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January 13, 2012

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Bit of everything on Maoming Rd

MAOMING Road S. is a quiet, tree-lined street which offers a variety of restaurants and cafes, providing a relaxing environment for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea. Going south toward Yongjia Road is a collection of restaurants offering an eclectic selection of cuisines, including a traditional Japanese restaurant, a tapas bar and Western-style bars. Additionally, there is a selection of designer boutiques and tailor shops offering a wide range of styles. One of the more prominent style themes of the road is traditional Chinese attire; there are several high quality tailor shops offering traditional and modern takes on the qipao. While many of the boutiques cater solely for women, there are several options for men and children. Maoming Road S. has a faint air of opulence and is a definite go-to for special occasions.

Qipao Gallery

First opened in 1998, Qipao Gallery adds to the general theme of Maoming Road S., which features clothing boutiques using qipao designs. Originally, Qipao Gallery sold only traditional qipao but they have since developed a modern twist and now offer a wide range of adaptations to the designs and fabrics used. Fabrics include Thai and Suzhou silk, linen, satin, cashmere and velvet. Many fabrics feature interesting and unusual designs in a range of vibrant colors. Several pieces, made using brightly colored sequins, add a particularly modern take to the dresses. The prices are standard for each design and there is no extra cost for size or tailoring. A basic qipao is 1,398 yuan (US$221). More complex designs, including dragon robes and evening dresses, are priced around 10,000 yuan. Additionally, there is a range of accessories including clutch bags and a selection of costume and evening jewelry. Prices range from 100 yuan to 300 yuan. Qipao Gallery also sells menswear. Their cliental is a mix of locals and expats.

Opening hours: 10am–10pm

Address: 88 Maoming Rd S.

Tel: 6467-2845

I Prefer

I Prefer is a designer boutique which opened on Maoming Road in April. The shop, which is small and elegant, effectively showcases pieces by Taiwan based brand I Prefer Difference. Catering solely for women, the clothes on offer are eclectic in style and are most appropriate for younger women in their mid to late twenties. Using a variety of different materials, including interesting prints and bold colors, I Prefer creates hip designs, which are given further character by small details such as fur accents and colorful linings. Many pieces are one-off originals and are aimed mainly at smaller sized women. Some pieces are hung in whole outfits, giving an idea of the overall look. Jackets and sweaters, in a range of styles and fabrics, are priced at around 400 yuan and trousers are around 800 yuan. The selection of scarves, priced around 700 yuan, are particularly eye catching and use rough cotton and silk in different styles. It is a reasonably priced designer brand which caters to those with funkier tastes. The basic yet elegant layout of the boutique makes for a pleasant and relaxed shopping experience.

Opening hours: 11am–10pm

Address: 1/F, No. 98 Maoming Rd S.

Tel: 6473-3117

1931 Bar and Restaurant

1931 Bar and Restaurant is a small Shanghainese restaurant which has been open for 16 years but has recently been renovated and re-decorated. The result is a beautiful display of Art Deco furniture across two continents. The first room has kept the original Art Deco style which was popular in the 1930s Shanghai, retaining romantic, colonial elements such as small, intimate tables ready laid with colored crystal glasses and ornate plate settings. The adjacent room showcases an array of differing 1930s, European styles, including wide seated chairs upholstered in rich and colorful fabrics. The European design is further emphasized by the French posters which line the walls. At the higher end of the price spectrum, 1931 offers a more delicate take on traditional Shanghainese food. Prices range from 50 to 140 yuan, with the average meal costing around 150 yuan per person. Additionally, between 11am and 2pm, a 50 yuan lunch menu is offered with a choice of four set meals and daily special soup is included in the price. 1931 offers afternoon tea between 1:30pm and 5:30pm, with a selection of tea/coffee and cake/sandwich deals, priced between 50 yuan and 80 yuan. The most popular option is the afternoon tea set for two, which is priced at 198 yuan and offers 12 different types of Mr. Choi desserts as well as tea and coffee. The restaurant is a luxurious place to enjoy local cuisine and is perfect for a midday business lunch or respite for tourists.

Opening hours: 11:30am–midnight

Address: 112 Maoming Rd S.

Tel. 6472-5264

Da Ji

Da Ji is a comfy neighborhood Japanese izakaya (a common Japanese bar/restaurant) for after-work relaxation and food. The casual, informal environment and a wide variety of Japanese food makes it a popular place frequented by a mix of Japanese and local customers. The two-floor eatery specializes in yakitori, which means grilled skewers that contain the full range of chicken bits, meat, liver, heart, skin and others like small green pepper, bacon and cheese and eggplant. The best experience is to pull a seat up to the bar and order a beer or sake. One skewer costs between 5 yuan and 25 yuan. Da Ji also offers authentic ramen with soup bases such as soy sauce, salty, miso or fried noodle and udon (30 yuan to 40 yuan). It's hard to go wrong with any choice as it's all delicious. Ramen and curry rice are their only offerings for lunch. The eatery can accommodate 56 people.

Opening hours: 11:30am-1:30pm; 6pm-1am

Address: Unit 3, 207 Maoming Rd S.

Tel: 6467-4789


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