French Concession in Shanghai?

Feb 21st, 2005, 08:48 AM
  #1  
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French Concession in Shanghai?

Anyone been here? Is it worth taking the time to check out?
LostinChina is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 09:15 AM
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Huaihai Lu (Road) runs through the former French Concession, and is one of the main commercial/entertainment/shopping district of Shanghai.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 02:01 PM
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Definitely worth strolling through for shopping, eating and sightseeing. If you're getting sick of Chinese food by that time you'll find European style eateries and a Starbucks (don't laugh -it's not easy to get a decent coffee in China!) in a mall near the corner of Madang and Taicing Roads. We also found the Cafe Montmartre at 55 Xiang Yan Nan Lu (Xiang Yan South Road) OK - it backs onto a clothing market and is near busy shopping streets.

We also enjoyed visiting several houses, now museums, associated with China's modern history - the former houses of Zhou Enlai and Sun Yatsen and the site of the first congress of the CCP. The area is characterised by streets shaded by plane trees and houses formerly occupied by European administrators and businessmen. Renmin (People's) Park and the excellent Shanghai Arts Museum are not far away.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 05:05 PM
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Any nice French restaurant? I know, not the right country, but still...
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Feb 21st, 2005, 05:29 PM
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I'm sure there are, but we didn't go looking for them - don't your guidebooks mention any? Cafe Montmartre is French, not haute cuisine but acceptable, and on the day we were there they had the good judgement to highlight an Australian wine .
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 06:04 PM
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Frommer's lists only one that I could find-La Moison French cafe in a mall.
LostinChina is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 09:38 PM
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I just looked up a list of recommended restaurants in Shanghai taht I picked up and nothing French was recommended. You could always splurge and eat at M On The Bund, I guess.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 05:06 AM
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Thanks!
LostinChina is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 10:19 AM
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George Chen of Shanghai 1930 in San Francisco is opening Shikumen (old stone gate?) in Xintiandi around April, a famous French chef is moving from SF to man the kitchen there, probably on the expensive side.
Shanghainese is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 10:51 AM
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It's hard to know from romanized script what the Chinese phrase actually is, but I'll give it try:

"shi" = stone
"ku" = cavern
"men" = gate, door, opening

Opening/Gate to the Stone Cavern. I'll guess there will be some kind of stone works in the restaurant. 8-)

LostinChina: (this is just a kidding remark) You really must be lost in China to be looking for Cantonese cuisine in the north and French restaurants in China anywhere but Hong Kong.

easytraveler is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 12:18 PM
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Actually, last October I ate in a wonderful Italian restaurant in Xintiandi that would rival anything in Rome. I can't remember the name, but we found it by just browsing the area and looking at menus posted outside. It was very expensive but worth it. I think there would be one or more great French restaurants there too. You might try to identify where you want to go and make a reservation or wander about and eat EARLY because the other half of our party that stopped off for cocktails in a hip bar couldn't find a table for four anywhere after about 7:00 and had to return to the hotel for dinner.
kudzu is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 01:55 PM
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The advice to eat early is valid throughout China, we found - the Chinese are mostly early-to-bed, early-to-rise people, and we got into the habit of starting not later than 7:00 pm. Lunch also tends to be early by western standards.
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Feb 22nd, 2005, 04:37 PM
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You crack me up, easytravel -- Sadly enough, Shikumen is the name for the type of architectural housing Xintiandi has preserved, where thousands of others have been demolished and replaced with highrise apartments.

Kudzu: I think you ate at Va Bene, the French one is La Maison, it wasn't very good. Frommer's lists a new French one in Three on the Bund (the ultra-chic new mall) called Jean George, for 2 persons it'll set you back $250!

Now LostinChina, there is Zen in Xintiandi that serves dim sum but I haven't heard if it's worth it or not. The old French concession is definitely worth checking out for the sights and shopping if you're in to it, and forget about French cuisine!
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Feb 23rd, 2005, 02:42 PM
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Thanks for the tips!!

easytraveler-I expected a kidding remark like yours regarding dim sum in the north and French restaurants in China. Guilty as charged. Just trying to keep everyone happy!
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Feb 23rd, 2005, 03:16 PM
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If you like Italian food try Da Marco at 103 Zhuanbang Donglu in the Golden Bridge Garden complex, closest subway stns are Jiangsu Lu or Jing'an Temple. Da Marco is not far from Shanghai Theatre Academy, if you take taxis!
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