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Home >  DESTINATIONS8 fine-dining experiences in Shanghai
8 fine-dining experiences in Shanghai
Round-off that conference or add luxury to incentive trips with restaurants that groups will remember, writes Gary Jones

31 Jul 2017

Finally, a chance to exhale. The big global management meeting is over. The regional conference has come to a close. There have been challenges along the way, but nothing you couldn’t handle. All the hard work has paid off and anxiety has melted away, replaced by the warm glow of a job well done.

Now, naturally, thoughts turn to celebration – it’s time to reward the team. In a modern city like Shanghai, arguably China’s most glamorous metropolis with a population of close to 24 million, gastronomic and nightlife choices are near endless, but there are destinations that truly stand out.

MIX has chosen a “lucky eight” to get the post-meeting ball rolling. Note that the following establishments are extremely in-demand, and reservations are essential and should be arranged weeks, if not months, in advance. See it as just another chance to stretch those event-organisation skills that have served you so well.

Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet

The UK’s Telegraph newspaper recently hailed pioneering Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet as “the world’s most innovative restaurant”. Also ranked eighth on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list this year, dinner here is a multi-sensory, avant-garde experience.

Ultraviolet’s single dining room is a bare, windowless room with five chairs on each side of a communal table. Over a 20-course European-style feast with considered drink pairings, all five senses are manipulated as diners are whisked away on a truly astonishing and immersive gastronomic adventure.

With the arrival of each dish, video technology turns the entire room into three-dimensional projection screen. A soundtrack of music and special effects, as well as bespoke scents pumped into the space, determine mood and transport diners through space and time. Oysters with caviar, for instance, might be accompanied by the cry of seagulls and salty scents of a crashing ocean. A pretend summertime “picnic” is served in Tupperware-style containers while birds chirrup in trees, the room filled with the comforting aroma of freshly mown grass.

French chef Pairet (above right), who cut his culinary teeth in Paris, Istanbul and Hong Kong, originally had the idea for Ultraviolet in 1996, but it took more than 15 years for technology to catch up with his imaginative vision.

You won’t find secretive Ultraviolet on Google Maps – it’s hidden away in an anonymous bunker not far from the city centre. Your group will need to be 10 people max, and reservations can be made via a suitably stylish website.


Fu 1088
Jumping from the technologically advanced to gentility of yesteryear, enchanting Fu 1088 is located in a stately, Spanish-style villa built in the 1930s, in what was then the International Settlement. So meals are taken in a series of antique-furnished rooms, each accommodating between two and perhaps 30 diners.

While the venue oozes period charm, Fu 1088’s nouveau take on Shanghainese cuisine avoids the usual lavish use of oil and sugar, though creative twists on classic local favourites top the menu, including glazed pork belly, crystal shrimp, soy-marinated cod, and drunken chicken topped with rice-wine granita. Modern dishes include goose liver poached in sake.
Tel: (86 21) 5239 7878


T’ang Court

T’ang Court is the first and only restaurant in mainland China to be awarded three Michelin stars. This is Cantonese dining at its finest, with a detailed and inventive menu – created by acclaimed executive chef Justin Tan – that extends way beyond that usually found in five-star hotels (T’ang Court is in The Langham Shanghai, Xintiandi).

Though diners may order a la carte, adventurous out-of-towners benefit greatly by plumping for one of Tan’s carefully curated set menus. A meal might include such delicacies as steamed coral grouper with green peppercorns, double-boiled sea cucumber, bird’s nest soup, double-boiled fish bladder soup with sea whelk, and a sculptured dessert of almond tofu pudding served with a swan-shaped pastry.

Chinese wines from Ningxia province – increasingly gaining in popularity worldwide – are served alongside quality European and New World tipples.


Yong Yi Ting

Admired for its refined and nuanced seasonal flavours, Jiang Nan cuisine (literally dishes from “south of the Yangtze River”) encompasses fare from Shanghai and neighbouring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, and Michelin star-holding Yong Yi Ting showcase’s the region’s impressive diversity in a bright, modern and spacious environment.

Consultant chef Tony Lu (also the epicurean brains behind the award-winning menu at Fu 1088) oversees the creative menu, which changes regularly. Be sure to take advantage of Yong Yi Ting’s extensive wine cellar. Teetotallers are catered for with a large selection of premium Chinese teas.


Chop Chop Club

Fine-dining options from across the globe can be found in Shanghai, and Chop Chop Club offers a modern twist on the traditional carvery. It is housed at Three on the Bund in an historic stone building constructed in 1916 that is today a six-storey lifestyle destination of restaurants, galleries and boutiques on the western bank of the Huangpu River.

Large digital screens display what’s cooking at any moment, and how long before that treat will be ready to serve. Diners may then partake of a single portion or an entire order of, for example, roasted leg of lamb, char-grilled chicken, black-pepper short ribs, pressure-steamed crab and fire-grilled turbot, among many other choices.


Char Bar & Grill
Located in the Hotel Indigo Shanghai at the southern end of the Bund waterfront, sophisticated Char is a meat-lover’s dream, serving up premium grass-fed and grain-feed Australian steaks, including Blackmore Wagyu and Cape Grim Tasmania Natural Beef, all served with variety of sauces and exotic condiments. Popular non-steak options include lobster bisque, and grilled black cod with confit of baby carrots and star anise and lime syrup. Oh, and be sure to check out Char’s handcrafted steak knives.


Sir Elly’s Terrace

The Bund is, of course, Shanghai’s picture-postcard sightseeing destination. To visit the city and not make good use of its jaw-dropping riverfront position – if only for pre- or post-dinner cocktails – would be like visiting Paris for the first time and avoiding that pesky Eiffel Tower. 

Sir Elly’s Terrace is the Bund’s largest outdoor venue and a popular choice for chic cocktail receptions, glittering gala parties and private functions – for gatherings both large and small – and offers first-class panoramas of Shanghai’s most historic thoroughfare, the bustling Huangpu River and the cloud-busting, neon-lit skyscrapers of Pudong. It’s an ideal place for mingling over crafted cocktails and light bites at sunset – or much later into the night.



For those aiming to push on into the small hours, decadent M1NT is a bar-cum-restaurant-cum-nightclub and a Shanghai institution. Shark tanks run the length of the entrance on the 24th floor of a building between People’s Square and the Bund. Views are simply breathtaking, cocktails are second to none.

As a nightclub, M1NT is incredibly popular, especially at weekends, and non-members may be turned away when things get lively. To avoid disappointment, especially if in a group, book tables in advance, though a substantial minimum spend will likely apply.


Tags :
food and beverage   Incentives   Shanghai  

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