OVER the past few months, the area around Shaanxi Road N. has been booming and Wuding Road is no exception. What was primarily a quiet residential area as become the place to kick back, relax and unwind after a long day. With a variety of restaurants, pubs and wine bars moving in and setting up shop, there are options for everyone. Along the road can be found a wine connoisseur's labor of love, an established pub specializing in Belgian beer, a restaurant serving western breakfast all day, and one of the most exciting new clubs in the city.
The Burdigala for Bordeaux
Slightly west of Shaanxi Road on Wuding Road is this impressive wine bar that specializes in Bordeaux wines. For its CEO Franck Boudot, The Burdigala is a tribute to his hometown, the city of Burdigala in southwestern France. "I set this up because I love Bordeaux wine and I was fed up with the price and quality of Bordeaux," Boudot explains. "Wine lovers in China love Bordeaux but think it's very expensive and I wanted to prove that high-quality Bordeaux doesn't have to be." Offering 48 different Bordeaux wines, the establishment also aims to educate. With each wine order, the customer is given a card explaining its characteristics. "We want customers to understand Bordeaux wine because it's very complex and understanding enhances their enjoyment of the wine." A glass ranges from 36 yuan (US$5.8) to 50 yuan, with a handy breakdown posted on the wall, explaining the characteristics of each. Bottles start at 158 yuan and most are around 230 yuan. Customers can even pump and cork their own bottle of wine with two options 78 yuan and 98 yuan. In addition to wine, The Burdigala serves a selection of Southwestern French specialties. Popular items include the club sandwich with truffles (89 yuan) and a charcuterie plate featuring five delicatessen meats (220 yuan). Boudot says his establishment is Shanghai's first wine bistro.
Opening hours: 11:30am-late
Address: 550 Wuding Rd
Kaiba for beer
Since opening in 2009, Kaiba has become a trusted name for Shanghai beer lovers who now can visit three branches. This Wuding Road stop went through 35 kegs on its October 26 grand opening. "We had between 600 and 700 people that night," recalls manager Mia Gano. "The crowd even spilled into the parking lot and street." While it may be technically new, this location has replaced the old original Kaiba on Kangding Road. Its new digs are extremely roomy and this Kaiba offers one of the city's biggest beer selections. They include more than 20 types of beers available on tap, including 12 to 15 Belgian beers at any time and five craft beers, such as favorites La Chouffe and Vedett Blond. A pint runs from 50-60 yuan and the price drops to 35-40 yuan for happy hour (5pm-9pm). The establishment also cares more than 100 bottled beers from around the world, fruit beers like Delirium Tremens and Karmeliet Tripel, and a gigantic selection of Belgian beers. While this branch has a simpler menu than other Kaibas in the city, it has pizzas (55 yuan) and appetizers (20-28 yuan). Although Gano admits most customers are foreigners, more Chinese are dropping in thanks to word of mouth. Kaiba runs special nights during the week, including a Wednesday Ladies Night and a Monday "buy two drinks get one free" special.
Opening hours: 5pm-2am (Monday to Friday), 2pm-2am (Saturday to Sunday)
Address: 479 Wuding Rd
Mr Pancake House - 24/7
A common weekend sight on Wuding and Jiaozhou roads is a very long outdoor line of hungry diners waiting for brunch. That's a good problem for any business and this restaurant specializing in western breakfast hopes it solves it with their larger new location at Wuding Road and Shaan'xi Road N. "The original is much too small so we wanted to open a larger one that was closer to it," says manager Rebecca Hu. With three locations in the city and plans for more, the eatery is renowned for its all-day breakfast menu. Popular items include banana walnut pancakes (35 yuan), the chicken and waffle combo (45 yuan), and the chicken fajita salad (35-63 yuan). Although it's common to see diners happily enjoying a smoked sausage breakfast during dinner hours, the restaurant has a diverse menu. Hamburgers (38-48 yuan) and spaghetti and meatballs (38 yuan) are favorites. For customers looking for a scrumptious snack, Hu recommends the selection of fruit smoothies (25 yuan) and their milkshakes (22 yuan).
Opening hours: 8am-10:30pm
Address: 479 Wuding Rd
Club Ibiza mixes it up
Since its launch in July, Club Ibiza at Jiangning Road has become one of the hottest nightclubs in town. It attracts big names such as rap pioneer Run from Run DMC and perennial Top 10 DJs like John Digiweed and Infected Mushroom. It features an actual dance floor, a crisp sound system and cool decorations like alien jelly fish at its front entrance. Vice general manager Batman Li explains what makes Ibiza different. "A person's music taste says a lot about their personality," he says. "Many Shanghai clubs just want Top 10 DJs because it's easy to promote but we want the top artists from our own personal lists." That list ranges from electro to minimal dubstep to trance and Li says they "like to mix it up." Ibiza is busy throughout the week and packed from Wednesday to Saturday nights. Cocktails range from 50 to 80 yuan, with Li recommending the club's signature mojitos. Cover ranges from 100 to 150 yuan for big events, although the new Thursday "Pre-Shock Therapy" nights has free entry.
Opening hours: 9pm-late
Address: 1/F 428 Jiangning Rd (at Wuding and Jiangning roads)