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February 24, 2012

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Heaps of variety for such a short street

CHENGDU Road S. is a small street that links Huaihai Road with Changle Road. It is an attractive stretch providing a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai's famous Huaihai shopping district. Several new boutiques and restaurants opened in 2011, including a French bistro and several tailor-made clothes and shoe shops. Although it probably takes only a couple of minutes to walk the length of Chengdu Road S. it has a wide variety of food and fashion on offer, catering to different tastes.

El Camino

The French bistro concept restaurant and bar El Camino is a new addition to the city's food and beverage scene. It is proud to offer its clientele authentic French cuisine from a Japanese chef who has extensive experience in well-known restaurants in Tokyo. The food prices are surprisingly low compared to most "so-called" bistros in town. El Camino surprises food lovers for its decent food, relaxed, modern atmosphere and reasonable prices. Any salad, snack or appetizer is priced at 28 yuan while a main course is only 48 yuan to 68 yuan this month. Recommended dishes include country-style pate, sauerkraut, pork steak, lamb burger steak and gizzard salad. Lunch sets have three to four main dishes to choose from, plus soup and soft drink for 38 yuan to 58 yuan. Their menu price will be slightly adjusted in March so this is a good time to stop by.

Opening hours: 11am-2am

Address: 105-117 Chengdu Rd S.

Tel: 6386-5178

Renee Fashion Creator

Renee Fashion Creator opened in August 2011 and is a small boutique that sells shoes, socks and tights for women. There is a selection of different colors and leathers on offer, which predominantly use simple, Japanese styles.

Shoes are made to order and take up to 10 days for completion; colors and leather can be adapted to preference. The cost is between 300 yuan and 400 yuan, depending on style and leather used. Additionally, there is a range of socks and tights in a variety of different colors and patterns.

Renee Fashion Creator is a good alternative for expatriates who struggle to find shoes that fit.

Address: 120 Chengdu Rd S.

Opening hours: 10am-9pm

Cashmere House

Cashmere House specializes in custom-made, one-off pieces made from 100 percent Italian cashmere. Cashmere House has its own China factory, making its own designs and pieces made to order. Its designs are creative and set Cashmere House apart from similar boutiques.

The clothes on offer are predominantly jumpers and over-sized sweaters, as well as several dresses in muted, winter tones. Additionally, there is a selection of colors to choose from, including vivid blues and greens. Cashmere House can cater to any style, making clothing to suit all tastes and preferences.

The boutique is small and elegant, effectively displaying the pieces on offer while creating a pleasant shopping experience. Prices range from 700 yuan (US$111) to 2,000 yuan. There is a 10 percent discount on purchases of 3,000 yuan to 4,999 yuan and a 20 percent reduction when you spend over 5,000 yuan. Prices are reasonable and the quality of fabric is high.

Address: No. 1, 132 Chengdu Rd S.

Opening Hours: 11am-10pm

Tel: 5301-5819

Bricco Café

Bricco Café is probably one of the best restaurants offering authentic, non-pretentious Italian fare in the busy area of Huaihai Road M. and Chengdu Road S. The spacious two-floor space features a casual coffee shop on the first floor and a dining area on the second. The concept covers the entire range of a day, from a morning coffee, lunch set, afternoon tea, to the dinner in the restaurant upstairs. Specialties are definitely pasta and pizza, with the kitchen headed by an Italian chef. The weekday lunch deal is popular; for 78 yuan one can get pasta, pizza or main course of the day, a choice of salad or soup, as well as dessert and a soft drink. Every Monday from 6pm, Bricco Café does buy-one-get-one-free pizza if you pre-book a table and every Wednesday from 7-10:30pm there's Italian-style aperitif; one can have the Italian buffet plus two glasses of wine or cocktails for 100 yuan. Bricco also has a corner well-stocked with Italian specialties, from wine, cheese and cold cuts to Italian design tableware.

Opening hours: 11am-11pm

Address: 158 Chengdu Rd S.

Tel: 6387-9188


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