Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shanghai by night


“The best places to hang out in Shanghai are…” says the trendy concierge at the Crown plaza hotel in Pudong as he shuffles through some business cards.

“Start at Barbarosa for some drinks. It’s a beautiful bar and very central. From there move on to Mundo Latino for some salsa and then try Atica – the newest and hippest club in Shanghai. If you’re still up for more after that, end your night at a Chinese club.”

He puts the last card for the Paramount Chinese club on the table and so we are ready to take on our first night in China.

However, when we meet our Chinese friend, Teo, he is not impressed with our plan.

“Don’t you trust me?” he whines as we flash him the cards we picked up at the hotel.

“Of course, what were we thinking!” we answer and decide to simply follow his lead.

I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by Asians for the night so when we arrive at the Uminosachi Japanese restaurant in Huai Hai Road, my Japanese friend Hisami orders some sake, plum wine and Japanese beer to get us started.

The plum wine is too sweet for my taste so I decide to stick to the sake. Although the beer is good too. Asian beers are not as heavy as the Western ones and therefore easier for me to stomach. I might as well try a bit of everything as you pay a standard fee to eat and drink as much as you like here. 150 yuan. That's only about 15 dollars.

We page through the elaborate menu and although I cannot understand any of the Chinese letters, there are pictures of every single dish and that makes it easy to order: simply point at the dish and smile at the waitresses.

How we manage to get through so much food I do not know… miso soup, sashimi, sushi rolls, tepanyaki, steamed rice, seafood, dumplings, tempura…

I try eel for the first time - “come on, don’t be scared” – and it's not half bad, although a bit fatty I would say.

When we finally cannot eat any more, we decide to move on to Park 97, a popular club in Shanghai. We do not manage to find a taxi, but its close enough to walk and since we have a Chinese guide in our midst we simply have to follow.

Downstairs at Park 97 the DJ is playing pop. We hang around there for a bit and my friend Ryan from Singapore orders jugs of Tiger beer from his hometown for us while we wait for the salsa band to start playing upstairs.

We dance and dance until we cannot dance anymore. Upstairs, downstairs, on the stairs... We drink some more Tiger beer. We laugh and laugh until we cannot laugh anymore. We dance some more.

Then we get a taxi home (easily this time), with the full moon beaming down on our happy but tired faces.

1 comment:

Mich said...

Dancing the night away... that's what we all did after the rugby finals!!! Happy moments for all- & yes I'm aware that it's last weeks news- but hey- we get to be the champions for 4 years.