With an estimated population of 24.15 million residents, Shanghai is a vibrant, color saturated city, where you ride the waves of a sea of people. With buzz words like: urban, energetic, colorful, neon, heritage, old world, wealth and nightlife, Shanghai is all of these, and so much more. Below are a few of my favorite restaurants and experiences.
The exquisite Peninsula Shanghai is perfectly located on the west bank of the Huangpu River, on a famous strip of historic riverfront known as The Bund, or Zhongshan Don Yi Lu. Their prime location offers views of the spectacular Pudong skyline, and puts restaurants and shopping at your doorstep. The rooms are elegant and sophisticated with every amenity you can imagine, including a walk-in closet/vanity area with nail dryer. Did I mention that I love this hotel?
The Peninsula Shanghai is also home to the two Michelin starred Chinese restaurant Yi Long Court, where we ate dinner on our first night. We were very tired after our long flight and were happy to eat at the hotel. The food was delicious and I highly recommend the sweet and sour pork.
On our second night in Shanghai we met up with our Shanghainese friends who took us to Hakkasan, a hip, fine-dining Cantonese restaurant and bar on the Bund, with outposts in Miami, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and New York. The food was modern and delicious. The scene was Shanghai cool. This is another restaurant I highly recommend.
Xindalu – China Kitchen
Tasting authentic Peking Duck should be on everyone’s bucket list when visiting Shanghai. Word had it that Xindalu – China Kitchen, in the Hyatt on the Bund had the best Peking Duck in town, so we headed over there to give it a try. OMG! The roasted Peking Duck was delicious and the crispy duck skin was sublime.
While out touring the city I came upon Salon de The Joel Robuchon. What a great place to grab a sandwich and pastry-to-go, and head across the street to the riverbank, to enjoy an impromptu picnic. The famous French chef’s roasted chicken sandwich with avocado, tomato, artichoke and heart of palm, was one of the best sandwiches I have eaten.
If you like contemporary art then the Rockbund Art Museum is a great place for you to experience it – Shanghai style. The museum is a 2 minute walk from the Peninsula Hotel – yet almost other worldly. It is not everyone’s cup of tea, but an experience none the less. We saw an entire exhibit made out of wafer cookies and another exhibit of Chinese dolls placed in unusual positions.
A fun way to get across the Huangpu River – from the Bund to the Pudong District (or back) is the very touristy Bund Sigtseeing Tunnel. This virtual reality train ride comes complete with music, sound effects and all around sensory overload. The ride takes about 5 minutes. The entrance on the Bund side is located just north of Chenyi Square, while the one in Pudong is on the south side of the Oriental Pearl TV and Radio Tower. The cost is 60 yuan/person round trip.
If you have five days in Shanghai why not order custom suits and dress shirts from Tony the Tailor? For a fraction of what it would cost in the U.S. Tony can whip you up suits made from Italian or English fabrics. and high quality cotton dress shirts. Clients include Yao Ming and Leander Paes, to name a few. Tony even makes custom ties to match your suit.
Day 1 – Measurements and fabric selection
Day 3 + 4 – Fittings
Day 5 – Pick up your suits and shirts and bring them home
Annabel Lee Shanghai was by far my favorite boutique shop in Shanghai. Located at No. 1, Lane 8, Zhong Shan Dong Yi Lu , I ended up back at this store three times in three days. They have the best souvenirs! I bought pillow covers, travel makeup cases and bracelets. I wish I would have also bought one of their beautiful cashmere scarfs. This is a must visit!