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2015.01.Elite Traveler-Shanghai Surprise by Amy Fabris-Shi


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2015.01.Elite Traveler-Shanghai Surprise by Amy Fabris-Shi

  1. 1. elite traveler JAN/FEB 2015 ISSUE 1 125 SHANGHAI SURPRISES In 2015, China’s largest city will unveil its 632-meter tall Shanghai Tower, the world’s second-tallest skyscraper. Inspired by a dragon’s tail, it completes a triptych of super-towers in the modern Pudong financial district and symbolises Shanghai’s high-reaching ambitions. Whether it’s this modern metropolis or the stately waterfront mansions of The Bund (known as China’s Wall Street during the early 20th-century and now home to fine-dining restaurants, five-star hotels and luxury brand boutiques) Shanghai continues to delight and surprise. After dark, as the city sparkles in colorful neon, Shanghai shows its most glamorous side. Here, we present an insider’s guide to the people and places that make Shanghai one of Asia’s most memorable cities By Amy Fabris-Shi The Shanghai skyline epitomizes the vibrant, stylish city that still has a few hidden surprises to delight visitors
  2. 2. elite traveler JAN/FEB 2015 ISSUE 1 127 english; Waldorf Club 3 4 5 2 Mandarin Oriental Opened in 2013 on the Pudong waterfront, MO is the epitome of residential refinement. Pearl Tower Suites have windows on two sides framing views of Shanghai’s iconic TV tower, while the 8,400 sq ft Presidential Suite is the city’s largest, with a 540 sq ft marble bathroom and wraparound alfresco sky terrace.; Suites from $550 1 Former fashion editor of ELLE China turned stylist to the stars, Leaf Greener was born in Beijing and now lives in Shanghai. “Beijing is masculine and Shanghai feminine,” she says of the rival cities. “People are more polished in Shanghai, but Beijingers are edgier.” The celeb fashionista has collaborated on fashion films for Chanel and Furla and she won Lycra’s Mover of Style award in 2014. Leaf Greener tells us where a stylist shops in China’s most stylish city… Shop hunting with.. Leaf Greener WALDORF ASTORIA SHANGHAI ON THE BUND Occupying the former 1920s Shanghai Club on the Bund, the Waldorf Club Suites are housed in the century-old neoclassical building. Step back into bygone bliss with polished hardwood floors, a four-poster bed, mahogany desk and clawfoot tub, offset with modern amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi, plus river and city views through the heritage windowpanes. Suites from $785 Jennifer.hong@ THE PENINSULA Inspired by its heritage waterfront location, The Peninsula is a tribute to 1930s Shanghai Art Deco with a modern twist. Glamorous celadon-green suites boast river views, separate kitchen and dining room, and thoughtful high-tech humidity controls and nailpolish dryers. The Astor Suite is our favorite on account of its private terrace Jacuzzi overlooking the Bund and Pudong skyline. Suites from $940 ANDAZ Overlooking the low-rise rooftops of Xintiandi, Andaz’s timber-walled suites start at 860 sq ft and feature a Technogym exerciser in case you over-indulge at the free minibar. The sculpted granite bathrooms are a highlight, with under-floor heating and color-changing translucent tubs. The 4,200 sq ft penthouse suite has a double-height glass ceiling and hot tub in the private roof garden. Suites from $585 THE PULI RESORT & SPA Beyond the epic grandeur of the lobby, paved in lustrous black “Forbidden City” tiles, the corner Deluxe Suites at this designer haven offer Jing’An park views, grey brick and raw silk interiors, and bathtubs by the window. Suite guests can also enjoy Club benefits, including 24-hour butlers and complimentary drinks at the popular Long Bar. Suites from $730 SHANGHAI’S HAMPTONS Shanghai residents escape the heat of the city in the cool, bamboo-blanketed hills of Moganshan (Mt Mogan), about 2½-hours’ drive from downtown. Pick of the chic retreats is Le Passage Mohkan Shan, a romantic, French-owned, manor house within a tea plantation. Its 40 rooms have antique hardwood floors, chandeliers