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Low-key delights in a classy neighborhood
By Nie Xin

XIKANG Road is located in Jing'an District, one of the most high-end residential areas in town, offering an oasis of peace and quiet from its noisy surroundings. It intersects with Nanjing Road W., home to most of the luxury shopping malls in Shanghai, and heads to Tong Le Fang (the New Factories) which is famous for its bars and nightlife. Here are some restaurants, cafes and bars hidden away in this quiet area. Some have been open less than a month, while others have been established there for years. Old or new, they all deserve a closer look.

Mr Pancake House

Mr Pancake House is, appropriately enough, famous for its pancakes - especially its banana option. This fine piece of pancake artistry, guaranteed to leave you full, comes with a 60 yuan (US$ 9.65) price tag. Inspired by the archetypal American diner, this quaint joint exudes a family atmosphere and has only 10 tables. The environment is cozy and comfortable, with some tables outside - perfect for good weather. As well as fluffy pancakes, other options include smoked beef and tuna sandwiches and hearty breakfasts, plus a good selection of drinks.

Opening hours: 7:30am-10:30pm; 8:30am-10:30pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Address: 877 Wuding Rd

Tel: 6255-1648

Deli de Li

It is a surprise to find this gourmet store on Xikang Road, close to Xinzha Road. It includes a small upper floor where customers can sit down to home-made sandwiches and coffee. Downstairs in the deli are foods and beverages imported from Europe, including Spanish and Italian hams, cheeses, snacks and wines. Many customers come especially for the organic beer, jam and potato chips.

"We cut the ham on the premises for customers and make sandwiches and coffee with the ingredients on sale in the store," says Liz Chen, co-owner of the store. Shanghai native Chen opened Deli de Li in May of 2011 with her Italian husband Enrico Farinati.

Opening hours: 9am-9pm

Address: 356 Xikang Rd

Tel: 3206-0097


WawaWewe is the newest restaurant on Xikang Road - the grand opening was this month - and it's the second WawaWewe restaurant on the Chinese mainland. The first is in Suzhou, in nearby Jiangsu Province. The European and Asian-inspired concept offers an array of gourmet burgers, steaks and skewers in a contemporary and relaxing environment for lunch, dinner or just a few drinks after work. The meat is imported from Australia and the barbecue available for dinner. Select one of the signature burgers or create your very own masterpiece by choosing from an extensive range of toppings. All toppings are prepared in-house, with even the fries hand-cut, says management. WawaWewe also has a full bar with a range of cocktails, international wines and Vedett Extra White beer on tap, not to mention excellent coffee. "Nature gives us the ingredients, and we provide you with the freshest experience," said restaurant manager Michelle Xu. "We believe at WawaWewe that fresh is always best. And that's why we never compromise on taste and quality. It is all about honest food, friendly service and value for money. What you see is what you get. We use only premium quality ingredients and source for the best possible freshness, taste and presentation."

Opening hours: 10am-midnight; 8am-midnight (Sundays)

Address: 400 Xikang Rd

Tel: 5213-6726

Weiyin Music Instrument Store

Weiyin Music Instrument Store has a history stretching back 20 years in Shanghai, offering Chinese-made and imported guitars and pianos, plus Chinese traditional music instruments such as the erhu and guzheng.

This branch on Wuding Road opened 10 years ago, selling new instruments. Music classes are also offered.

Opening hours: 9am-9pm

Address: 595 Wuding Rd (near Xikang Rd)

Tel: 6288-7895

Grand Yard

This low-key neighborhood bar which opened last year is a great place to unwind after work. Its mellow decor - with dark paneling, bare brick walls and tasteful lighting - create a classy yet down-to-earth vibe. There's a pool table, two flat-screen TVs on the wall behind the bar, plus a large projector.

Drinking options include cocktails, wines and beers, on tap as well as bottled. Beers are priced from 20 yuan (US$3.22) to 40 yuan during the happy hour between 2pm and 9pm. The lunch set includes burgers, sandwiches, chicken curry, black pepper beef and spaghetti - all for under 55 yuan.

Opening hours: 11am-2am

Address: 608-1 Xikang Rd

Tel: 5204-9620

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164