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More Dining Gossip for Shanghai's Foodies

Shanghai’s F&B scene is kicking off 2011 on a sad note. Landlord disputes are closing down old stand-bys left and right. The first to fall was mesa | manifesto with an eviction scheduled for 31 March. The management is looking for new locations to field new concepts, but we can't imagine the venue in any other spot - let's hope they find a terrace and keep their epic 80s soundtrack on tap. 

Just last week, Azul announced that they too will be closing their doors as their landlords are interested in turning the building housing Eduardo Vargas’s restaurant, as well as Madison and Berry Bistro, into a members-only spa of sorts… Vargas has no plans to reopen Azul (focusing on the newly launched Chi Cha in Sinan Mansions instead), but from 20-29 January, Eduardo is organizing a supply-depleting deal with RMB 180 affording diners an extensive tasting menu of the big man’s favourite tapas. And that includes drinks. 

Berry Bistro’s future is also up in the air, but Austin Hu, executive chef of Madison, is still bent on fighting the good fight. He’s hedging his bets though, and has been scouting new locations around town for the past month. So if you’re already addicted to his Scotch Egg, don’t fret. If Madison does get the boot, they’ll be up and running somewhere around town soon. 

In other news, Avalon has finally found an executive chef to replace Hilary Ambrose (who is ready to beef up his molecular chops at MoCA). Sean Jorgenson, former chef at Attica, Maya and The Apartment, is back in Shanghai after a quick stint in Singapore and he's already behind the grill at Avalon. Check out what Chef Sean is cooking on NYE with a three course meal for RMB 388 (plus a glass of champagne). 

And finally, we saved the best news for last. Fans of Mexican food in Pudong can rejoice. Kelley Lee’s empire is expanding to the reaches of Jinqiao. They soft opened on 7 January, and the grand opening will be later this month. Enjoy the nachos, Pudong dwellers. 

Avalon. 2F, 139 Changle Lu, near Ruijin Lu. Tel: 5382 0862

Azul Viva. 18 Dongping Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu. Tel: 6433 1172

Berry Bistro. 18 Dongping Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu. Tel: 6437-5070

Cantina Agave (Jinqiao). 357 Hongfeng Lu (near Biyun Lu). Tel: 6886 0706.

Madison. 3F, 18 Dongping Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu. Tel: 6437 0136

mesa | manifesto. 2F, 139 Changle Lu, near Ruijin Lu. Tel: 5382 0862


Dining Out: Gourmet Café

So everyone knows about the great burger deal that goes on at Malone’s on Monday nights. Burger and a pint for RMB 50…it doesn’t get much better than that…or does it? The burger kings over at Gourmet Café don’t think so and we’re here to give you the lowdown on what they’re doing to pull you away from the tender embrace of Tongren road.

Starting on the 10th of January Gourmet Café are doing a burger special on Mondays. When you order any burger you can get another that either costs the same or less than your original burger for free.

The burgers aren’t the cheapest in town but they sure do have the taste thing covered. And with all sorts of different options ranging from spicy jalapenos and sweet onion relish to French brie and sundried tomato relish, there is bound to be a variety that’s right for you.

This whole deal sounds great, and brings a whole new meaning to the expression I’’ll have a double cheese burger please’. What do you think? Can Gourmet Café steal some business from Malone’s?

Where: 1/F, Shanghai Centre, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Xikang Lu

Art TALK: 1918 ArtSPACE

If, like us, you have your finger on the pulse as far as the Shanghai art scene goes, then you can probably not bother reading this blog. But if like most of the great unwashed you’re as clueless as the day you were born then you probably should keep reading.

Artistically forward gallery 1918 ArtSPACE has decided to leave its current premises and focus on small style boutique exhibitions using the creative and very original tag line…’quality not quantity’. I mean really? Hire some new copywriters’ guys. You’re better than that.

Its opening gambit is an exhibition called ‘Monomer and Aviation’, which will showcase art from a variety of different artists from all over the world. It opens on the 9th of January and lasts a full calendar month. And if their past shows are anything to go by then it’s sure to be worth the trip to Suzhou Creek.

Ultimately they haven’t moved that far, but having seen the new space I can assure you it’s worth every single one of the 15 metres between the old and new entrances.

Where: 20 Moganshan Road


Dining Out: Kaiba

After a ‘brief’ break over the Christmas and New Year period Shanghai’s number one blogger is back. And the first thing on the rocket docket is to tell you about a Shanghai institution that should be a regular date in everyone’s weekly diary. Imported beer bar Kaiba has a Tuesday night deal that needs to be abused like all the best all you can eat offers should be.

For RMB 150 you get [deep breath], all you can eat muscles (of three varieties), bottomless baskets of bread and fries and two pints of whatever they have on tap. And to us, that sounds like a great deal.

The varieties on offer are beer, wine, and in a bit of a curve ball for a Belgian bar…Thai. TALK’s very own mollusk expert, and regular patron of the bar, Carl Lorimer had this to say about the sauces available. “The Thai is a little less traditional but is so good. The wine is maybe the weakest but good all the same.”

Unfortunately to get a table it usually requires booking a day or so in advance so a shellfish supper is probably out of the question tonight. But make your reservation now and this time next week you will be salivating at the prospect of bowl upon bowl of the delicious little guys.