and clawfoot tubs. It provides gourmet experiences at its classic French restaurant, cellar filled with French wines and private French cooking school. Next year, it will open a deck bar with indoor pool in a 1930s Art Deco cinema on the mountaintop. Nearby, Naked Stables Private Reserve offers deluxe lodging in treetop villas, or earth rotundas dotted through the pine and bamboo forests. Activities include horseback riding, mountain-biking, yoga and tea-picking. Book one of the nine coveted tables at Kikaboni for a modern European seasonal degustation created by Michelin-starred chef Stefan Stiller. In 2015 the Naked management team will also resurrect The Castle, a legendary 1920s hotel on the summit. 1. LE PASSAGE MOHKAN SHAN Contact Rates from $675 per night 2. NAKED STABLES Contact Rates from $290 per night 1 2 STAY EXPLORE SHANGHAI STYLE People watch The fashion designer Shanghai-born Helen Lee is one of China’s young fashion design talents turning heads at home and beyond. Her eponymous label is sold at Galeries Lafayette, Lane Crawford and at her boutique and studio on Fumin Road. “Shanghai’s energy and cosmopolitan mix inspires my designs,” says Lee, whose “Selfie Times” S/S 2015 collection uses narcissus flower motifs and 1920s silhouettes. Returning in Spring 2015 is Lee’s original streetwear label insh, an abbreviation of In Shanghai. GERMAIN TAILOR “Shanghai has strong tailoring traditions and is the perfect place to get a custom-crafted wardrobe. French-Chinese company Germain Tailors uses fine Italian, English and Japanese fabrics.” TRIPLE MAJOR “Experimental indie concept store showing international and local designers alongside sharply curated books and accessories. Also featured is their in-house label, which sells in hip LA, Tokyo and Milan boutiques.” MISSY SKINS “Missy Skins is a Shanghai- based label created by two cousins with roots in Mongolia. The brand’s capsule leather collections have a strong focus and are conveniently washable.” DONG LIANG “Discover Chinese fashion designers at Dong Liang boutique. Look out for collections by cutting-edge talents including Miss Mean, Chictopia and Ricostru.” 184 Fumin Rd; +86 21 3469 6926 SHANGHAI MUSEUM SHOP “Find excellent souvenirs at the Shanghai Museum Store, from repro bronzes to cool luggage tags and Chinese cufflinks. There’s a branch at Terminal 1 of Pudong Airport for last minute gifts.” Tree-lined Fumin Road is a great place to find one-of-a-kind fashions and accessories by local Shanghai designers. Also check out Dong Liang, a few doors down from the Helen Lee boutique.
  3. 3. EXPLORE SHANGHAI elite traveler JAN/FEB 2015 ISSUE 1 129 53 1 6 7 2 5 3 4 4 6 7 1 2 Photos:ScottWrightofLimelightStudio FOOD & DRINK BA CHEF FOCUS TONY LU People watch The pastry chef How does Ultraviolet, the 10-seat concept restaurant, maintain its position as the most coveted dining spot in the city? With wildly experimental dishes and sensory experiences designed to challenge perceptions of taste. Head chef Paul Pairet unpicks the details of one of his most innovative dishes. In Tomato Mozza & Again two dishes are served simultaneously with eight identical elements but radically different flavors – the ultimate edible spot the difference uvbypp.ccKim Lyle’s Shanghai story is a sweet one. The South African Pastry Chef came to Shanghai in 2010 to help launch Jason Atherton’s Table No. 1 at The Waterhouse hotel – the first restaurant in Atherton’s award-winning global gourmet empire. In Shanghai, Lyle married Table No. 1’s executive chef Scott Melvin and the pair went on to open another Atherton hotspot, The Commune Social, in a former British police station. Behind the sit-up dessert bar, Lyle can be found – often armed with a blowtorch or smoking dry-ice canister – conjuring up artful creations such as crunchy peanut ice cream with red berries and salted peanut caramel. TOMATO COULIS WITH MOZZA 1. Salted tomato pulp – exists at the transition of savory and sweet, so offers great scope for an avant-garde twist on a traditional Italian Tomato Mozza 2. Tomato rocks – formed by nitro-freezing