I prefer to not eat meat. Once in a while I do eat meat, but only biological, and I sometimes make an exception for a good Dutch ‘bitterbal’ with an ice-cold beer. But mostly, I don’t like the taste of meat. In my opinion, cows and chickens should not be consumed so massively as most people do. However, I love to eat fish. I even cooked lobster myself a couple of times, which is not animal-friendly at all. And how about the gelatine (made from pork bones) in the food that I eat…?
Okay, this may seem a vague start of a holiday blog post, but it has a connection with our visit to the 1993 Slaugtherhouse (address: 29 Shajing Lu, near Haining Lu — taxis know it as jiulong binguan, 沙径路29号, 近 海宁路). It’s a massive concrete building (British design) with robust, concrete bridges and stairs. It has a very industrial and arty look-and-feel to it. It has not been in use as a slaughterhouse for a while now. Nowadays, there are many upcoming stores, (motorsport) cafe’s, chique restaurants, and design agencies located here. But many spaces are still empty, and it was very quiet at that time. Everything was kept original, even the stalls, so you could imagine how it must have been like with all the cows running around. On the top floor, there is an event area with a (very scary) glass floor and a glass rooftop. Outside, there were some nice views on the neighbourhood.
After the impressive slaughterhouse experience, we were in the mood for some urban art. We remembered the M50 art district from our earlier visit to Shanghai. Last time, we found it to be very creative and surprising. But this time many galeries were closed and the quality of the art was not great. There was one nice gallery with pictures from a famous Japanese photographer. We decided to visit only one more building before we left. And we were happy to bump into innovative, mixed-media art from art group Liu Dao. In their art they use led-displays, glass, stainless steel, papercut, paper collage and teakwood frames. There was even interactive art, a display with a waiting man on it and a number that you could call. If you called the number, the phone of the waiting man would rang and after he answered the phone, he would be sucked into it and disappear. A few seconds later, you would receive a text massage on your own mobile. The artists create their art on-site. For us, this art gallery made it worthwhile to visit M50.
Restaurant review: Lost Heaven
In the evening, we had dinner in restaurant Lost Heaven. We received a recommendation about it. When I saw the massive multi-floor building and the tourists near the front door, I firstly wanted to run away. But we had made a reservation and decided to give it a try. The service at the restaurant is nice and helpful. The place is very big but very dark, with dark furniture and very few lights. To read the menu and see the dishes, we actually had to use flash lights, which were partly provided by the staff. The food tasted fine and there was a lot of variation. It’s a safe choice to have dinner here. Lost Heaven is a bit toot massive for me, but my parents went to this restaurant again the day after. I rate this place with a 7.5 out of 10.
After dinner, my wife and I went to hotel Hyatt on the Bund. There you have bar Vue with great views on the Bund. You have to pay 100 Yuen per person to enter the bar. This price includes one standard drink. If you want to have window seats, the minimum order amount is 500 Yuen per person. There are almost only Western people here, and we thought the staff was arrogant and unfriendly. The views are stunning, however. After one glass of wine, we left. I rate this place with a 6 out of 10 (only because of the view).
Hotel review: SSAW Shanghai
SSAW is a western-style, modern hotel with comfortable rooms and a free minibar with snacks and softdrinks. The restaurant is on the 4th floor, where you can also have breakfast on the outside terrace with nice city views. The breakfast buffet is quite extensive, but also expensive. If you don’t want to have hotel breakfast every day (like us), go visit the old town that is just around the corner, with many cheap food stalls. There is a lot of construction going on the neighbourhood. After our first night, we were woken up at 7:00 o’clock due to construction noise. We changed rooms and the other two nights we stayed in a room at the front, where you can hear some traffic but no construction, so it was still less noisy. The service is friendly and helpful. The location of the hotel is good and near a subway station. I rate this hotel with an 8.5 out of 10.