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January 5, 2020

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Asian-Latin food fusion adds tropical air to winter

HAVANA Chino Latino Bar has injected a tropical air to the Shanghai winter season with its Cuban-inspired interiors, hot cocktails and Asian-Latin fusion food.

The two-level, 1,400-square-meter space on Donghu Road provides an upstair area for private functions and events, while the 1,000-square-meter downstair space is designed as a “glorious playground” for dining, drinking and partying.

Martijn van der Valk, partner of Havana Chino Latino Bar, is an ex-hotelier. He has traveled extensively to experience the world’s best food and drinks for inspiration.

“We wanted to open a bar, but not another classic, old-fashioned one,” he said. During his trips to Latin America he discovered strong Chinese and Japanese influences in the food culture there, particularly in Peru.

“I brought back the tropical essence of that passionate region. In the mean time, we believe hospitality should be relevant to the location, so I put Chino before Latino. This concept reflects the culture mix between Chinese and Latin America and we want our guests to feel relaxed and chilled in our ‘urban tropical’ atmosphere,” van der Valk said.

The interior is dominated by pastel colors often seen in Cuban living rooms. Moreover, the shutters, tiles and floor patterns are inspired by Cuban interiors as well. The spacious area perfectly functions with two bars at both ends, different longue spots, a dining area with higher tables and lower music, as well as a private room.

It’s ideal for an after-work apéritif with bar snacks, a dining experience or late-night drinks with dance music.

The Latino concept doffs its cap to the craft cocktails as they are mostly tequila- and rum-based — even if the gin cocktail is based on an artisan Chinese botanical hand-crafted brand by a Colombian guy and an English lady.

“We choose premier liquors and boutique brands with great stories. Beyond a bar, we are storytellers,” said van der Valk.

Peruvian chef Hugo Rodriguez creates a Latin American menu with strong Chinese influence. Typical Latino plates include potato croquette filled with beef and pork, Havana grilled skewers and a grilled top rump steak with chimichurri and seasonal mushrooms, while the Arroz Chaufa is a Peruvian fried rice that is a blend between the two cultures.

Opening hours: 6pm-2am
Tel: 5436-1917
Address: 5/F, 20 Donghu Road
Average price: 180 yuan


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