toppings like prosciutto and mozzarella come from San Daniele and Campania, respectively. Among the pizzas is the delightfully summery (though far from bathing-suit-body-friendly) Pizza Fontina, topped with pear, lemon, zucchini blossoms, gorgonzola, and mozzarella. Pastas and a few meat offerings, like handmade fennel sausages, round out the menu.

    Fifty 8º Grill
    Mandarin Oriental Shanghai’s Western restaurant is a contemporary, upmarket steakhouse where meat gets the royal treatment, but so to do dishes for pesce and vegetarians.  Among the cuts of meat are tenderloin, stip loin, a 28-day dry-aged prime rib, flat iron steak, and a Wagyu tri-tip. The rest of the menu includes a buttery, to-die-for cod, John Dory with garden peas and morels that’ll leave you much-needed room for dessert, and sublime, thick-cut gravlax. For dessert, chocolate soufflé is not to be missed.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What is the best new restaurant in Shanghai?

    courtesy Mandarin Oriental Shanghai New restaurants pop up in this city like worms after a heavy rain, so to choose the best new restaurants in Shanghai is a difficult task. Here are three places that opened up recently where the gorgeous food is as delicious as it looks

    The Commune Social
    The team at Table No. 1 have a new venture in Jing'an, a few blocks north of Jing'an Temple. The Commune Social is a tapas bar, a dessert bar, and a cocktail bar, with Table No. 1 head chef Scott Melvin running the kitchen. Though the tapas are beautifully plated, they're real food, no mucking about with molecular gastronomy. Pictured above is the baked smoked bone marrow; pescetarians will delight in dishes like miso-marinated grilled mackerel with wasabi avocado and cucumber chutney. The building that houses The Commune Social is a former concession-era police station. There's indoor seating at the bar and in the dessert area and plenty of outdoor seating in the courtyard and on the second-floor terrace.

    Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen
    Napa opened in 2007 in a lane house tucked behind JW Marriott Tomorrow Square. After nearly six years there, the owners decided to take advantage of a Bund-side space that had opened up and recently moved east. The old Napa had intimate rooms on different floors, but the new Bund-side Napa is one large open airy space, with a central bar and gas fireplace. Dishes include carbonara 2013, a play on pasta wherein cuttlefish shavings act as tagliatelle and instead of egg and bacon there's uni and pollock roe. When he opened Napa, owner Philippe Huser wanted to pair food with wine, rather than the other way around, and the restaurant has its own wine cellar, one of the city's largest.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What is the best new restaurant in Shanghai?

    courtesy Mandarin Oriental Shanghai New restaurants pop up in this city like worms after a heavy rain, so to choose the best new restaurants in Shanghai is a difficult task. Here are three places that opened up recently where the gorgeous food is as delicious as it looks

    The Commune Social
    The team at Table No. 1 have a new venture in Jing'an, a few blocks north of Jing'an Temple. The Commune Social is a tapas bar, a dessert bar, and a cocktail bar, with Table No. 1 head chef Scott Melvin running the kitchen. Though the tapas are beautifully plated, they're real food, no mucking about with molecular gastronomy. Pictured above is the baked smoked bone marrow; pescetarians will delight in dishes like miso-marinated grilled mackerel with wasabi avocado and cucumber chutney. The building that houses The Commune Social is a former concession-era police station. There's indoor seating at the bar and in the dessert area and plenty of outdoor seating in the courtyard and on the second-floor terrace.

    Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen
    Napa opened in 2007 in a lane house tucked behind JW Marriott Tomorrow Square. After nearly six years there, the owners decided to take advantage of a Bund-side space that had opened up and recently moved east. The old Napa had intimate rooms on different floors, but the new Bund-side Napa is one large open airy space, with a central bar and gas fireplace. Dishes include carbonara 2013, a play on pasta wherein cuttlefish shavings act as tagliatelle and instead of egg and bacon there's uni and pollock roe. When he opened Napa, owner Philippe Huser wanted to pair food with wine, rather than the other way around, and the restaurant has its own wine cellar, one of the city's largest.
  • On July 16, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the hottest upcoming concerts in Shanghai?

    Aerosmith many moons ago Shanghai has a growing list of hot upcoming concerts, with more big names being announced weekly.

    The biggest concert coming to Shanghai will be Shanghai Sonic, an offshoot of Summer Sonic, the legendary summer musical festival that takes place annually in Japan. Confirmed dates have not yet been released, but it will be sometime in August. On the agenda—though in China nothing is one hundred percent until it’s actually happening—are the likes of Suede, Carly Rae Jepsen, John Legend, and MIA.

    On August 20th, English electronic pop twosome Pet Shop Boys are performing at Shanghai Grand Stage. Tickets are RMB480-1,280. The next day, Aerosmith take Hongkou Stadium; tickets are RMB280-2,880. How will the New China take to Steven Tyler and the gang? Ticket sales will tell.

    Come mid-September, Tony Bennett, joined by his daughter Antonia, is gracing Shanghai for the very first time. His shows, September 19th and 20th, will be held at one Mercedes-Benz Arena's inner venues. Tickets go on sale mid August.

