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New Year, New Venues

January 01, 2018

New Restaurants to try in the New Year

We don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, unless they’re as follows: ‘eat more; drink more’. To help you achieve these 2018 goals, here’s a list of box-fresh Shanghai hot spots for the new year. You’ll forget all about the curse of the January blues with this gourmet gang to look forward to...

Start 2018 right at AKMÉ, the swish, Gallic-inflected fine diner from two-Michelin-star-toting Akrame Benallal (who nabbed his starry duo at his Hong Kong Akrame restaurant). This French-Algerian culinary maestro has stints with legends such as Ferran Adrià and Pierre Gagnaire under his belt, and it shows in AKMÉs accomplished comfort food. Pick from four- or eight-course prix-fixe menus; have pre- or post-prandials at next door Passage by AKMÉ.

What better way to welcome in the new year than with pisco sours and succulent seafood? If you’re in agreement, head to Colca, where seasoned chef Eduardo Vargas (of Azul fame) and his executive chef Oscar Beltran pair Peruvian and Spanish flavours with lofty levels of flair. Be sure to save room for the sweet ravioli and Vargas’ signature, melt-in-the-mouth flan.

We’re crushing on Lychee, whose muse is lychee-loving Yang Guifei, one of the Four Beauties of ancient China (and the beloved consort of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang). Drinks, dishes and decor all riff on the luscious fruit; the hip-cat restaurant and bar sprawls elegantly across a three-storey lane house. Lychee has pedigree: it’s the fruit of Shanghai-restaurateur Cotton Ding (he of Cotton’s), with drinks designed by Carson Xie (The Nest).

When it comes to toast-worthy bars for 2018, Shanghai has a couple of great contenders up its cheongsam sleeve: Q’s Palace mixes ambitious cocktails in the surprising surrounds of a couture shop. Bloody Mary fans will love the Comme Moi; caffeine-addicts can get a buzz via the espresso-splashed Haha. 

Inspired by the Big Apple, but decorated by a cooler-than-thou Shanghai collective, Empire is a deliberately dark ‘n’ moody joint where libations, food and DJs all pay homage to NYC’s hippest hoods.

AKMÉ / 55 Wulumuqi S Rd / Xuhui / +86 21 6469 9969 / 6pm-10pm daily

Colca / Unit 2201 / 2/F / 199 Hengshan Rd / Xuhui / +86 21 5401 5366 / 5.30pm-1 am Tue-Sun

Lychee / Hse 2 / 49 Fuxing W Rd / +86 21 3461 1377 / 6pm-2am Mon-Thu, until 4am Fri-Sat, until midnight Sun /

Q’s Palace / 253 Huangpi N Rd / Huangpu / +86 21 6312 9057 / 10am-2am daily

Empire / 1/F / V-Stone Tower / 1 E Yan'an Rd / Huangpu / +86 21 6305 0089 / 11am-2pm daily /