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Shelter Turns Two

On 3 December the Shelter kicks off its second anniversary celebration, in customary Shelter style. TALK caught up with general manager Gareth Williams to find out what celebrations are in store, what two years means to him, and how the underground bar plans to improve its notorious air quality.

So how would you sum up the past two years at the Shelter?

Erm...that’s a good one to start with. It’s been an amazing experience. Before the Shelter opened there wasn’t really anything like us in Shanghai. We figured it would work as an idea but we weren’t expecting the level of success we’ve had. Musically, and in terms of events, it has exceeded all our expectations.

Does anything standout as a highlight for you during you time running The Shelter?

There’s been two. Clive Chin the other week was amazing. The whole experience from having him in Shanghai, to the music he played was amazing. For sure that was one of them. And then the New Year’s and Halloween parties we have had have been brilliant.

And in terms of DJs?

The local DJs are amazing and always put on a good show.  Some of the guest DJs we have had have been great. Kid Koala, Cut Chemist, and Roni Size were amazing. There has been so many.

What would you attribute to the success of Shelter?

Number one, the promoters. We know them personally and make sure that they know the music well. They all have such great knowledge in their particular fields and that means we always have good music. Then, there’s the press. The press has been really supportive and given us loads of publicity.

What sets you apart from the other clubs in Shanghai that seem to be closing down all the time?

I think a lot of bars don’t concentrate on the music enough. They just want to make the space look plush and VIP. That’s why the Shelter is just a black box with a sound system. We don’t have any flashing’s just good music. Those other clubs and bars also all play the same music. It’s all R’n’B and commercial house.

Another thing we have tried to do is keep it affordable. We want everyone to be able to come not just the fat cats, and expats with loads of cash. At the same time we have tried to avoid getting a rep as a cheap bar to drink in -- it’s a difficult balance to get right. A while back we won an award for like cheapest or best budget bar. And like that’s not even an award I want to collect.

So what’s next for the Shelter?

Well, after the anniversary weekend we are shutting our doors until New Years to do a bit of work on the club. Over the past year the Shelter has taken a bit of a beating. We are putting in a new floor to replace the concrete one, adding some ventilation, and doing the toilets up. But we are going to keep the unique feeling that the Shelter has. Once we re-open we have DJ Krush, LTJ Bukem and DJ Food all coming in the first couple of months.

This anniversary party...what’s it all about?

It’s a three-day thing. It starts on the Thursday with the Karma-Koma. We have Downstate coming all the way from the UK for the one night. Then we have SIG and LON playing as well it’s going to be a really good night. Friday’s going to mad we got a guy called Subculture. And then Saturday we have one of the originators of Dubstep playing...Distance. That’s going to be extra special.

Any surprises?

Yeah, of course, but they are surprises.

The Shelter, 5 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu. Tel: 6437 0400



Anonymous's picture

its going to be legen...wait for it...dary

cant wait for the weekend. shelter is always mad. good news about the ventilation, cant come soon enough. and OMG they got Downstate!!! peace

What's for lunch? Brasa Rotisserie Chicken!

Opened just in time for winter, Brasa Rotisserie Chicken is sure to satisfy those who've been missing that sweet, sweet rotisserie chicken.

The latest Eduardo Vargas venture (And oh boy, he's had plenty lately) specializes in Peruvian style chicken that's marinated for 24 hours and slowly cooked over a bed of hardwood charcoals for one hour. The result? Crispy and flavourful skin, and hearty tender meat.

The menu has an assortment of chicken combos, as well as chicken sandwiches, chicken soups and salads. Mmmm... chicken, chicken, chicken (Sorry, vegetarians). 

TALK was treated to some Brasa fare for lunch last week. Delivered to our office, we tried the Office Combo, which is supposed to feed up to eight people with two whole chickens,  two large helpings of regular fries and garlic fries (garlic rice and roasted potatoes are also offered), two large salads, plus eight sauces for a reasonably priced RMB 228.

The fries were decent, but didn't keep well, as our food arrived a tad on the cool side. But as a lunch deal, Brasa has it bang on with a RMB 38 Quarter Combo that includes 1/4 chicken, your choice of side, one small salad and sauce.

For dessert, we also tried the Oreo cheesecake, which is dominated with cheesecake flavour and just a vague hint of Oreo. We highly recommend the Peruvian flan -- it's creamy sweetness melts in your mouth.

