May 11, 2018
Opened in 2006 after two years of design work and around RMB300 million worth of investment, this place still has the wow factor and is, design-wise, one of the best bars in the city you can certainly see where all that money went. The vast 60,000-square-foot bar and dining complex is owned by renowned restaurateur Zhang Lan and designed by Philippe Starck. The first thing you should do when entering the opulent space is look up: the bar’s ceiling is covered in framed paintings placed at angles to each other and it’s really quite a sight. Everything else has that distinctive Starck touch, pushing things to the edge of kitsch but staying in the safe zone just. Think rhino heads and Chinese vases, gold-plated Kalashnikov lamps and Hindu icons, votive candles, animal hide upholstered seats and velvet chaise-longues. Aiming squarely at the high end market, the venue has 35 VIP rooms yes, 35! as well as a main lounge, cigar bar, oyster bar, banquet hall and French bistro, so whatever you want to do here, you won’t be disappointed! It’s both wonderful and ridiculous and we love it. Food, a mixture of Szechuan dishes and more Westernized fare, is excellent (try the recommended Beggar’s Chicken, though you won’t find any beggars in a venue like this). Ditto the drinks, which though pricey are well-made and there’s a good selection on offer. The venue also hosts cultural events, live music and DJs. Truly in a class of its own go along, order yourself a cocktail and have an ogle at the décor, even if you do nothing else.