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From local customs to creative concepts

A continuation of the focus on Julu Road started in last Sunday's editon, we return to this leafy and busy street to discover more unique shopping and dining destinations. Starting further west, where Julu Road begins at Changshu Road, there are many restaurants and fun stores to be found featuring street fashion, home decoration and even a modern interpretation of Chinese tea drinking. Julu Road may be one of the former French concession's main thoroughfares, but is still an ideal place for a stroll and boutique shopping.


A small but intimate Spanish restaurant has brought an authentic, vibrant taste of Spain to Julu Road since its opening last August, following its previous residency inside the Madrid Pavilion at the World Expo Shanghai. Taska delivers genuine Spanish cuisine with the average price for dinner at around 200 yuan (US$30.8) per person without drink. Recommended starters include the famous Iberico ham (98 yuan/50g), Spanish chorizo (58 yuan) and cold soup (28 yuan). The homemade seafood paella (128 yuan) is definitely worth trying although diners should allow for a 25-minute wait after ordering. Desserts such as chocolate coolant (38 yuan) and Catalonian sweet cream (38 yuan) complete a Spanish dinner. For tapas lovers, you can simply ask for your favorite tapas and the kitchen will prepare them. Taska has a selected wine list of Spanish wines only and a glass is priced at 30-85 yuan.

Opening hours: 11:30am-midnight

Address: 901 Julu Rd

Tel: 6445-4875

Man Is In The Forest

Man Is In The Forest (MIITF) is a ground-breaking store where Disney collaborations with leading designers are showcased and sold under one roof. This pop-up concept store, established last June, was opened by leading Asian independent retailer Clot together with Disney. The store features limited-edition Disney-inspired fashion, accessories and collectables from designers around the globe. It currently carries five brands including X-Girl, X-Large, Muchacha, Clot and DRx. A T-shirt starts at about 300 yuan and the most expensive item is the vintage denim jacket by DRx, priced at over 5,000 yuan. Currently the only one of its kind in the world, MIITF's next stop is Taipei.

Opening hours: 12am-9pm

Address: 897 Julu Rd

Tel: 6445-6623

Paper Life

This tiny shop sells lights in a variety of sizes, colors and styles made using heat-resistant (up to 130 degrees Celsius) handmade paper. The company have been exporting paper lamps to Europe for more than 10 years and opened its only retail showroom in 2009 on Julu Road, with the majority of its current clientele expats. From more than 60 kinds of hanging lanterns to fun, whimsical free-standing lamps ranging from 30 centimeters to 2 meters in height, all the lights are portable and easy to carry. Normally each can be used for one to two years, with retail prices starting from 3 yuan for a tiny lantern which make a great Xmas tree decoration. The most expensive light here is priced at only 690 yuan. These paper lights add ambience and interest to any home interior.

Opening hours: 1pm-7pm

Address: 849 Julu Rd

Tel: 1381-8865-907


Eco-friendly and stylish accessories can satisfy any green consumer's appetite at MRKT, a lifestyle company dedicated to products made from efficient and sustainable materials. Their signature fabric is a thick wool felt which boasts being flame and mildew resistant, natural and available in a large array of funky colors and designs. Handbags are the staple at this particular branch, but you can also get anything from notebooks and cardholders to laptop cases and adorable headphone storage cases that come in the shape of little animals. MRKT products are sure to be of high quality and reliable as they are designed by two Harvard-trained architects who put their knowledge into creating trendy yet functional furniture. Bags are priced very reasonably starting at 139 yuan up to 380 yuan. There are five stores in the city and their bright, creative products are also available at other design boutiques in Shanghai.

Opening hours: 10am-10pm

Address: 741 Julu Rd

Tel: 1882-1154-456

Griss BCN

If you want to add a relaxed Mediterranean look to your wardrobe then look no further than Griss BCN where the owner, a Barcelona native, imports her clothes directly from the source in Italy and France. The boutique which has been open for more than a year, offers a selection of trendy European women's fashion perfect for summertime. Prices for dresses range from 300 yuan to 900 yuan and accessories will cost you up to 400 yuan, but these imports are well worth it, assuring a unique and feminine touch to your personal style. New collections are introduced to the shop typically on a monthly, but as of late on a weekly basis. Owner Sophia Moger is currently looking to try her hand at designing her very own collection and hopes to open more shops throughout Shanghai so keep an eye out for multiple locations in the near future.

Opening hours: 11am-9pm

Address: 614 Julu Rd

Tel: 1379-5293-032


Shanghai's first and one of the few Filipino restaurants, Luneta has been serving traditional and delicious dishes from the Philippines since August 2009. With images of Manila as well as the country's beautiful beaches adorning the walls, stop by for a truly authentic Filipino meal and perhaps some inspiration for future travels. Prices are very reasonable, with lunch sets during the week for only 29 yuan, which includes a meal, an Americano coffee and the soup of the day. Try the crispy pata (78 yuan) and pancit (35 yuan). The restaurant offers happy hour specials from 5pm to midnight Monday to Wednesday and 5pm to 8pm Thursday to Sunday, with two-for-one deals on San Miguel draft beer as well as Luneta's signature cocktails.

Opening hours: 11am-midnight

Address: 758 Julu Rd

Tel: 6289-2689

Zen Tea Room

Tucked away behind a garden on the bustling Julu Road, Zen Tea Room has been open since last December and offers fine tea, ceramics and tranquility for the busy city dweller. Visitors are greeted by the earthy aromas of fresh tea leaves, and a wide variety of loose leaf as well as puerh tea are available for sale. With more than a hundred types of tea, all directly sourced from China's southern Yunnan Province, the shop is a modern take on the traditional Chinese tea house. A quiet place to come for tea with a friend, Zen offers tea sets, complete with Chinese pastries, for between 56-380 yuan per person, depending on the type of tea requested. Prices are halved if there is more than one person. If you would rather purchase tea to prepare at home, prices vary from 28 yuan to 240 yuan for 50g.

Opening hours: 10:30am-9:30pm

Address: 796 Julu Rd

Tel: 6209-2690


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