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LUXE Insider: Regina Galang on What’s New in Shanghai

As China has finally flung opens its borders to tourists for the first time in three years, our newest LUXE Insider Regina Galang gives us the latest scoop on what to do on your next trip to Shanghai, aka. Paris of the East:

The Merchants

Source: The Merchants

Newly opened in November 2022, this three-in-one cafe, fine dining resto and upstairs cocktail bar from Beijing is located in a beautifully restored, sun-lit building where you can easily spend the entire day.  Bring a book and/or laptop and grab one of their amazing pastries, like their signature “Ugly But Delicious Cinnamon Roll.” By night, head upstairs for a drink overlooking the lovely garden of the Shanghai Film Association.

Nearby: Hop across the street to do some shopping at handhandhand for scented candles, hand creams, and soaps, or pop around the corner to find Wilde with some of the prettiest flowers in the hood.

52 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu 永福路52号, 近复兴西路


Source: Juke

Situated on Dongping Lu, this cosy neighborhood eatery features a chef-driven menu that blends Chinese ingreds with Western cooking techniques. Great for date nights, small groups and repeat visits thanks to the constantly changing menu.

What to order: Everything, especially the calamari and tartare bites if you’re lucky enough to encounter them. Sample the entire menu of around 12 dishes with friends, then re-order all of your favourites. Wash everything down with one of their boutique wines or the Martini No. 1.

9-11 Dongping Lu, near Hengshan Lu 东平路9-11号,近衡山路

Charlotta Gandolfo

Luxe silk pieces with laid-back flair, Charlotta Gandolfo’s statement pieces will take you from day to night, including the Grace Maxi skirt in the brand’s signature black ‘n gold flower print, a classic pant suit, or the head-turning Mackenzie jumpsuit. Appointments recommended; oft with bubbly. Cheers! 

Strut your stuff: Hundo, Cellar-to-Table and Blaz offer Japanese, Mediterranean and French fare, respectively, and are just a few steps away in the same complex. Craving Neopolitan-style pizza in China? Go the opposite way to Bottega.

1068 Huaihai Middle Road Tower 2, #31C (enter from Donghu Road)


mavis shanghai
Source: Mavis

With just 30 seats, Mavis is a French-Neo bistro named after its owner’s grandmother. Intimate, warm and edgy, come for the industrial setting of graffiti’ed cement walls contrasted against well-versed French culinary techniques. Yes, there’s even a handwritten blackboard menu and walk-in wine cellar. 

Taste test: Classics such as bavette steak, duck liver mousse and beef tartare are expectedly tasty, but the star of the show is their confit duck leg grilled cheese sandwich (chef’s kiss). Leave room for their raspberry clafoutis with vanilla ice cream and if you’re in the mood for a nightcap, head next door to the “dive chic” cocktail bar, Post no Bills.

966-968 Wuding Lu, near Jiaozhou Lu


Founded by two fitness gurus, Siri Nordhejm and Ann MacLellan, MYbarre serves up full body workouts inspired by ballet and pilates movements combined with functional fitness training. Their quick-paced cardio and sculpting sessions will leave you breathless but wanting more.

Post-workout: Reward yourself for a job well done at Drunk Baker located in the same building for a coffee and a comte cheese scone, or head to ZUP for their tavern-style pizzas, garlic knots and sweet corn.

 A-Mansion 291 Fumin Lu, Floor 3A (enter from Changle Lu)

Regina Galang has been described as a “social tornado.”  An explorer at heart, our Shanghai-based LUXE Insider is always on the lookout for new experiences in the city she’s called home for 14 years. Born in San Francisco but having lived in Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and China, some of her favourite quotes include: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” and “the only thing I can make for dinner are reservations.” Follow her on Instagram @reginaagalang!

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