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March 2, 2012

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Hip and happening spots on Anfu Road

THE former French concession offers many nice leafy streets for most of the year. Anfu Road is one of them. It runs from Wukang Road to Changshu Road, along which you can find chic boutiques, fine restaurants and cozy cafes. If once just the west side of the road was full of good places to go, now even the east side, crossing Changshu Road, has many places to offer. Here you can find a delicious Italian eatery, a restaurant specializing in Yunnan cuisine, a new nail spa and some fashion boutiques. This street is frequented by expatriates who both work and live here. Anfu Road hosts two of the area's most expensive residential compounds: The Summit and Chevalier Place. So just take a stroll in the "Rue Dupleix" and discover all of its chic spots.

Mia's Yunnan Kitchen

Anfu Road is famous for its wide selection of restaurants and cafes, but Mia's Yunnan Kitchen is the only decent Chinese eatery so far. Opposite the Center office building, the 30-seat restaurant offers typical Yunnan specialties at reasonable prices. The interior style is more like a coffee shop, decorated with old Art Deco chairs and pictures of Yunnan landscapes on the walls. Most of the ingredients are sourced from Yunnan, including different mushrooms, vegetables and local delicacies. The recommended dishes include pan-fried Yunnan goat cheese (28 yuan), steamed pork with matsutake mushroom (58 yuan), Yunnan home-cooked clay pot noodles (28 yuan) and fried rice with Yunnan dried beef (28 yuan). Dinner costs about 50 yuan per person and the business lunch is priced from 38 yuan to 48 yuan. The moderate balance of sweet, sour and spicy flavors also makes the eatery a popular hang-out for expats.

Opening hours: 11am-10pm

Address: 45-47 Anfu Rd

Tel: 5403-5266

Jian Ping

This little boutique is a new entry on Anfu Road, as it opened just two weeks ago. The concept is very different from the major brands and the Taiwanese designer wants to offer chic Oriental style clothing in a modern way. The scarves, coats and pants are all made with silk, cashmere and velvet and created with traditional Chinese techniques. The style is very classical, perfect for working woman who don't care much about brands and trends, but are interested in creating their own style. Colors are very soft, with lots of white, black and green for the spring season. There are no collections; every week new items are coming in and there is also a small selection for men. What makes the difference is the cut and embroidering. Prices are not cheap with clothes ranging from 1,000 yuan to 2,500 yuan. Customers are both Chinese and Western women who want to look classy, smart and chic at the same time.

Opening hours: 11am-8pm

Address: 31 Anfu Rd

Tel: 5406-7731

Italian Kitchen 26

It may sound unusual, but the Italian Kitchen 26 is a new Italian restaurant opened by a Japanese. This little eatery is nice for people who want to eat good food at reasonable prices at any time. The kitchen takes its last order at 2am. The place seats 30 people and offers many Italian dishes including pastas with seafood. The seafood is from the port city of Dalian. The chef, and most of the staff, come from The Kitchen of Salvatore Quomoe, an Italian restaurant in Lujiazui. Every month, the eatery offers a special lunch set at 68 yuan for an appetizer, a main course and focaccia. They also offer two-for-one specials on wine. There's also a rich a la carte menu. The average dinner costs around 150 yuan per person. The interior is intimate and more Japanese and the main concept is to offer healthy food to customers. It's a Japanese way of cooking Italian food.

Opening hours: 11:30am-2am

Address: 23 Anfu Rd

Tel: 5404-3109


Hidden in an alley on Changshu Road, Pusu is a new furniture showroom worth checking out. The collection of wood furniture on display is reminiscent of traditional Chinese furniture representing status and identity in old period. Made from different kinds of wood sourced in the Yangtze River region with traditional techniques, their sleek form is a modern update on an age-old tradition. The showroom, decorated with different settings, allows the customers to appreciate the aesthetic and practical values of the designs. Prices start from 1,800 yuan for a wood stool to 19,000 yuan for a Luohan bed (a large, heavy bed fixed with three solid board railings). There is also a selection of very fine ceramic works from San Tao Xuan, a workshop based in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province. Pusu also provides calligraphy classes and tea rituals and one class costs 150 yuan/two hours.

Opening hours: 10am-10pm

Address: No. 15, Lane 188 Changshu Rd

Tel: 3461-9855


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