Shanghai Watchdog: Grilled Cheese Cook-Offs, Jason Mraz and More

Shanghai Watchdog: Grilled Cheese Cook-Offs, Jason Mraz and More
By Susie Gordon ,

It's not the best time to be a laowai in Shanghai, with police presence and the 100 Days policy seeing venues closing and foreigners being asked for their passports. Shelter has shut its doors temporarily, and expats are recommended to carry their documents with them at all times. However, life goes on, and there's lots of stuff happening.

What's on…

The biggest nightlife news this month is Jason Mraz' Shanghai concert on June 14 at Shanghai Grand Stage, as part of his ‘Tour is a Four Letter Word' tour. American singer and songwriter Mraz will play songs from his latest album, "Love is a Four Letter Word". Tickets are priced at 380, 580 and 880 RMB.

Art 2 Asia is running a music and arts concert at the Xuhui campus of Jiaotong University on 17 June, which looks like it will be worth attending. Local talent like the Illumin8ors will take to the stage, and there'll be various art shows and performances between 15:00 and 21:00.

The 15th Shanghai International Film Festival will run from June 16 to 24, with 1,643 films from 106 countries and districts competing for Golden Goblet Awards. The jury will be headed up by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud, and the festival will be the premiere for many international movies. For more details, visit the website at


In restaurant news, Craig Willis is adding to the F&B venues at the Reel Mall in Jing'an with a new venue called Henkes, set to open in August. Named after Craig's mother, it's a big space covering nearly 500 square metres, and will consist of a café, a main restaurant, a branch of Sushi Raku, and a big outdoor patio with space for 60 people. The café will serve breakfast and snacks during the day, and morph into a wine bar at night, and the restaurant will have a mainly Mediterranean menu.

Cheese fans should mark June 30 in their calendars, as Christina Traugott and Amanda Buzon are planning a grilled cheese cook-off with The Public in Sinan Mansions. Ten amateurs and ten professionals will square up at the grills to compete in three categories – anything goes, classic variations, and cheese with Chinese characteristics.

In other dining news, a new collective has just opened on Shaanxi Bei Lu, selling products from Strictly Cookies, Spread the Bagel and MQ Coffee. The Sailors fish and chip bar on Yongkang Lu has just expanded, meaning that you'll have a better chance of snagging a table.

Nepali Kitchen has branched out into Indian cuisine with the opening of Tikka at 56 Maoming Nan Lu, while the new Kebab King at 8 Ruijin Yi Lu will give Anadolu some competition in the doner stakes, serving Turkish treats with an Australian twist.

Mid-June will see the opening of a Shanghai branch of Hong Kong robatayaki joint Sakesan, with an adjoining cocktail lounge specialising in sake and shochu. Mike Solovey, formerly of Boxing Cat, plans to soft-open his Eastern European restaurant Bloc within the next couple of weeks, while Austin Hu will soon open the doors of the new Madison on Fenyang Lu. It will seat 130 in the main dining room and 25 in a private space, and the menu will stay true to the original Madison. As well as a restaurant, the venue will include a gastro-lounge with snacks, craft beers and cocktails.

Element Fresh has finally opened Element Fresh Vintage, its new concept, in Xintiandi. Covering three floors and opening until 2:00 at weekends, the focus is on fine wines, cocktails and whiskey to accompany the usual healthy fare. With dark wood and low lighting, the atmosphere is more chilled than your regular Element Fresh, and there are two terraces for al fresco dining.

Shanghai's first Bordeaux bar, Burdigala Bordeaux Wine Bar, opened at 550 Wuding Lu on May 27, with a cellar containing bottles from 48 Bordeaux Chateaux, comprising two thirds of the 60 Bordeaux appellations. The owners have kitted it out with a total of 2,500 bottles, 12 of which come from a private collection. Prices start at a very reasonable 35 RMB per glass and 150 RMB for a bottle.

Wuyuan Lu is getting a pre-prohibition era cocktail lounge in the form of the Senators Saloon in mid-June, from the same management as Citizen Café and Sichuan Citizen. Cocktails are the main feature, but they'll also be serving contemporary food and coffee.

British expats yearning for a taste of home will be cheered at the news that a huge new branch of Marks & Spencer has opened in the Golden Bell Plaza on Huaihai Lu. Covering 4,500 square metres, the retail giant will sell clothes and food, and represents a huge period of development for the brand in China. A 1,500-square-metre store will open later in June at Wanda Square in Wujiaochang, and a further branch is set to open at Wanda Square in Baoshan. This will expand M&S's Shanghai empire to five stores. 


Sad news for Shanghai veterans – Bulldog on Dongping Lu has finally shut its doors after several years of management problems. The once glorious purveyor of the city's only Men's Night will be sadly missed. No news yet as to what will be replacing it.

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Keywords: Shanghai watchdog Shanghai new openings Shanghai events 2012 Shanghai 2012 news


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