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January 6, 2012

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Taikang Road - a great addition to Tianzifang

AS the main artery running past the famous Tianzifang, lively Taikang Road is also home to an assortment of shops offering visitors a pleasant surprise with the sheer variety of goods on offer. From antique shops to delicious fusion food, Taikang Road is a great accompaniment to the already popular area known for arts, culture and food.

Bojoo Dessert

Bojoo Dessert uses an ancient method of fermentation to create desserts that are better known to the Chinese as their version of cheese. Using a method that was exclusively reserved for the royal family in Qing times, rice wine is combined with pure milk before being baked in a special wooden bucket. The month long process is completed upon freezing and fermentation. Loved by the royals for its full, rich taste, the dessert is also known for its positive effects on the skin and stomach. A variety of products suitable for all seasons are available with the most popular being the Original Cheese (10 yuan/US$1.59), a pudding-like version of cheese that gives off the sweet aroma of rice wine. Other recommended products include Yoghurt (12 yuan), Bojoo Fresh Milk (8 yuan), and the Almond Tofu (10 yuan). Takeout is also available.

Opening hours: 10am-10pm

Address: B2-09, Sun Moon Light Shopping Mall, 618 Xujiahui Rd (facing Taikang Rd)

Tel: 5401-2328

Chogu Vintage Antique Shop

Among the rows of boutiques on Taikang Road, Chogu Vintage stands out. Shop owner Tharsen Pan has a good eye for discovering the best of the best when it comes to vintages and antiques. The small shop features a well-balanced mix of furniture, lifestyle and fashion antique pieces with styles ranging from Art Deco, Bauhaus to Victorian. Most of the items are dated from the 1930s to 1970s, originating from Shanghai, Paris, New York and London. Some of the highlights here include sculptures from Europe, vintage Leica and Polaroid cameras, vintage Tiffany sterling silverware and Art Deco cabinets dating to 1930s Shanghai. The prices start from 500 yuan for Wedgewood porcelain items and go up to 180,000 yuan for a stunning sculpture from Paris. Vintage fashion lovers would be surprised to find gorgeous vintage bags such as Miu Miu lizard leather handbags (33,000 yuan) from the 1970s.

Opening hours: 11am-9pm

Address: 272 Taikang Rd

Tel: 6415-5152


Unassuming Shu is a perfect shop for leather lovers. Their use of real leather and an in-house designer for the creation of all products guarantees the uniqueness of all designs. Customers who wish to design their own products may also do so, but this is limited to simple bags made from a piece of leather. The shop's leather is supplied from overseas, but all products are locally made at a factory in Kunshan. Leather shoes in all imaginable colors are on sale, and the most popular design is their pointed ballet flats. Boots for the cold winter are also retailed, along with belts, gloves, bags and pouches. Prices start from 100 yuan for pouches to around 2,000 yuan for a bag. As tempting as Shu may sound, we're sorry men - only women's items are sold here, and this has been so for the past 11 years at their first store on Shaoxing Road.

Opening hours: 10:30am-10:30pm

Address: 266 Taikang Rd

Tel: 6415-0696

The Clouds

Joe's Diner has revamped itself from a burger joint into The Clouds, a bar and restaurant specializing in fusion foods and Asian flavors. With a Taiwanese boss and a chef trained in Singapore, most items on the menu have a Southeast Asian influence, but with a Western interpretation. However, there are plans to overhaul the menu by Chinese New Year and add a mix of Western elements and flavors to also cater for those who enjoy spicy foods. For a taste of Southeast Asia try the Singaporean Special Crab Curry (198 yuan), a combination of the city-state's famous curry flavors and crabs. The Yunnan Steamed Fish with Sour Sauce (188 yuan) is also another favorite. For dessert try the Philippines-style Ah Bu Cha Cha (38 yuan). Set lunches are priced from 38 to 58 yuan, with the Chinese-style set including soup, rice and your own choice of two snacks. Afternoon tea is served at 48 yuan and 58 yuan for either a burger or cake, and a drink. A lounge on the second-floor is perfect after a late night out.

Opening hours: 9am-12am

Address: 200 Taikang Rd

Tel: 6466-8978, 400-820-1775


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