IF you think you've explored all the narrow lanes and attic boutiques on Taikang Road - think again. Local property company Jingtai Real Estate has created a new area in this tourism and retail cluster for visitors and Shanghai shopping and dining fans to explore. Named Taikang Terrace, the new complex was unveiled last month. As it's located in a converted factory building dating back to 1951, it has a quite different ambience to its shikumen-focused neighbor Tianzifang. The 2,800-square-meter complex currently houses 12 stores and eateries and is pretty much untapped, which makes the loft-style space appear extremely quiet compared to bustling Tianzifang next door. So head over as soon as possible before hordes of tourists discover this unique area.
Hong Kong's ultra trendy Robatayaki restaurant Sakesan has opened on Taikang Terrace its second branch away from the special administrative region. It is also the first restaurant in China's mainland by Cafe Deco Group, one of Hong Kong's leading food and beverages groups. Robatayaki means "by the fireside," referring to the centuries-old rustic cooking tradition of fishermen in northern Japan. After a day at sea, they cooked their catch over an open fire then shared it by passing food on oars from boat to boat. From these humble beginnings, this is now one of the hottest trends in global Japanese dining. Diners sit around a charcoal grill when chefs cook as customers place their orders, surrounded by ingredients. The signature dishes in Sakesan are black cod in miso for 150 yuan (US$23.8) and baby back pork ribs (120 yuan for four pieces). Customers can also choose from a variety of main courses such as robata skewers, rice hotpots, gyoza, tempura and various Japanese noodles. The cost is about 200 to 300 yuan per person. There is also a standalone bar.
Opening hours: 11am-12am
Address: No. 101, Lane 171, Jianguo Rd M.
Larder Bar & Grill
Open just a month, Larder Bar & Grill showcases modern Australian gastro-style cuisine with an innovative menu. Its sleek, minimalist dining room in Taikang Terrace has a seating capacity of 70 people in 300 square meters of dining space. Miles Williams, guest manager of the restaurant, says everything in Larder Bar & Grill is left open-plan to create a comfortable and homelike concept. The menu, consisting of four parts - tidbits, starters, main dishes and side dishes - is very simple and straightforward. Duck breast, duck neck sausage with fig jam and cherry glaze, which costs 118 yuan (US$18.7) and grilled lamb with mint jam and garlic confit at 148 yuan are strongly recommended. The average price for a meal at Larder is around 300-350 yuan for a three-course dinner, without drinks.
Renowned Hong Kong designer Alan Chan has opened in Taikang Terrace his first store outside of the special administrative region. Offering a new take on Chinese nostalgia, the fusion of Oriental and Western cultures in contemporary graphic design has been a dominant theme in Chan's work since he launched the brand in 1990. A diverse collection of goods - including T-shirts, cards, tins, tea products and mugs - are on sale in the minimalist Taikang Terrace space. The designer has launched a limited edition series of T-shirts (588 yuan/US$93.3) which are exclusively available at the Shanghai store. The graphics in this collection feature work by Chan from back in 1970, when he was attending a design evening class in Hong Kong while working as a studio assistant in Grant Advertising International. Prices range from 28 to 1,428 yuan.
Opening hours: 11am-7pm
Address: No. 106&109, Lane 169, Jianguo Rd M.
The Plump Oyster
Anyone with a craving for molluscs should go check Shanghai's first dedicated oyster bar, The Plump Oyster, a slick space where you can sit comfortably around the bar and watch the staff shuck the oysters. American chef David Brode has put together a huge selection of imported oysters, a unique wine list and an amazing list of gins. Some of the oyster varieties on offer at the moment include David Herve from France (447 yuan/US$70.9/ eight), Blue Pearl from New Zealand (209 yuan/eight), Fine de Claire from France (254 yuan/eight). However, the oyster bar imports many kinds and staff will help you select your favorite tastes, from light to creamy. It also offers delicious bar snacks, including house guacamole and chips, Italian cured meats and Kentucky bourbon barrel ale beer-batter chicken. The Plump Oyster also has an outdoor patio, which provides a perfect place at this time of year to enjoy a drink and savor some tasty molluscs.