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Street always offering surprises
By Yang Di

A sunny afternoon spent strolling from Tai'an Road all the way to Wukang Road will always bring a few surprises. Around the popular Ferguson Lane, a few more restaurants, bakery cafes, petite bar and furniture shops have opened in recent months. Stroll along these streets and enjoy the tranquillity.

Whisky Corner

Just a corner indeed, this whisky bar opened its doors a month ago. Whisky Corner is a small place, yet exquisitely designed. It has room for a maximum of 20 people but contains everything a bar should have. Whisky Corner carries 60 to 70 varieties of the spirit, including some limited editions. The owner aims to cater to all his customers personally by finding a taste that is most suited for them. His own all-time favorites include The Balvenie, priced at 70 yuan (US$11.3) per glass, and Laphroaig at 65 yuan. Whisky Corner offers a full range of whisky notes - from light to rich and smoky to peaty. It also provides free WiFi and also simple lunch sets.

Opening hours: 11am-1am

Address: 37 Tai'an Rd

Tel: 6473-1021

Ballon Rouge

Located at the trendy corner where Wukang and Tai'An roads meet, Ballon Rouge is rooted in "Rock'Mantic," a fashion aesthetic that fuses elegant styles with a twist of rock attitude. Their collections cater for children from three months to 12 years old. The owners say they want to help every child seek inspiration, so as to lead a more imaginative and fun lifestyle - and ultimately be best-dressed in the room. The butterfly dress and rock star velvet jeans for both genders are must-have items for cool kids, each 549 yuan (US$89).

Opening hours: 11am-8pm, Tuesday-Sunday, closed on Mondays

Address: 29 Tai'an Rd

Tel: 3461-5965

Farine Bakery

The aroma from this bakery reaches you before you reach the shop. A wide range of breads, croissants and other French specialities are laid out neatly, with batches baked daily using flour from France. Favorites include the buttery Croissant for 14 yuan (US$2.3); the Farinette (20 yuan) - their version of the classic baguette, made with organic T65 French flour; and the Croque Monsieur (40 yuan) made with crusty Bistro bread, Parisian ham and melted Emmental cheese. Breakfast options include a coffee and croissant set, and there is seating if you've time to enjoy your purchases at a leisurely pace.

Opening Hours: 7am-8pm, Tuesday-Sunday, closed on MondaysAddress: Ferguson Lane, 378 Wukang Rd (near Tai'an Rd)

Tel: 6433-1213

Coconut Paradise

Coconut Paradise Thai restaurant opened in the chic Ferguson Building three months ago. The interior shares a resemblance with Yunnan eatery Lost Heaven, which is owned by the same group, fusing exotic artifacts in a contemporary setting; a little bit glittery in the daytime yet more romantic in the evening. The 500-square-meter interior can accommodate more than 150 diners. In the warmer months ahead, a good option is to sit in the petite terrace and admire the beautiful trees. The menu is based around northern Thai cuisine and the owners are currently updating the dishes on offer. Signature dishes include shrimp cakes, deep-fried chicken in panden leaves, papaya salad, northeast Thai-style chicken with mint, red curry beef, three-flavor bass, and steamed fish with northern style curry. A meal costs about 200 yuan (US$ 32.3) to 250 yuan per person, including a drink. The 15-seat bar on the side is also an ideal spot for a well-earned tropical cocktail after a hard day at work.

Opening hours: 12am-2pm; 5pm-10:30pm

Address: 2/F, 378 Wukang Rd

Tel: 5424-5880

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164