the tomato then breaking it by hand 3. Cheese wafer – made with Parmesan 4. Raspberry marinated in sherry vinegar 5. Mozza – enhanced with goat’s cheese and olive oil 6. Oregano – fresh oregano was used instead of traditional basil because it has a strong savory perception, as opposed to fresh mint on the sweet dish 7. A brined olive RED BERRY COULIS WITH MOZZA 1. Sweet tomato pulp 2. Raspberry rocks 3. Caramel wafer – looks just like the cheese wafer, but illustrates the treachery of appearance. The taste is completely different as this version is made with sable crumb rather than Parmesan 4. Raspberry 5. Mozza - mozzarella’s form, color and texture could suggest it’s sweet. Here, it is combined with sugar and crème fraiche 6. Mint – tiny mint leaves were used, the same shape as the oregano. When the dish is executed to perfection, it is the only way to visually differentiate between the plates 7. A sweet olive - candied olives are popular sweets in China Bear Weng and Allen Hsu are behind the bronze bar at Shanghai’s hippest new craft cocktail lounge, Flask. But locating it is a little tricky; the seductive bronze and concrete speakeasy can only be accessed through a vintage Coca-Cola machine in a retro-styled diner. People watch The inspired mixologists Bear Weng’s favorite cocktail is the Scotch and lemongrass Robin Hood Roy, which is served in a flask hidden within a hollowed- out antique book. 432 Shanxi South Rd; +86 21 3368 6108 Weng honed his craft in his native Taiwan and is one of China’s young mixology masters popularizing craft cocktails with Chinese characteristics. “In our fast-changing world, international boundaries are blurring and we are constantly trying new ingredients to create an inventive cocktail adventure,” says Weng. His twist on a classic Manhattan with Rittenhouse Rye adds interesting new dimensions with sweet osmanthus, longan and jujube infusions – its taste, well it has been likened to a cigar. “For a dessert with a Shanghai twist try The Commune Social’s Osmanthus panna cotta with sour red plum granita, inspired by the intoxicating osmanthus scent that floods the city each autumn” Kim Lyle, pastry chef, The Commune Social SHANGHAI’S FIRST CELEBRITY CHEF Mainland Chinese chefs are rarely known outside their kitchens. Tony Lu is a notable exception. The Shanghai chef began his career wok-frying vegetables in a Cantonese kitchen. Today, aged 38, he oversees five acclaimed Shanghai restaurants, one of which was named 26th on San Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 list. Judges described villa-restaurant Fu1015 as serving “pitch-perfect traditional Shanghainese cooking”. In 2013, Mandarin Oriental Shanghai chose Lu to be Chef Consultant at Yong Yi Ting, one of the few five-star hotel restaurants in the city dedicated to local regional cuisine. His menu masterfully updates classic Shanghai dishes – such as chilled hairy crab with vinegar jelly and ginger sauce – and chimes well with the sommelier-selected wine list. His latest restaurant, Fu He Hui, focuses on high-end Chinese vegetarian dishes in an alluring three-story Zen space with incense-scented private dining suites. Here, Lu combines locally-farmed, seasonal produce with haute culinary techniques. Think pigeon-egg scramble with black truffles and whole fresh morels. ANATOMY OF A DISH
  4. 4. EXPLORE SHANGHAI elite traveler JAN/FEB 2015 ISSUE 1 131 Clockwise from above: Farine for coffee and pain au chocolat; a cocktail from Spanish bar el Coctel; jewlry boutique OOAK Beyond the futuristic urban skylines are downtown neighborhoods with a charming heritage feel. A throwback to Shanghai’s Concession era – when the city opened to international trade following defeat in the 1843 Opium War – the former French Concession is Shanghai’s chicest borough. Avenues are lined with 100-year-old platane trees imported from Paris, with trendy cafés, boutiques and art galleries tucked away in historic garden villas and art deco terraces. Wukang Road, Fumin Road and Anfu Road are lively streets to begin the exploration, but getting lost in the