Where: 528 Kangding Lu, near Xikang Lu, and, 739 Dingxi Lu, near Yan'an Xi Lu


A Guide to Medical Evacuation & Repatriation

By: Margaret.Ferté

A Guide to Medical Evacuation & Repatriation

Are you prepared if a sudden and unexpected illness or injury happens when traveling? Do you know what to do, where to go, whom to call? Do you know that an international medical evacuation can start anywhere from US$50,000? In case that happens, who is going to pay for the cost? While on vacation, it is important to plan ahead to avoid any unnecessary and unpleasant surprises.

What is Medical Evacuation and Repatriation

Should a medical emergency happen in a place where treatment is not readily available, a medical evacuation will be executed. You will be transported to the nearest appropriate medical facility within or outside the country where it happened either via an ambulance, a helicopter, an air ambulance, a commercial flight, or other suitable mode of transportation, depending on the situation.

A medical repatriation, on the other hand, is executed under the same condition as a medical evacuation, but it provides you the option of getting treatment in your home country, in a familiar environment, near your friends and family.

Having medical evacuation and repatriation in place ensures that you get access to the right treatment whenever needed.

At this point, one should not mistaken Medical Evacuation & Repatriation as a search and rescue program – being airlifted from the mountains or searching for victims in a landslide. In most cases, local emergency services are responsible for the first response.

Always read the fine prints and ensure that evacuation will be possible not only during medical emergency but also when appropriate medical facility is unavailable. Some insurers do not guarantee evacuation if circumstances are dangerous or impossible.

Also check to see who will be evacuated as well. Some providers take not only you but also all of your dependants.  In a time of crisis this can ease the stress for you and your family.

What is covered?

The coverage varies greatly from one insurer to another. Below are some examples of what you can expect:

  • The transportation cost to the nearest medical facility if the required treatment is not readily available to the insured party. Mode of transportation includes ambulance, helicopter or aeroplane.
  • Evacuation of insured and dependant(s) during an emergency only.
  • Transportation cost of the insured and the accompanying adult returning to country of residence.
  • The treatment costs incurred.
  • Transportation, traveling, accommodation cost of an accompanying adult.
  • Post-evacuation cost. Hotel accommodation for accompanying adult and for insured person when required pre and post hospital admission.
  • Repatriation of mortal remains. In the event of death, the cover should include expenses for embalming, a container legally appropriate for transportation, shipping costs and the necessary government authorizations. For some insurers, cremation costs will only be covered if it is required for legal purposes. Some insurers may also include the expenses related to burial or cremation at the home country.

Do I need it?

Medical evacuation and repatriation is imperative for any traveler or expatriate. When you and your family are in your home country, should anything unpleasant happens, you have your support group, your family and friends, you know what to do, who to call, where to go, you are familiar with the healthcare system, there is no language or cultural barrier.

All these may not be the case when you travel or live abroad. Thus any sensible and responsible adult should ensure that help is put in place in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Insurers' cover starts from US$25,000 to unlimited. This shows just how costly such exercise can be when executed. This is not to mention the medical cost that will be incurred. What about cost of an accompanying adult? His/her traveling and accommodation cost?

Case Study

28-year-old Peter was an expatriate working in Tokyo. He was a banker and had a bright future ahead of him. In November 2007, Yuki, his fiancée, and him were going to announce their wedding plan to his family back in UK. However, a month before, he met with a fatal accident. An accident that has left him paralyzed for life. He was hit by a two-ton truck while cycling on the streets of Tokyo. Upon admission to the hospital, the staff found his insurance card on him and called AXA. "This is a tragic accident. Taking care of our customer is our top priority. We must ensure that they receive all the support needed." Chris Campbell, AXA Tokyo. Peter's mother flew to Tokyo to accompany him throughout his repatriation journey. AXA worked with Lufthansa to provide complete intensive care unit and medical staff onboard its aircraft. In UK, Peter was immediately admitted to the hospital to receive treatment and care. The entire repatriation exercise cost US$185,000.

Important points to take note 

The reason for purchasing insurance is simple. To cover costs. Always find out how, what and how much an insurer will cover. How will the insurer pay the various expenses incurred? Will they settle directly so that there is no cash outlay on your side? Or will you have to pay first and claim later? Always ensure that you are familiar with the claim process. Dealing with an accident is already stressful, the last thing you need is a claim rejection due to lack of paper work or knowledge.

It is critical that you study the market carefully and read the fine prints before making such an important decision. If you already have an existing international health insurance, you should check with your insurer if there are any international elements included or if you are already paying for medical evacuation and repatriation. Most insurers such as AXA, BUPA, Goodhealth, CIGNA, Allianz and more, will offer medical evacuation and repatriation within their package or as an add on option.

There are numerous multinational organizations such as International
SOS, AXA Assistance, Europ Assistance, Mapfre and Mondial Assistance, just to mention a few, that provides emergency assistance. Without the assistance of these companies, travel or health insurance would be hollow.

Take for instance International SOS. It is the world's leading international healthcare, medical assistance, and security services company. It provides integrated medical, clinical, and security solutions to organizations with international operations. In China, where it has been established since 22 years ago, its team of 600 handles over 40,000 medical cases and over 500 evacuations every year. This translates to over 10 evacuations in China every week.

It is wise to work with an independent intermediary who should be able to advise you and present you with various options. In making your decision, compare not only the price but also the level of service and features. Ensure that the intermediary is truly independent and that they have professional liability.

About Expatmedicare

Expatmedicare is a fully independent intermediary that specializes in advising expatriates on their international health insurance. They provide free health and medical insurance advice. Their comprehensive service ranges from helping clients review current coverage, determine requirements, to market research, evaluation, analysis and recommendation, application process and claim management.


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