The previous week’s hits and misses
- Shanghaiist Halloween party: Like, duh. No one skimped out on the costumes either—though we’re still not sure who the dude wearing the pink wig, rainbow boa, and jingle-jangle pants was trying to be.
- Exiled: The latest from Shanghaiist fave Johnnie To is on the streets. Try telling us again why The Banquet deserved Hong Kong’s foreign film nod over this heatrock?
- Local Chinese food blog: It’s not particularly polished, and probably lacks a lot of the lingo that would lure diehard foodies, but we’ve been searching for a resource like this for quite some time. Some of its recent recommendations—a la mian stall, A-Niang noodles—sound particularly legit.
- Naked Cow: Western food that offers mid-range pricing and doesn’t make “fresh ingredients” sound like a but-finish-your-vegatables-chore are always welcome in our book. NC has several things going for it—a desirable location near Xintiandi, a passionate and likable restaurateur in Erik Berger, and, of course, the Alligator iced tea. (15 different kinds of liquor, people.)
- Dirty Three @ Live Bar and Jet Echo @ BonBon: And now, for the totally-unexpected-news-of-the-week: live music was actually pretty great this past week, thanks to a couple of galvanic performances from the always-reliable Dirty Three and Jet Echo. Oh, and what’s that you say—Tanghui has a music license? We’d like to see further evidence that all this isn’t just a flash in the pan, but for now, color us impressed.
- Hoegaarden drafts at Senses: We were a little scared last week when Senses told us they only had Hoegaarden in a bottle, but thankfully it was back on tap on Friday. Thirty kuai for a nice brew. One of the better non-happy-hour (good) beer deals you’ll find in the city. We know it’s technically a summer beer, but we’ll take what we can get in Shanghai.
Not so good
- Who’s who expats website: We don’t like to hate on our fellow webmasters (see above), but any anytime the endorsement of name-dropping and corporate shilling becomes your raison d’etre, well, let’s just say we won’t be adding you to our blog roll anytime soon.
- Curiosity Killed the Cat: So let us get this straight: a tepid, muddled plot attached to tepid, muddled performances all a sudden has the makings of an Oscar nomination? Thankfully, Curiosity Killed the Cat didn’t end up making it past the preliminary rounds; otherwise, we’d really have something to grouse about.
- Sunday brunch at Kommune: This sounds like a good idea in theory, especially when the weather is all autumny and perfect outside. We absolutely love the 210 Taikang Lu area — it’s the city’s real Xintiandi — and Kommune’s patio area is full of character and atmosphere (and Europeans). But the service at Kommune is abysmal. The patio is not that big, but our friend had been seated for nearly 20 minutes before any of the several staff members even acknowledged his presence. After we arrived, it was another 15 minutes before we could place our order — and even then it was a struggle. We eventually noticed this on bottom of the menu: “Please pay and order at the bar.” And we figured that was why we had been neglected. So we took our menus to the bar — you check off what you want in red pencil — and tried to hand them to the Caucasian guy who seemed to be in charge. He said , in a very pissy way, “You’re just going to have to wait like every one else.” Sir, we had been waiting — for more than 30 minutes. Sorry for trying to follow the instructions on your menu. We won’t be returning anytime soon.
- Bai Hua/Jin Ji movie awards show: We actually don’t mind shameless self-promotion or glorified karaoke (see our Chinese Internet Idol feature), but for a movie awards show, we expect a bit more on the side of ingenuity, not to mention timeliness. (Kung Fu Hustle and New Police Story came out in ’04-05, guys.) And what’s with the Star Trek theme song?
- Level 2 hip-hop club opening: As dictated by a friend who’s obviously gunning for a marketing career: “Good location. Free-standing building. Sensible seating arrangements.” So why the scarce numbers at the opening then? We’d love to get the word out—if only we knew how.
- Blogspot reblocked: They giveth (Wikipedia gets unblocked); they taketh away (Blogspot reblocked.)
Photo by vismod.media.mit.edu