What’s new in Shanghai?

Sophie Friedman
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 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 30, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best hair salons in Shanghai?

    Courtesy Contestarockhair Shanghai has a hair salon on nearly every corner, but these cater to locals and aren’t quite up to Western standards. If you’re in city and want a haircut, here are the best hair salons in Shanghai.

    Reborn Star
    The excellent English-language magazine selection at this small salon draws in both male and female expats. Owner Michael, who hails from Hong Kong and lived in the UK, oversees the snipping and styling of hair and is happy to make suggestions and answer any questions you may have. In addition to cuts, Reborn does perms and color.
    429 Dagu Road near North Chengdu Road

    Franck Provost
    The name is French but the stylists come from all over. This chain has outlets across the city, including two in the former French Concession. Their light-filled Anfu Road space is a favorite of discerning local women and expats who crave a hairdresser who speaks English. There’s a good magazine selection here, too, a must when you’re getting snipped and sheared.
    164 Anfu Road near Wukang Road

    Contestarockhair
    With outlets in Rome, Florence, New York, and Miami, Contesta’s staff has plenty of experience working with western hair textures. The salon décor is heavy on the hip, with Polaroids on the walls and Pixies on the stereo. Although their main business is hair cuts, color, and straight and curly perms, mostly for women, there’s a barbershop on the second floor. You can get waxing and nails done here, too.
    733-4 Julu Lu near Fumin Lu

    ID Hair
    ID Hair has two outlets on leafy Nanchang Road, situated a block apart. Not all the stylists here speak English, so double check when you call to make an appointment. ID is a favorite of Shanghai’s hipsters and fashionistas, and you’ll see people walking out with mohawks. The salon is surrounded by boutiques and cute cafes, so you can while away the afternoon with a stroll.
    274 Nanchang Road and 360 Nanchang Road, near Ruijin Road No. 2
  • On July 29, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What restaurants have the best wines in Shanghai?

    The best wines in Shanghai can be found at many of the city’s fine dining restaurants, several of which have dedicated pairing menus.

    In Xintiandi, a stone’s throw from The Langham, Xintiandi, Shanghai stalwart T8 offers an extensive selection of wines, many of which are organic and biodynamic. The restaurant’s general manager and sommelier will advice you on pairings based on your taste preferences. Those who want their wine choices to be a surprise can try the chef’s tasting menu, which changes seasonally depending on available ingredients. Each course is paired with a wine hand-chosen by T8’s sommelier.

    At Palladio, the Portman-Ritz Carlton’s Italian restaurant, the wine list is Bible-thick, enticing guests with more than 100 bottles. The restaurants GM also oversees its wine program and is on hand to offer suggestions. If your timing’s right, you may be in Shanghai for one of Palladio’s exciting wine dinners, held by wine makers from around the globe who’ve come to Shanghai to share their bottles.

    Down at the south Bund, Table No. 1 continues to serve continental fare in a refined, industrial-chic environment. The restaurant’s wine list has a slew of Old World labels as well as bottles from newer regions like Hungary and South Africa. Beyond red, white, and rose, Table No. 1 also stocks a number of bottles of Champagne, ready to be popped on those special occasions.

    The focus at Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen is pairing food with wine, not the other way around. The restaurant’s smaller cellar houses 300 bottles of wine but, downstairs, there’s a 350 square foot cellar, one of the city’s largest. Diners here will find bottles for a range of budgets. You’ll find bottles from the world over, including impressive vintages, but Napa also sells locally produced Grace Vineyard wines. Chef Patrick Dang, formerly of T8, serves inventive dishes that complement but never overpower the accompanying wine.
  • On July 29, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What restaurants have the best wines in Shanghai?

    The best wines in Shanghai can be found at many of the city’s fine dining restaurants, several of which have dedicated pairing menus.