Brasa Rotisserie Chicken, Block 6, Shop 7, 888 South Shanxi Lu, between Zhaojiabang Lu and Jianguo Xi Lu. Delivery Tel: 400 820 2172. 


Create Your Very Own Expo Avatar

The nature of any expatriate-filled land is that people constantly come and go. For this reason many people, myself included, will not be here to see the fruits of the slightly intrusive construction work going on for the Shanghai Expo. But don't fret -- a virtual Shanghai World Expo has just been rolled out.

Expo Shanghai Online went live on 12 November. When you log on, you're presented with a birds-eye view of the Shanghai Expo site and greeted by the welcoming, grinning face of Haibao. You can then create your own avatar, walk around the Expo site and experience the pavilions virtually.

The 3D virtual reality website is only in Chinese at the moment, and you can click on pavilions and buildings, browse around and get a closer look without making your own virtual self. When the Expo begins, you'll also be able to stream live events with just a click of a button.

And for those who can't read Chinese, head to the website in January when the English language version is up. Until then, just randomly click buttons, see what happens, and enjoy the comforting sounds of Haibao's voice.

For more, visit Expo Shanghai Online



Anonymous's picture


Love it that site is nuts. However i cant remember being that many blimps above the Bund.

Anonymous's picture

good point

yeh i noticed the blimps. perhaps as the months go on there will be more. i had a shot at navigating the site with my basic chinese. it seems fun. im looking forward to the english version.

Chanel Flagship Opens in Shanghai

Shanghai has just upped its chic with the opening of Chanel's boutique flagship store inside the new Peninsula Hotel on 25 November.

We visited the spacious 480 square metre boutique on its opening day to see what posh features were in store. Its launch didn't draw a large crowd, but a steady stream of shoppers and VIP guests.

Its interior is designed by renowned New York architect Peter Marino and is inspired by Coco Chanel's fabled apartment.  With refined details such as antique fabric lamps, crystal quartz and original artwork, Shanghai's Chanel is elegant and classic, with a touch of avant garde. Salon-style rooms separate apparel and accessories,  and for those dahhhlings who prefer to shop in privacy, there’s also a special VIP section.

We also took notice of Paris-Shanghai Metiers d'Art, a new Chanel collection designed by Karl Lagerfield that's exclusively sold in Shanghai to celebrate the store's opening. It includes various items of clothing and accessories (including the classic quilted flapbag in lambskin with "Shanghai Karl Lagerfield" for its inside signature), with red boldly dominating the mix.

For more on Chanel's Shanghai boutique, visit the Chanel Paris Shanghai website. On 3 December, the lux brand also plans to release a short film by Lagerfield featuring the Shanghai store and his special collection.

Chanel, Peninsula Hotel, The Bund, 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Tel: 6321 7005. 


Anonymous's picture

Pen Bar

Forget about the lobby – go downstairs to be bar. Better still, get someone to take you… It’s sensational.

Anonymous's picture


Staggering style; Chanel's betting on China big. Aren't they all! But don't you feel the Pen's rather letting the side down with that lobby? A hotel world-famous for its HK lobby can only come up with a dowdy old tearoom like that for Shanghai? C'mon!

Quirky Turkey: Thanksgiving With a Twist

Ohhh yes ... Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The great North American holiday is a time to give thanks to the harvest and show gratitude for, well, life in general -- and what better way to do so than with a feast?

There's a number of dining options around town that will surely provide a good helping of American Thanksgiving traditions, including Sasha's, Malone's and Jean Georges. But with all that Shanghai has to offer, of course there's also a few ways to celebrate turkey season with a twist...

1. Spice it Up

Forget American tradition. You want some oomph, different flavours, and a Mexican memory as you gobble up your Thanksgiving feast. On Thursday 26 November, hit up Maya's three course set menu for RMB 300, which includes a mini Margharita and your choice of Sangria or wine, pumpkin soup, crispy bean salad, achiote-roasted turkey with spicy cranberry sauce, chorizo/cornbread stuffing, and pumpkin pie with red chili cinnamon ice cream for dessert. Another option is Zapata's, which is also serving a three course Mexcian Thanksgiving meal for RMB 198 on Thursday. 

