Shanghai is a city which has been greatly influenced by foreign cultures during the course of its prosperity. Wukang Road, a short one-way street, is a concrete representation of the city's international and cosmopolitan character.
In downtown Xuhui District, it starts at Huaihai Road and ends at Huashan Road.
There is no shortage of old buildings, carved pillars and archways along the street. The platane trees form a sort of arc over the road. The old villas are one of the road's main features. They are mostly of Spanish and French styles, which represents the influence of different periods and cultures, creating a unique charm.
Here you can find newly opened bistros, trendy clothing stores and lifestyle boutiques.
Many Shanghai residents are familiar with Noodle Bull, the affordable Taiwanese noodle soup chain with a trendy setting. The same owners are now giving yakitori, Japanese barbecue, a try at their new venture Grill Bull. The decor in the store is minimalist with concrete walls and exposed ceiling fixtures. The atmosphere is casual, thanks to a table layout that allows for either intimacy or communal dining.
The options include a 10-course set menu for 180 yuan (US$28.5). The food is simple and well executed as grilled meats, fish and vegetables are perfectly cooked while remaining moist. A lunch set includes salad, stewed radish, assorted vegetables, main dish, steamed rice, miso soup and coffee or black tea. The lunch set ranges from 46 yuan to 88 yuan depending on the main course chosen.
The a la carte menu offers various tapas, vegetables, meat, seafood, deserts along with a selection of red and white wines. The menu changes every one or two months. The average cost per person is 150 yuan and reservations are recommended.
Opening hours: 11am-midnight
Address: 378 Wukang Rd
One of the most established lifestyle boutiques in town, Platane is expanding its product range to include fashion accessories and designer items. Everything mirrors French owner Laetitia Charachon's light-hearted style. One stunning collection of jewelry is designed by a budding young Parisian designer fresh from a stint at Hermes. The highlights of Coralie de Seynes's jewelry collection are the necklaces and bracelets that feature beautiful textured contrasts, high-quality leather and braided brass, revealing a contemporary urban look. The price starts from 630 yuan (US$100) for a bracelet and rises to 1,320 yuan for a necklace. French handbag brand Sous Les Paves is also worth a look. Founders Catherine Tisserant and Sophie Lagreula, both of whom started in tableware and interior design, use vintage leathers and metal ornaments to create their beautiful collection of pouches and bags, costing from 1,500 yuan to 3,480 yuan. Platane provides elegant and high-quality products for sophisticated shoppers.
Opening hours: 10am-8pm
Address: 439 Wukang Rd
OXY Massage is a Mediterranean-style massage parlor that provides aromatic oil rubdowns and traditional Chinese body and foot massages. There are 10 massage beds separated by diaphanous white fabric drapes, while the foot massage area features pristine white leather recliners and pebble-coated walls. Decorated in pure white with good ventilation, it's a good place to relax while not breaking the bank. The treatment menu offers two packages: Standard Package and Value Package. The Standard Package includes traditional Chinese foot (120 yuan/60 min) and body (160 yuan/60 min, 240 yuan/90 min) massages plus an aromatic oil massage (290 yuan/60 min; 390 yuan/90 min). The Value Package offers three different combinations of foot massage, body massage and aromatic oil massage, with prices ranging from 260 yuan (US$41.3) to 390 yuan. Oil rubdowns include environmentally friendly OxyAire oils imported from France. Reservations are recommended.
Opening hours: 2pm-midnight
Address: 439 Wukang Rd
Xinxin Chinese Kitchen
Xinxin Chinese Kitchen opened more than six years ago and it continues to serve up a hearty mix of Taiwan, Shanghai and Sichuan cuisine in a small but intimate and friendly setting. The menu is extensive with vegetables, fish and shrimp, hot pots, desserts and snacks. Xinxin Chinese Kitchen prides itself on its authentic Taiwanese dishes. Favorites include the three flavored chicken at 35 yuan (US$5.5), shredded pork sauted with vegetables at 28 yuan, oyster pancakes at 20 yuan, and sweet and sour Hunan chicken at 38 yuan.
Recommended snacks include roll beef pie, scallion pancakes and beef onion pie. The restaurant is also popular among nearby office workers and residents because of its cheap lunch set, with prices ranging from 16 yuan to 30 yuan. Taiwanese owner Ronald says he wants his customers to eat healthily and happily. Many ingredients and sauces are imported from Taiwan. The cost is about 50 yuan per person.