It was Friday, raining and restaurants are packed. Where should I go? I walked around the streets of Xintiandi and found a small entry to a game inspired cocktail bar. It got me curious to go inside because of the neon signages and walls with neon bulb lights. I immediately thought of Pacman (not the boxer) and the candy crush. So cute! I went upstairs and lucky to see that there are only a few customers inside. I guess too early for a place like this to be packed. I ordered their special aged Negroni. It was awesome! The bitterness, smokiness, and sweetness have a perfect balance. I wanted to get another one as the bartender was also very friendly but I opt to go and move to a speakeasy bar which he recommend.
The Odd Couple: 太仓路181弄新天地北里25号楼
The next bar is part of Asia’s 50 Best. It is meant as a speakeasy but since they got so popular, it’s everywhere on the internet on how to find the place and how it looks like. So, I cheated and checked online what’s the catch and how to get in. It’s a liquor equipment shop with lots of books. I went in, the lady looked at me and I was like “I am going to the bar.” She opened the door which is a big bookshelf and proceeded to a short tunnel-like passageway. They have 3 floors. It’s mega full. I cannot get a sit and even to stand and hold your drink is impossible. I left after 5 minutes of looking here and there. I highly suggest to book a table or come earlier in the evening. Or better get here in the late afternoon if you want to get a sit.
Speak Low: 复兴中路579号
A kilometer from Speak Low is an underground area where all the clubs and bars are in. It looks like Clarke Quay in Singapore, the nearest I can compare it with. There’s a huge space in the middle where people can just buy a drink somewhere, sit, and spend the whole night over there. I only went to a brewery called Zapfler. There are a lot of Germans, sitting outside which means they have good beer and a portable charger that I can rent. Perfect! I only ordered one while waiting for my phone to get charged. Pilsner – light easy to drink. Sometimes, I like to drink alone, but sometimes, it sucks big time. Especially if you are in a place surrounded by groups. Hence, I called some friends. After being in Shanghai for 2 weeks, I finally have some people who I can call on Friday night.
Found 158: 巨鹿路158号地下B1
I did not really want to go far away from where I stay, so we decided to go to this place which is a walking distance from my hotel. There is a live band, a big round bar, and a lounge. There are few Filipinos who work there so we chatted a bit. I ordered gin and tonic to calm my stomach down (I believe it’s a medicine) and just chilled. I was with all Filipinos at the moment. And since the Pinoy waitresses are about to finish their shift, we waited for them and moved all together to another bar nearby with lots of other kababayans (fellow Filipinos).
By this time, I feel like I am in Jupiter street of Makati City Philippines. There are just too many expats in this bar. Some looking for hookups, some just had a hard day after work, some are just exploring, like me. If there is a Maggie’s in Beijing, Judy’s is her younger sister. Well, I did not mind the crowd this time as I already had too many drinks. We sat near the stage with the manager (which is again a Filipino), ordered another gin and tonic, and then another one. You might be thinking what time is it by now, and you are right about that it’s beyond late. We closed the bar. I can’t really say a lot about this bat but I included some dark photos for your reference.
The Spot: 铜仁路152号 and Judy’s