winding lanes and happening upon hidden gems is recommended. Fashionable locals perch on the rustic terrace bench at French bakery Farine ( for pain au chocolat and cappuccino. Across the courtyard, Leo Gallery ( shows contemporary art exhibits. Shoppers can head for edgy boutiques such as S2VS (menswear,, Platane (home accessories,, OOAK (jewelry, and Madame Mao’s Dowry (China gifts, After dark, well-dressed locals gather in atmospheric restaurants and cocktail lounges. Lost Heaven ( is a hip spot for spice-infused dishes from southern China’s Yunnan province, while Spanish bar el Coctel ( and live jazz lounge JZ Club ( are sophisticated spots to end a Shanghai night. One of the best ways to explore the former French Concession is by vintage motorcycle sidecar; Shanghai Insiders offers tours with a city expert as your rider. The world’s first Shang Xia Maison has transformed a colonial villa on HuaiHai Road. Mainland China’s first homegrown luxury fashion brand, backed by Hermès, renews heritage Chinese crafts in a collection that spans fashion, furniture, decorative objects and jewelry. Pieces include eggshell porcelain tea sets encased in woven bamboo strands and hand-felted cashmere coats. The whimsical showroom, designed by Kengo Kuma, is encased in layers of diaphanous white tulle, an exquisite showcase of new China chic. Painter Ann Niu was born in Shanghai and lived in Japan, Korea and San Francisco for 15 years before returning in 2000 to establish her studio. Hailed as one of the most influential Chinese women artists of her generation, her works appear in major collections including Shanghai Art Museum and HSBC Private Bank. Describing her style as “primitive abstract contemporary painting”, her canvases are often scrawled with tiny Chinese calligraphy strokes. “I often contemplate how to preserve our culture’s ancient roots and I’m most inspired by the old masters’ works – but my thoughts also try to keep up with this rapidly changing city and the details of everyday life.” “Visitors should experience the South Bund, which is closest to the waterfront. Head to The Waterhouse at South Bund hotel for dinner or a drink, and Yaang Life for lifestyle gifts.”; Recently launched in the French Concession: New York menswear label s2vs LIVING CRAFT COLLECTION AREA FOCUS FRENCH CONCESSION People watch The artist Shanghai has one of the largest collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. American historian Patrick Cranley co-founded Historic Shanghai in 1997 to raise awareness of – and protect – Shanghai’s cultural heritage. He’s currently leading preparations for the 2015 World Congress on Art Deco, which Shanghai will host for the first time in November 2015. Travelers can also join him on monthly themed walking tours of the city’s finest gems – including the Bank of China, below – peppered with colorful tales of Shanghai’s 1920s golden age. People watch The local historian DON’T MISS… A TCM TREATMENT Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) involves dramatic therapies – fire cups, needles, skin scraping. Body & Soul Clinic provides all the treatments with certified, multilingual doctors in the plush surroundings of the Qin Spa at Four Seasons in handy downtown COMING SOON... Shanghai has no shortage of five-star palaces by the world’s finest luxury names – and more are on the way. Be first to stay at J Hotel ( upcomingHotel), which will be Shanghai’s loftiest lodging when it opens in late 2015. It is situated on floors 84 to 110 of the 632-meter Shanghai Tower, the world’s second tallest building, which is designed to resemble a twisting dragon’s tail. Set to follow in 2016 will be W Shanghai (starwoodhotels. com) on the North Bund; Bulgari Hotel & Spa ( beside Suzhou Creek; and The Shanghai Edition (edition-, part of Marriott’s new-generation brand conceived by Ian Schrager. A sibling to Swire’s hipster hangouts The Opposite House in Beijing ( and The Upper House in Hong Kong will also make its home at Dazhongli, a Xintiandi-style lifestyle enclave across several downtown city blocks on Nanjing West Road.