Finding a genuinely hidden speakeasy nowadays is nigh on impossible, although many bars make a vague attempt at being clandestine. The Boulevard in Shanghai is the latest venture to take a better-than-most stab at it, located as it is on the 7th floor of an inconspicuous building, beyond a ‘secret’ bookcase that can be manoeuvred by following instructions from the antique telephone standing sentry at the beginning of the dark passageway. If you’ve made it this far, prepare to be greeted upon entry by staggering panoramic views of the glimmering Shanghai skyline, accentuated by dim lighting, dark wood furnishings, and antique leather armchairs.
After years of running Eduardo Vargas’ restaurants (Chicha and Casa 13), Jimmy Vakidis conceived this secluded restaurant and bar, drawing inspiration from the Roaring Twenties. Accordingly, expect to taste dishes like oysters rockefeller, chicken oscar, and creamy lobster mac n’ cheese alongside classic cocktails like Negronis and Sidecars, or sample the selection of craft cocktails such as the NobiliTea (a mix of scotch, Averna, cherry brandy with green tea syrup and a twist of orange on the rocks). Now, where is that secret bookcase...