    Shanghai’s annual JZ Festival is back this year with two days full of top-notch acts. This year, the outdoor portion of the festival is taking place over Mid-Autumn festival, with performances on Friday, September 20th and Saturday, September 21st. Included in the lineup are Mos Def and British jazz band The Brand New Heavies. From Tuesday, September 15th until Saturday, October 19th, there will be a series of indoor performances at venues around town.

    It's rumored but not fully confirmed that indie rock band The Killers will be playing Shanghai in early October, followed by powerhouse Alicia Keys come late November. We'll update with further details as they come in.
  • On July 16, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the hottest upcoming concerts in Shanghai?

    Aerosmith many moons ago Shanghai has a growing list of hot upcoming concerts, with more big names being announced weekly.

    The biggest concert coming to Shanghai will be Shanghai Sonic, an offshoot of Summer Sonic, the legendary summer musical festival that takes place annually in Japan. Confirmed dates have not yet been released, but it will be sometime in August. On the agenda—though in China nothing is one hundred percent until it’s actually happening—are the likes of Suede, Carly Rae Jepsen, John Legend, and MIA.

    On August 20th, English electronic pop twosome Pet Shop Boys are performing at Shanghai Grand Stage. Tickets are RMB480-1,280. The next day, Aerosmith take Hongkou Stadium; tickets are RMB280-2,880. How will the New China take to Steven Tyler and the gang? Ticket sales will tell.

    Come mid-September, Tony Bennett, joined by his daughter Antonia, is gracing Shanghai for the very first time. His shows, September 19th and 20th, will be held at one Mercedes-Benz Arena's inner venues. Tickets go on sale mid August.

    Shanghai’s annual JZ Festival is back this year with two days full of top-notch acts. This year, the outdoor portion of the festival is taking place over Mid-Autumn festival, with performances on Friday, September 20th and Saturday, September 21st. Included in the lineup are Mos Def and British jazz band The Brand New Heavies. From Tuesday, September 15th until Saturday, October 19th, there will be a series of indoor performances at venues around town.

    It's rumored but not fully confirmed that indie rock band The Killers will be playing Shanghai in early October, followed by powerhouse Alicia Keys come late November. We'll update with further details as they come in.
  • On July 16, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the hottest upcoming concerts in Shanghai?

    Aerosmith many moons ago Shanghai has a growing list of hot upcoming concerts, with more big names being announced weekly.

    The biggest concert coming to Shanghai will be Shanghai Sonic, an offshoot of Summer Sonic, the legendary summer musical festival that takes place annually in Japan. Confirmed dates have not yet been released, but it will be sometime in August. On the agenda—though in China nothing is one hundred percent until it’s actually happening—are the likes of Suede, Carly Rae Jepsen, John Legend, and MIA.

    On August 20th, English electronic pop twosome Pet Shop Boys are performing at Shanghai Grand Stage. Tickets are RMB480-1,280. The next day, Aerosmith take Hongkou Stadium; tickets are RMB280-2,880. How will the New China take to Steven Tyler and the gang? Ticket sales will tell.

    Come mid-September, Tony Bennett, joined by his daughter Antonia, is gracing Shanghai for the very first time. His shows, September 19th and 20th, will be held at one Mercedes-Benz Arena's inner venues. Tickets go on sale mid August.

    Shanghai’s annual JZ Festival is back this year with two days full of top-notch acts. This year, the outdoor portion of the festival is taking place over Mid-Autumn festival, with performances on Friday, September 20th and Saturday, September 21st. Included in the lineup are Mos Def and British jazz band The Brand New Heavies. From Tuesday, September 15th until Saturday, October 19th, there will be a series of indoor performances at venues around town.

    It's rumored but not fully confirmed that indie rock band The Killers will be playing Shanghai in early October, followed by powerhouse Alicia Keys come late November. We'll update with further details as they come in.
  • On July 14, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the hottest upcoming concerts in Shanghai?

    Aerosmith many moons ago Shanghai has a growing list of hot upcoming concerts, with more big names being announced weekly.

    The biggest concert coming to Shanghai will be Shanghai Sonic, an offshoot of Summer Sonic, the legendary summer musical festival that takes place annually in Japan. Confirmed dates have not yet been released, but it will be sometime in August. On the agenda—though in China nothing is one hundred percent until it’s actually happening—are the likes of Suede, Carly Rae Jepsen, Aerosmith, John Legend, and MIA.

    On August 20th, English electronic pop twosome Pet Shop Boys are performing at Shanghai Grand Stage. Tickets are RMB480-1,280.

    Shanghai’s annual JZ Festival is back this year with two days full of top-notch acts. This year, the outdoor portion of the festival is taking place over Mid-Autumn festival, with performances on Friday, September 20th and Saturday, September 21st. Included in the lineup are Mos Def and British jazz band The Brand New Heavies. From Tuesday, September 15th until Saturday, October 19th, there will be a series of indoor performances at venues around town.
  • On June 27, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best art galleries in Shanghai?