    In Xintiandi, a stone’s throw from The Langham, Xintiandi, Shanghai stalwart T8 offers an extensive selection of wines, many of which are organic and biodynamic. The restaurant’s general manager and sommelier will advice you on pairings based on your taste preferences. Those who want their wine choices to be a surprise can try the chef’s tasting menu, which changes seasonally depending on available ingredients. Each course is paired with a wine hand-chosen by T8’s sommelier.

    At Palladio, the Portman-Ritz Carlton’s Italian restaurant, the wine list is Bible-thick, enticing guests with more than 100 bottles. The restaurants GM also oversees its wine program and is on hand to offer suggestions. If your timing’s right, you may be in Shanghai for one of Palladio’s exciting wine dinners, held by wine makers from around the globe who’ve come to Shanghai to share their bottles.

    Down at the south Bund, Table No. 1 continues to serve continental fare in a refined, industrial-chic environment. The restaurant’s wine list has a slew of Old World labels as well as bottles from newer regions like Hungary and South Africa. Beyond red, white, and rose, Table No. 1 also stocks a number of bottles of Champagne, ready to be popped on those special occasions.

    The focus at Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen is pairing food with wine, not the other way around. The restaurant’s smaller cellar houses 300 bottles of wine but, downstairs, there’s a 350 square foot cellar, one of the city’s largest. Diners here will find bottles for a range of budgets. You’ll find bottles from the world over, including impressive vintages, but Napa also sells locally produced Grace Vineyard wines. Chef Patrick Dang, formerly of T8, serves inventive dishes that complement but never overpower the accompanying wine.
  • On July 29, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best concert venues in Shanghai?

    Shanghai has quite a flew of concerts coming up, including Aerosmith and Tony Bennett.
    Just as in other cities like New York, Shanghai has a few different types of concert venues. There are the large stadiums, like Mercedes-Benz Arena, which will soon host Tony Bennett, Shanghai Grand Stage, where Pet Shop Boys will play, and Hongkou Stadium, where Aerosmith will be playing. There are small venues that generally host independent groups; these include Yuyintang and MAO Livehouse.

    In the fall, when the weather cools off a bit, Shanghai also hosts several outdoor concerts. Among these is the annual JZ Festival, which has morphed from a two-day jazz extravaganza to a two-day all-around music festival. This year's line-up includes Mos Def. The concert was originally held at Century Park, across the street from the Kerry Hotel, but is now taking place at Expo Park, on the Pudong side of the Huangpu RIver.
  • On July 29, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best concert venues in Shanghai?

    Shanghai has quite a flew of concerts coming up, including Aerosmith and Tony Bennett.
    Just as in other cities like New York, Shanghai has a few different types of concert venues. There are the large stadiums, like Mercedes-Benz Arena, which will soon host Tony Bennett, Shanghai Grand Stage, where Pet Shop Boys will play, and Hongkou Stadium, where Aerosmith will be playing. There are small venues that generally host independent groups; these include Yuyintang and MAO Livehouse.

    In the fall, when the weather cools off a bit, Shanghai also hosts several outdoor concerts. Among these is the annual JZ Festival, which has morphed from a two-day jazz extravaganza to a two-day all-around music festival. This year's line-up includes Mos Def. The concert was originally held at Century Park, across the street from the Kerry Hotel, but is not taking place at Expo Park, 
  • On July 28, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best museums in Shanghai?

    Shanghai Museum of Glass Shanghai is known for its happening nightlife and endless supply of shopping malls, but it's also home to more than 100 museums. You'll find museums dedicated to everything from the educational (Shanghai Science & Technology Museum) to the downright peculiar (the Public Security Museum comes to mind). These are my picks for the best of the bunch:

    Shanghai Science & Technology Museum. This is a fan-favorite among local families. The Pudong museum makes learning fun with interactive exhibits, including an indoor rainforest and archery-playing robot. It has its own subway stop so is easy to access but that also means it's enormously crowded. Admission makes New York museums look inexpensive.

