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Shanghai - China

As with its economic development, Shanghai's restaurant scene is perpetually evolving and improving with each new establishment pushing the envelope for higher standards. One can dine very well in Shanghai with budgets small and large, though ambiance, service and fare vary from the two CNY street corner kebabs, to a CNY200 glass of wine imported from the Ashanti Dome vineyards in South Africa. Shanghai's authentic international cuisine allows diners to complement Mexican tacos and margaritas with a side order of live mariachi band at JJ Mariachi's, or down a pint of Guinness pulled by a Dubliner at O'Malley's Irish Pub, or have chicken tandoor prepared the way it is meant to be made by Indian chefs. So for authentic French, Japanese, Korean, or Italian food (the list goes on and on), Shanghai has just the place.

When it comes to Chinese food, there is no exception. A resurgence in Shanghai chic has resulted in many eateries designed in sleek modern style while serving homestyle Shanghainese food. There are also numerous Cantonese restaurants that rival their Hong Kong counterparts, serving excellent food in stylish surroundings. The following restaurants are only a handful of many recommended places to eat.

The Bund For restaurants with a view, go to the Bund. Shanghai's means by which to measure all else when it comes to continental fare is M on the Bund. Justifiably expensive, the flawless presentation and service, not to mention the best views of the Bund and Pu Dong Shanghai has to offer, are worth every bit of the cost.

Nan Jing Road A number of recommended eateries can be found around the Shanghai centre. For American food, Tony Roma's serves up barbecued ribs; the Hard Rock Cafe and Malone's offer typical American fare spiced with live music, and bars that keep you entertained when the kitchens close. Or go local. Bi Feng Tang offers Cantonese dim sum favourites to regular local and expat clientele and Gongdelin Vegetarian Restaurant serves veggies only, Chinese style.

Old French Concession Area A dense concentration of restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes are found in this area. For those who want to try the local cuisine, Shanghainese food can be had in a contemporary setting at Henry, a favourite among Shanghai's expatriate crowd. Sasha's, set in a restored colonial mansion, offers continental food amidst beautiful wood furnishings. Afterwards, get pleasantly shaken and stirred at Shanghai's chic Martini bar, Goya. Or, in a different category altogether, there is the friendly and casual O'Malley's Irish Pub where you can sip on a pint on the outdoor patio. Cap off the night by going to 1931 Cafe Pub, an intimate bar that resembles 1930s Shanghai.

Pu Dong Pu Dong affords more than just high-rise office buildings. O'Malley's Irish Pub found its way over the Huang Pu River in the form of the Dublin Exchange, an Irish pub where you can down a Kilkenny over live music. A number of hotel restaurants offer fine dining, such as the Grand Cafe, On-56 in the Grand Hyatt Shanghai and the Garden Cafe in the Shangri-La Hotel.
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