    (c) William Childress The Shanghai counterpart to Beijing’s 798 is M50, a strip of warehouses-cum-artists studios and galleries in the area north of Jing’an Temple. Beyond that, Shanghai is lucky enough to have galleries along the Bund and dotted throughout the former French Concession. You could easily spend a day gallery hopping and still only see a fraction of the exhibitions on regularly in Shanghai, but here’s a roundup of three of the city’s best galleries.

    James Cohan Gallery
    The space alone is superb; set down a quiet lane in the former French Concession, this Shanghai offshoot of the New York gallery of the same name sits inside an old house and is surrounded by a lovely garden. James Cohan Gallery showcases the work of Chinese artists, such as Shi Zhiying as well as well-known international artists like Fred Tomaselli.

    m97 Gallery
    m97, one of M50’s must-visit galleries, showcases photography from Chinese and well-known international artists. Much of the work is in black and white. Past exhibitors include Robert van der Hilst, Michael Wolf, and Chen Chunlin. 

    Shanghai Gallery of Art
    Inside Three on the Bund, home to the Shanghai outpost of Jean Georges, Shanghai Gallery of Art showcases works in an expansive, well-appointed space.  Its exhibitions are usually group shows and the sleek space allows artists to display large installation pieces and paintings that cover entire walls.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best art galleries in Shanghai?

    (c) William Childress The Shanghai counterpart to Beijing’s 798 is M50, a strip of warehouses-cum-artists studios and galleries in the area north of Jing’an Temple. Beyond that, Shanghai is lucky enough to have galleries along the Bund and dotted throughout the former French Concession. You could easily spend a day gallery hopping and still only see a fraction of the exhibitions on regularly in Shanghai, but here’s a roundup of three of the city’s best galleries.

    James Cohan Gallery
    The space alone is superb; set down a quiet lane in the former French Concession, this Shanghai offshoot of the New York gallery of the same name sits inside an old house and is surrounded by a lovely garden. James Cohan Gallery showcases the work of Chinese artists, such as Shi Zhiying as well as well-known international artists like Fred Tomaselli.

    m97 Gallery
    m97, one of M50’s must-visit galleries, showcases photography from Chinese and international artists. Much of the work is in black and white. Past exhibitors include Robert van der Hilst, Michael Wolf, and Chen Chunlin.

    Shanghai Gallery of Art
    Inside Three on the Bund, home to the Shanghai outpost of Jean Georges, Shanghai Gallery of Art showcases works in an expansive, well-appointed space.  Its exhibitions are usually group shows and the sleek space allows artists to display large installation pieces and paintings that cover entire walls.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best golf courses near Shanghai?

    China’s titans of industry are crazy for golf, and there are plenty of greens within the city and nearby. These are my picks for three of Shanghai’s best golf courses.

    Shanghai Hongqiao Golf Club 
    This leafy, nine-hole, 33-par course is about 30 minutes from downtown and just 10 minutes from Hongqiao Airport. This is a modest course for amateur golfers and those playing for fun rather than competition. Rounding out the facilities are a driving range, pool, and sauna.

    Shanghai Country Club
    Adjacent to Dianshan Lake, Shanghai Countryclub was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and offers an expansive, 72-par course. A pro shop, restaurant, billiards room, and reading room make it a great place to kick back after a successful round. I love how family friendly Shanghai Country Club is, with three tennis courts, a pool, a putting green that’s great for pint-sized golfers, and a three-hole practice course.

    Shanghai Tomson Golf Club
    Several golf tournaments have been hosted at this 18-hole, 72-par golf course, including the BMW Asia Open. In addition to immaculate greens, the club has a 60-bay driving range, indoor and outdoor pools, and tennis courts. It’s in Pudong, 15 minutes from financial district Lujiazui.

  • On June 26, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best golf courses near Shanghai?

    China’s titans of industry are crazy for golf, and there are plenty of greens within the city and nearby. These are my picks for three of Shanghai’s best golf courses.

    Shanghai Hongqiao Golf Club 
    This leafy, nine-hole, 33-par course is about 30 minutes from downtown and just 10 minutes from Hongqiao Airport. This is a modest course for amateur golfers and those playing for fun rather than competition. Rounding out the facilities are a driving range, pool, and sauna.

    Shanghai Country Club
    Adjacent to Dianshan Lake, Shanghai Countryclub was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and offers an expansive, 72-par course. A pro shop, restaurant, billiards room, and reading room make it a great place to kick back after a successful round. I love how family friendly Shanghai Country Club is, with three tennis courts, a pool, a putting green that’s great for pint-sized golfers, and a three-hole practice course.

    Shanghai Tomson Golf Club
    Several golf tournaments have been hosted at this 18-hole, 72-par golf course, including the BMW Asia Open. In addition to immaculate greens, the club has a 60-bay driving range, indoor and outdoor pools, and tennis courts. It’s in Pudong, 15 minutes from financial district Lujiazui.