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iDEALShanghai awards a very diverse lot
By Lu Ferian

THE second iDEALShanghai Awards ceremony held on Thursday evening produced more than 30 winners in 15 disparate categories, such as dining, aviation, medical care and cultural sites.


Almost 100 guests, including senior officials, foreign consuls and delegates from chambers of commerce, gathered at Shanghai Concert Hall to celebrate the lifestyle awards.

Compared to the first iDEALShanghai Awards that was hosted in 2012, this time the awards took on a closer connection with readers’ daily life — car rental, housekeeping services, pet services and cultural revenues were included into the awards for the first time.

The winners were selected by Shanghai Daily readers on www.idealshanghai.com from mid-October to earlier this month.

All the winners said the awards meant a lot to them and that they believe it will help the companies to promote their public images and raise their popularity.

Australia-based Qantas Airways won the best cabin crew award. Andrew Hogg, the company’s general manager for China, said he was really happy to win the award because the crew is extremely committed to provide customers with the highest levels of service.


“Ideal flight service is about making customers feel at home during every part of their journey,” said Hogg. “And the award encourages us to continue our best service to the clients.”

Meanwhile Tokushinkai, a Japan-based clinic that won for best medical service, said it has always been devoted to provide standard and high-quality services to clients.

“When we first came to China, most of our clients were foreigners,” said Chen Yude, president of Shanghai Tokushinkai Dental Group. “And now half of our clients are Chinese and we’re very glad to see the change. And I think the awards just encourage us to do better in the future.”

Andry Ruumet, consul general of Consulate General of Estonia in Shanghai, attended the ceremony and presented the awards. He said the awards, as well as the iDEALShanghai website, provide useful information for expats and travelers to Shanghai.

“I’m very glad to attend the ceremony and present the awards,” said Ruumet. “I read Shanghai Daily almost daily and I love the iDEALShanghai website very much and I do hope that the website will do even better in the future.”

Two readers’ representatives also participated in the ceremony to present the awards. Both are loyal readers of Shanghai Daily. They either write to the press room regularly or participate in the events organized by the newspaper.

Carl-Erik Johansson, project manager for Ericsson, said he’s been reading Shanghai Daily since he came to China 11 years ago. “I will save the information of the award winners,” said Johansson. “It will affect maybe my restaurant choices next year.”

Winners talk about awards’ meaning

Vivian Xie

Executive director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai

“My colleagues and I, including our chamber members, visit the iDEALShanghai website frequently to look for restaurants, entertainment venues and hospitals ... I haven’t visited all the places of the winners but for those I’ve been to I would say they really deserved the awards.”

Michael C. Enoch

General manager of Mercedes-Benz Arena

“This is my first time I’ve known about the iDEALShanghai awards and I’m glad we got it. Any recognition will help us on publication, on ticket selling.”

Aimee Zhao

Manager of China Ayi Home Services

“To be honest, sometimes I’m embarrassed to tell my friends I’m in the housekeeping industry because of some stereotypes. But winning the awards makes me believe that my career choice is right.”

Anil Kumar

General manager at Bukhara Indian Grill & Lounge

“We’ve been here for 10 years providing authentic Indian experience, from atmosphere to food that makes the restaurant survive. Twenty percent of our waiters and waitresses are from India, to ensure they introduce local people to Indian food culture in a professional way. Some key ingredients are imported from India. Indian cuisine is now becoming more popular in Shanghai, especially among local Chinese thanks to their being much more open-minded ... For attracting more local Chinese, we do some local adaptation, launching spicy and not spicy — two different menus.”

Benjamin Seelos

Restaurant general manager at Element Fresh (Shanghai Center)

“We distinguish ourselves through the concept ‘element fresh’, aiming to provide a healthy place, where people can dine all day in a stylish environment with simple fresh food ... Our challenge is to create a balance between quality and cost, even though sourcing the best ingredients is our first consideration. Currently all the vegetables are local sourced to ensure freshness while fish and meat are imported globally to keep good quality.”

Trinity Wang Steward

Senior marketing manager at Simply Thai Group

“Simply Thai is one of the most successful brands in our group. Foods are presented in a simple way. Ambience is not fancy. We focus on sourcing quality ingredients to give our Thai foods authenticity in flavor. Most of our spices and fragrances are imported from Thailand — for example, round eggplant, lemon grass and tamarind.”

Celine Tang

Marketing manager at Big Bamboo

“The original intent of Big Bamboo is creating a gathering place for people who love sports. We seamlessly connect sports with bar through setting up plenty of TV screens so that all the customers can watch live sports broadcasting all over the world. Sport is an expression of entertainment and fun so we provide guests football tables, billiard tables and darts. We are also known for our beer list, usually over ten varieties. It is the most popular drink among sports fans in the world.”

Modi al-Saqqa

Guest relations manager at M1NT

“I personally think Shanghai has the most vibrant nightlife scene in Asia, which can be seen by the bars and clubs being crowded on Mondays and Tuesdays, a time when bars in other cities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo suffer from slow business. M1NT ... specially design program for each day to attracting different customers. We find that business travelers usually go to the bar for fun on Wednesday so that we launch “model’s night” on that day. Local people prefer Friday and Saturday for enjoying bar life so we hold big theme parties to cater to their interests.”

Chelsea Zhu

Marketing manager at Latina

“We (Latina) opened our first outlet at Xintiandi 18 years ago, honored to be the first introducing Brazilian food to China. So far this food category is not popular throughout China, but Shanghai is an exception. I find that many local people prefer Brazilian grilling to steak served in many fine dining restaurants. On one hand, meat grilled in the Brazilian way is nearly well-done, and on the other hand Brazilian grilling features more cutting, hence diverse textures and flavors.”

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