Words by Theodora Sutcliffe on 15-Jun-2015
3/F Zhang Yuan, Shanghai, China
Tel: +86 131 6277 3450
Website: Not supplied
Hours: Mon-Sun 7.30pm-3am
Door: Make reservation
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Bar nibbles
This bar within a bar opened in December 2015, taking Shanghai's speakeasy craze to new heights. Yet it's not the secret entrance from inside El Ocho that amazes - dial zero on the retro telephone for entry - but the passion and attention to detail.
Owner-bartender Naoji Oji works seven nights a week at this tiny, simple space: it has all of 17 seats. And from hot towels on arrival to water served in crystal glassware and elegant pyramids of nuts, the attention to detail is impeccable.
There is no menu: Naoji creates drinks to order after a consultation. We landed up with a quite astonishingly painstaking Laphroaig Rusty Nail, thrown to unleash the aromatics, improved with bitters and fresh mint garnish, and finally shaken in a wineglass to complete the scent profile. Obviously, this level of perfection takes time to achieve: if you're gasping for a drink, go elsewhere.