As the Founder of Ink Pak Communications — the Chinese
public relations and event-planning company on every
fashion firm’s speed dial — Melvin Chua has his finger
steadily fixed on the pulse of what’s next and new. Here,
he shares his insider tips on the best places to hit up
in Shanghai… once the sun goes down.

Best spot for a cocktail…

Any of the Constellation bars.

And the cocktail to drink
to be mistaken for a local…

Whiskey and green tea. 

Best place for live music…

Arkham, a large underground former bomb shelter,
is the go-to place to catch some beats
with the cool kids in town.

Best nightlife scene… 

The Bund, or across the river in Pudong. Amazing views.

And for a quiet night out…

Ding Wang Wu Lao Guo on Hengshan Lu
is a favorite among friends.

The can’t-miss restaurants
in Shanghai (and what to order)…

D.O.C — the calamari salad. Table No. 1
at The Waterhouse at South Bund —
the tuna tartar. Mercato —
wood-fire oven pizzas.

And my personal favorite…

Late-night Canto from Tsui Wah —
the wonton noodles are a great way
to prevent a hangover the next day.

The local dish…

The braised pork shoulder at Jesse on Tianping Lu
is an excellent classic Shanghainese dish.

For an only-in-Shanghai experience,
I recommend…

All-night karaoke… with whiskey and green tea.

One secret only a local would know…

There are many old lane houses hidden
from street view that can cover a block or more.
They can be a real maze to navigate,
but local residents can traverse them easily and
use them as shortcuts to get from one street to another.

Follow Melvin on Instagram.

See more from the Shanghai Issue.

Clockwise, from top left: Portrait courtesy of Melvin Chua; Table No. 1 at The Waterhouse at South Bund, courtesy of Table No. 1;
Arkham Bar, courtesy of City Weekend; The Bund, photographed by Miguel A. Monjas; whiskey and green tea cocktail