    Shanghai Museum. This odd circular structure in the middle of People's Square is a sanctuary of Chinese culture and history. In fact, the building's exterior is supposed to resemble a bronze tripod vessel, the kind of artifact you'll find inside. Aside from ancient bronzes, it houses classical paintings, jade sculptures and masterful works of calligraphy. Venture upstairs and you will get a vivid glimpse into the history of China's more than 50 ethnic minorities.

    Shanghai Museum of Glass. Arriving to the city's artscape in 2011, this black-lacquered glass palace glitters with ancient and innovative pieces. There's also a demonstration room where you can watch an artist blow glass and classrooms where you can give it a go yourself. Paying homage to its former life as a glass factory, the museum adorns its dark façade with industry terms in 10 languages, which are backlit by LEDs to stunning effect.

    Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre. Tucked away in the basement of an apartment complex is a museum unlike any other. Dubbed the "Propaganda Museum," this space contains more than 5,000 posters from Chairman Mao's tenure. Learn the history of propaganda in China as you make your way through some of the most iconic images of the Cultural Revolution and idealized conceptions of daily life. Afterward, pick up re-creations of some of the most famous posters in the museum's gift shop.

    Power Station of Art. All the way over at the former world expo site, this airy contemporary art museum, inside a former power station, stepped onto the scene with some serious street cred: Its first three exhibitions were the annual Shanghai Biennale (moved over from its one-time home at Shanghai Art Museum), "Electric Fields," an exhibition on loan from Paris's Centre Pompidou, and an Andy Warhol retrospective.

    China Art Palace. Also opened on the former expo site, inside the one-time China pavilion, is this whopping 64,000 square meter museum. Most of the pieces that were in the Shanghai Art Museum are now here. Art is spread out over five floors; there are many duds but just as many superb pieces. One floor is all works from Shanghai Film Animation Studio, including shorts, feature-length films, and a small collection of film posters; this floor is particularly good for kids. The touring exhibitions are the best; exhibitions from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum and London's British Museum have both come through.

    Shanghai Film Museum. Off a busy road in southern Shanghai, Shanghai Film Museum, which opened in July 2013, is in a somewhat odd location. While you definitely won't be strolling down here, it's well worth the ride. Shanghai was the center of China's once-burgeoning film industry, and this tri-level museum pays homage. The first floor won't be that interesting unless you have a solid background in Chinese film, but the other levels have interactive exhibitions and expansive prop displays. Though the museum isn't really aimed at kids, there is a small room dedicated to animation, and there kids will find three small interactive exhibits.
  • On July 26, 2013
    Sophie Friedman answered the question: Sophie Friedman

    What are the best places to buy shoes in Shanghai?

    The West is a far better place to buy shoes than China, with one exception: canvas sneakers. Feiyue sneakers have been made in Shanghai since the 1920s. They're simple shoes, with canvas uppers and rubber soles, and they're authentically Chinese. Half a decade ago, a French entrepreneur living in Shanghai had the smart idea to sell them in the West and, today, they're snapped up in Paris for more than 60EUR a pop. In Shanghai, however, you'll pay just 50RMB for a pair—about EUR6.

    Feiyue can be purchased at Culture Matters, 15 Dongping Road near Hengshan Road, in the French Concession. 

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

    What is the weather like right now in Shanghai?

    Shanghai summers are hot and humid. Though earlier this year Shanghai suffered from terrible pollution, the past weeks have been gorgeous, albeit very hot. Every day has seen blue skies and sun, often with a nice breeze. Daytime temperatures can climb to over 100°F, and with the sun beating down, it can feel even hotter.

    If you're traveling around Shanghai on these hot, humid days, it's essential to stay hydrated. Small and large bottles of water can be purchased for pennies at any convenience store. Hats, if you haven't brought one, can be picked up from carts parked all around the city. Sunscreen can be hard to find in Shanghai and, when available, it's very expensive and available only in low SPF. I strongly recommend bringing it from home.
  • 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 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 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.
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