You’ve heard of third-wave artisanal coffee – now it’s time to try the Shanghai-specific teahouse version of that. Taking up residence in the new Hubin Dao mall on the steps of Shanghai’s ritzy Xintiandi lifestyle hub, Teasoon is a modern teahouse that uses molecular mixing techniques and the latest brewing technologies to make the millennia-old beverage new again. In a slick, tasteful and minimalist environment, guests are invited to imbibe red grapefruit jasmine, lemon white peony and lemon souchong varieties – in addition to the newly trendy cheese teas – which the attentive servers brew right in front of you.
B1/F Hubin Dao, 168 Hubin Lu
Local screen-printing graphic arts collective IdleBeats, headed by celebrated local artist Nini Sum, has been anything but idle with the recent opening of their gorgeous new studio space on Xiangyang Lu in the heart of the former French Concession. Now open to the public for beginner screen-printing workshops and one-on-one classes, IdleBeats is a haven for fresh Shanghai DIY fashion and design. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can pick up an unusual souvenir in the form of one of their idiosyncratic and Surrealistic prints, all of which are created in-house. Visit their website and email ahead to book a visit.
Shanghai’s leisure class is always on the hunt for fanciful night-time diversions, and the newly opened Riink at Bund Square features something bracingly unique: cocktails on wheels. This mini roller-skating rink and cocktail bar comes to us from seasoned lounge bar impresario Ting Ting Liang (also of Roxie across town) and offers neon-tinted, retro-chic fun in the form of a 30m² roller-skating rink, as well as a cocktail menu that features funky and fruity rum-based concoctions.
1/F Bund Square, 658 Dapu Lu
4. Yu Ba Xian (Sense 8)
Yu Ba Xian (or “Sense 8” in English) is an opulent Cantonese restaurant located in Xintiandi. The work of acclaimed interior designer Song Yuxin, the décor here boasts antique pieces from Beijing’s Imperial past and Shanghai’s own pan-European colonial heritage. The food is nothing to scoff at either. Reservations are a must, but you can drop by during the off-peak hours between 9.30pm and 1am to sample their special late-night menu.
8 Ln 181, Taicang Lu
5. Uptown Records ’n’ Beer
A friendly, hole-in-the-wall bodega-style shop located on Yongfu Lu in Xuhui, Uptown Records ’n’ Beer specialises in vinyl records and craft beer – the twin passions of Shanghainese owner Sophia Wang. This tiny record store doubles as a craft beer bottle shop, with prices ranging from RMB15 (S$3) to RMB40 (S$8) for selections from various craft breweries in China (such as Jing-A, Master Gao and Panda), the United States (including Brooklyn and Rogue), the United Kingdom and beyond. For vinyl enthusiasts, it carries American rock, Cantonese disco and the latest underground contemporary Chinese releases. The store can only fit eight to 10 people, so expect an intimate evening of quality beer and music.
Basement, 115 Pingwu Lu
This article was originally published in the September 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine