While Shanghai is in the midst of changeLi Peng retiring
in the near future and the airport switching location from
Hongqiao to Pudonga slice of the city's traditional
wining and dining can be had in Roppongi. The interior of
this chic bar/restaurant is a mesmerizing mix of minimalist
Japanese decor dressed up with antique Chinese porcelain vases.
A year into it, this sophisticated vibe is perfect for Shanghai
Bar's range of punters, including professionals and funksters
who've worked up a thirst prowling about neighboring
Think Zone's design/art bookstore and are seeking a Roppongi
experience sans the marauding crowds of lager-toting football
fans and backpackers. The few gaijin we did see here were
smartly clad types who may well have actually known what they
were reading on the extensive wine list.
We started out with a Shanghai Cooler (a Chinese rice liquer-based
cocktail with cranberry+lemon+cassis, ¥1,000), and were
tempted to check out the champagne list as well. MoÎtalways
a good option(¥1,200/glass, ¥8,500/bottle).
We considered some sparkling wines, such as Mumm Cuvee Napa
brut (¥1,000/glass, ¥5,800/bottle), but showed a little
restraint. Just a little. The choice of white wines included
Cakebread Cellar's popular, full-bodied yet dry Napa
Sauvignon Blanc 2000 (¥850 per glass, ¥7,500 per
bottle). Reds included the Argentinian Luigi Bosca Malbec
'98 (¥900/glass), a fairly dry choice that goes
great with most of the Chinese dishes on offer.
By the time the cocktails had kicked in, with a cruisy mix
of background jazz/fusion/world music, we were admiring the
patterns of the polished wooden parquetry floors, complemented
by dark-rattan dining chairs and polished teak tabletops,
each accented with candlelight. Eventually, we decided it
was time to select something from the midnight menu, a melange
of Japanese and Chinese dishes averaging ¥2,500, and
adjourn to the leather booths in the back.
It was getting late so we paced ourselves by taking some
of the non-alcoholic drinks for a test drive. Spring Wind
(¥900), a mix of blue creme de curacao, fresh lime, grapefruit
and spearmint, was a refreshing change, as was the Pink Panther,
a combination of peach juice, fresh grapefruit juice, Grenadine
syrup, and tonic water (¥800).
Some hot lychee and Ronjin teas (¥600) saw us bracing
ourselves to face the 2am winds outside, warmed and cossetted
by the charms of Shanghai in the heart of Tokyo.
1F Tokyo Nissan Bldg, 6-2-31 Roppongi,
Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5772-7655. Open 11am-4am Mon-Sat, 11am-11pm
Sun. Nearest stn: Roppongi.
Photo credit: Courtesy of