I stayed at the super-cool Langham Xintiandi (best breakfast buffet EVER, including individual chefs making ramen noodles and sushi to order), and the impossibly glamorous Langham Yangtze, but if you are looking for the hippest Shanghai hotel, it has to be the radically post-modern Waterhouse, by Singaporean hotelier, Loh Lik Peng. Believe it or not, this is it:
The hotel's restaurant is Jason Atherton's Table No.1. Atherton visits a few times a year, but the rest of the time the kitchen is in the very capable hands of ex-Maze chef, Scott Melvin. I was Scott's guest for a fantastic lunch, together with his partner, and pastry chef, Kim Lyle, formerly of Maze's South African branch.
Started with some excellent razor clams with fava beans.
Smoked eel with avocado cream.
In all, I couldn't fault this meal for its rock solid technique, superb produce and unashamedly cosseting combinations of flavours. Classic, with a twist. Fabulous. And, perhaps most impressive of all, this very contemporary European cuisine draws an 80-90% Chinese clientele.
(Disclosure: as I said, I was Scott's guest but, frankly, I am unlikely to be heading to Shanghai any time soon so would have no problem about burning my bridges in that regard, but if I didn't think it was good, as I am not obliged to, I simply wouldn't bother to post about it.)