Maya, 568 Julu Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu, 2F Shanghai Grand Plaza. Tel: 6289 6889
Zapata's, 5 Hengshan Lu, near Dongping Lu. Tel: 6433 4104

2. A Barbie World Thanksgiving

If Barbie celebrated Thanksgiving, we expect she'd dine out with Ken or call in takeout. But instead, the all-American doll (or more precisely, her chefs at Barbie Cafe) is helping Shanghai celebrate this all-American holiday with all the trimmings: turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie ... and probably lots of pink. Barbie's Thanksgiving menu (RMB 70 for kids, RMB 108 for adults) will be served from 10am to 10pm on Thursday 26 November.

Barbie Cafe, 6F. 550 Huaihai Zhong Lu. Tel: 6171 6036

3. Taobao Turkey

They say you can buy anything off Taobao. Plane tickets, cat food, LV bags, you name it. So, if dining in is what you're craving, order your turkey online from China's favourite internet marketplace. According to, you can have a six kilogram turkey for RMB 365 delivered to your door. And don't forget the gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Anonymous's picture

barbie world

went to barbie cafe thing  with the kids on thanksgiving. they had a great time.

Art Opening: Essence of China

Just opened is Essence of China at the Fellini Gallery. Representing five contemporary Chinese artists in collaboration with one young French artist, the exhbition implores us to reflect on the many contradictions that exist within the Chinese culture. The artists' work encompases different mediums, from oil painting, sculpture, ink colour to photography.

There's Xu Ze from the Sichuan province with several awards and group exhibitions behind him who works with oil to create landscapes of nature and villages that evoke the emotion of stillness. There are sculptures by Pang Yong who although Shenyang born, is based in Beijing. His sculptures are of women with pink hair and dressed in pink robes, their faces almost identical with round cheeks and closed eyes. Euraclus was born in France, has exhibited in several countries across Europe and  has spend the past 5 years here. Through experimentation, his artwork represents both his experiences here and the mix of cultures. His abstract work in oil on canvas uses strong colours and brush strokes. Then there's Qu Wei Wei from the Shandong province who works with ink and colour creating paintings which both reminds the viewer of older paintings while the shapes are contemporary and set against nature backgrounds of sea and trees. The only artist in the exhibition to work with photography is Tian Taiquan who also is from the Sichuan province. In all his work there's a common image of a naked body, while otherwise differentiating itself in being covered by a uniform, blood or words from newspaper prints. The exhibition catalogue states that in his work "The common theme is that through the whole human race's sacrifice, death, and the desire to search for oneself can reflect the dark reality that not only China, but also the whole world, has lost its direction in toaday's world." Huang Jin from the Hunan province,works with oil on canvas depicting bamboo,
as opposed to working with water colour or ink which traditionally would be used for this subject.

While all the work in the exhibition are beautiful in their own right, at the same time, the mixture of medium and subject matter reflect the many different aspects associated with Chinese culture. To see the work and stories hidden in the work, step of the street and into the Fellini Gallery. Art director: Jp LAM, Curator: missY Chao

FELLINI Gallery, 339 Changle Lu #15 near Xiangyang Lu, Tel:  5404-7787


Anonymous's picture

Any upcoming show?

Shit ... missed it .... any upcoming show at Fellini????

Anonymous's picture

I love Quweiwei. A fusion of

I love Quweiwei. A fusion of chinese traditional techniques and modern colors. Wonderful round paintings but it's so so expensive !!!!!!! :(

Anonymous's picture

Keep it Missy!

Good !!!!

Anonymous's picture

pink sculpture artist

Do someone know the name of that sculpture artist or where i can find the artist?

Anonymous's picture

nice house

I will prefer the venue. It makes people dream to have a house liked this one.

Anonymous's picture

Jason Gent

Heard a lot about this exhibition. Missed it .... till when it will last?

Anonymous's picture


It's nice to see QuWeiwei paintings in Shanghai. Well organized and a very nice decor. Good show Fellini. Keep it up!

Anonymous's picture

was at the opening

nice successful event and one of the best gallery in shanghai indeed.

Anonymous's picture


nice exhibition, very good paintings!

Stage Review: Macbeth

It’s the refrain of any old man watching a new generation at play: “They just don’t make ‘em like they used to.” And on the evidence of Concordia International School’s production of Macbeth, they really don’t.

They make them a hell of a lot better.

I always fancied myself a young Alec Guinness in my school days – I defy anyone not to find beauty in my rousing interpretation of Oliver Twist as a disenchanted Marxist – but I was certainly never a part of anything quite like this. From the opening scene with the Scots and the invading Irish and Norwegian hoards, this was a spirited performance that defied the assumption that teenagers would struggle with something as weighty as Shakespeare. The cast’s delivery was so smooth; it’s hard not to picture them maintaining character for weeks. Imagine the perplexed looks of William ‘Macbeth’ Shiang’s family as he sits down to dinner saying, “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?”

Special mention must go to Director Chad Doering who managed to enliven the sometimes stodgy pace of Shakespeare’s dialogue with swordplay reminiscent of a Kurosawa classic. The local hospital was surely on alert during rehearsals, but the finished product was thrilling. In fact, the only blemish came from friendly fire, when, during a particularly powerful scene, Shiang unwittingly shaved his messenger’s eyebrows with an over zealous sword unsheathing.

My personal favourite performance came from Michael Shoesmith as the drunken porter. I asked Michael if he’d “gone method” on this, but he maintains his research was done from a purely sober, detached perspective.

Double, double toil and trouble, how have I yet said nothing about three of the most famous characters in all Shakespeares’ works? Emily Parkinson, Lina Pan and Vinia Bao were truly sinister in the role of the three witches. More than once I wanted to shout out and warn the other characters as these malevolent merchants of doom stalked the corners of the stage. Pan’s marvelous facial expressions alone were haunting and the three combined were a terrifying backbone for the production.

Macbeth was brilliantly acted, well choreographed and directed and perhaps benefited from the relatively simple set, as it took nothing away from these young actors. Although Concordia will be losing some of its best thesps to graduation this year (including the outstanding Shiang), Doering must be grateful that amongst this cast he has plenty of talent for the future. Nick Garrett




Anonymous's picture

Great Theatre

Concordia produces some pretty amazing shows for high  school.  I saw their production of Sound of Music last spring and it was great but this latest show, Macbeth, was amazing.  Amazing kids over there.

Interview: Tom Budge Band

Melbourne’s favourite death-folk maestros, the Tom Budge Band, are in Shanghai this week to show local music lovers their dark side. In the lead-up to their two shows at the Glamour Bar this Thursday and Friday night, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist extraordinaire Hamish Michael took some time out to answer some light-hearted questions.

Your MySpace page says “Garry Ribald saved our lives”. Who on earth is Garry Ribald?

Really, who isn't Gary Ribald. He's both man and myth. He's a stimulating cocktail of calamity that is generally only visible to the naked eye as he grinds and hops his way into your personal space.

Every description I've heard of the Tom Budge Band includes the words honest and dirty. Just how honest and dirty are you guys?

Honestly? I think that the grit and truth are in the eyes and ears of the beholders. Descriptions tend to say more about the descriptors than the descriptees ... that said, we have described ourselves that way. So yeah, perhaps a whole bunch of both. We'd encourage you to come and decide for yourselves though, you music-loving, free-thinkers you.

Would you say you're more honest, or more dirty?

It can oscillate on any given day. The present forecast is a light sprinkling of incorruptible virtue with frequent trustworthy periods. Patchy recollection and isolated misdemeanours in the afternoon, becoming cloudy with a late chance of debasing one's equilibrium. A cold, dark night of the soul is expected.

What should punters at the Glamour Bar expect from your live shows (without using the words honest or dirty)?

Can we use un-honest and not-clean? Look, I must say that it's not 'dirty' in a filthy way. Let's not get carried away and imagine that the Tom Budge Band is a lecherous, wheezing collection of moral-destroying reprobates. Those two are staying in Australia.

More 'dirty' in the way that any wonderfully perfect thing has inherent glorious imperfections, like the Persian artisans who made deliberate mistakes so as not to anger their god by arrogantly attempting to create something 'perfect'. In turn, it's not 'folk' as Peter, Paul & Mary would have it. It's 'folk' that has been humiliated, stared in the face, shaken, beaten, had a long hard think about itself, and is now trying to play its song with broken fingers.

Punters can trust that their hard earned RMB 150 will be nurtured, loved, and transformed into an expansive sea of beautiful and, at times, jarring sounds, that lap and crash around the ship of Tom's meandering monologues of maudlin and magical metamorphoses.

What are you expecting from the shows?

To survive. And a reception akin to Beatle-mania, with just a handful more screaming teenagers. Really, I think it's going to be an extraordinary experience. It's a real honour to be invited to play on the other side of the world in such a fascinating and beautiful city. They're great songs to play and we have a lot of fun doing so. In Australia I don't have a grand piano, so that will be a treat. To be able to share the songs with new people, a different culture, and to see how they relate and what they glean from the music will be somewhat interesting, don't you think?

It's been bloody cold here in Shanghai lately, do you think Tom will still get his shirt off?

One comes to realise as one continues to spin ever-further around the sun that removing one's shirt in front of a crowd of strangers can be less than dignified – especially when the sartorial stakes are so high. Need I remind you it's a Glamour bar. More so, it's The Glamour Bar.

Tom has only ever taken his shirt off as a by-product of his, at times, 'enthusiastic' performance style and complete commitment to the moment. So, it's really up to the moment, not us. That said, we still orbit the sun and Tom still commits ... These are facts.

Your music makes you sound kind of angry. What really gets your goat?

China Eastern will be getting our goats and transporting them in specially made goat flight-chambers. Then a nice man at the airport will get them and bring them to our hotel room. We love our goats and refuse to tour without them.

Angry? Noooo ... Surely not.

19 & 20 November. RMB 150 including one drink. Glamour Bar, 6F, Five on the Bund,20 Guangdong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu. Tel: 6329 3751. Web:


Spa Opening: ESPA at Peninsula Hotel Shanghai

ESPA room

Set to launch on November 18th, is the glamorous and exclusive spa at The Peninsula Shanghai on The Bund for those who seek pampering from therapists with expertise.

For a quick or longer get-away, ESPA offers you a range of treatments inspired by European, Chinese and Ayurvedic philosophies and which are tailor made to fit the individual. With the E in ESPA standing for education, therapists have been carefully selected from all over the world, and are given further and on-going rigorous training to ensure visitors are given an outstanding experience. When time is limited, it’s possible to opt for the Yun Vitality Room and have a foot reflexology or a back massage lasting 30, 40 or 60 minutes, but generally to get the full experience, 1 1/2 hrs is recommended.

Developed especially for The Peninsula Shanghai are the following 3 signature treatments:

  • Bamboo Harmoniser
  • Oriental Thermal Infusion
  • Vital Qi - Chinese massage and reflex zone treatment

They all begin with The Pensinsula Ceremony consisting of tea, an in-depth consultation and a Ginger Foot Buff after which the treatment will last for 1 hr 50 mins. There's the further range of body treatments, facials and for a spa half-day the visitor can make full use of the steam rooms, saunas and relaxation areas. The set up is perfect for whether one just wishes to treat oneself, or go with one's partner or friend.

ESPA founder Susan Harmsworth is a veteran in the field of wellness and beauty from having worked as a journalist to establishing this brand consisting of beauty products, treatments, spas and training. While always having a hectic schedule constantly researching, developing and visiting her SPAs worldwide, she radiates authenticity and caring which transpires through her brand philosophy. ESPA's products have all been developed as far as possible in line with environmental consideration and likewise staff are chosen based on their expertise in their field and good energy.

With there being further ESPA and wellness projects in the pipeline, it's worth keeping your ears open for the next launch as spas are becoming a destination in themselves. Meanwhile, you have a place here where you can go to treat yourself.

Susan Harmsworth

For appointments call: 2327 6599, Opening hours daily: 10am-11pm, SPA at The Peninsula Hotel, No . 32, The Bund, 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road


Jimmy Choo, SH loves you

The H&M store on Huaihai Lu was a scene of mayhem Saturday morning. And it was all for the launch of the much- talked-about Jimmy Choo for H&M collaboration line. 

We've heard that bargain-hunters were lining up as early as 4am, and at 9am (one hour before H&M opened for business) the line stretched down the street like this:

When the doors finally opened, frenzied hordes ran to the clothing racks, snatching up as many Jimmy Choo items as humanly possible. One customer I spoke to lost her scarf and even had a cut on her hand from the chaos. At 10:05am, pretty much all of dear Jimmy's clothes were gone.

But then there were still the shoes... visions of shiny high heels and sleek stilettos. Those were on H&M's third floor,  and thank goodness some crowd control was being imposed at the escalators. 

While this blogger considers shopping to be a favourite pastime, but not an aggressive sport, leaving the store empty-handed and in defeat seemed like the sensible thing to do. For now, I'll just have to check out Jimmy's new digs here.


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