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Sailing Towards The Captain: The Bund's New Old Bar

Dive bar no longer, this Shanghai staple's gotten a makeover


The Bund makes for steep prices and fancy occasions. It’s dress to kill and be ready to shell out RMB800 for dinner. But take a detour up a dingy hostel elevator and you’ll find the one thing this side of the city is missing: an affordable bar with a view. The Captain has resurfaced with a new bartender, Geo Valdivieso (formerly of UNÏCO Shanghai), at the tiller. He’s joined by Jair Gudino Chavez (Executive Chef at LAGO, Bellagio), who has put together a menu of of casual eats.



The newly renovated space resembles something between a library, a bank safe and Captain Barbossa’s dining room—large windows, sheet metal panels and dark wooden cross-beamed ceilings illuminated by an inviting orange glow. Head to the bow of the ship and you’re led to a stunning, inset deck-view of the Bund and Lujiazui—the ideal place to enjoy their perfectly balanced cocktails.



Smoky and sweet notes surround the 8 Espadas (RMB95) as it is poured out of a skull bottle into a gimlet glass. The dark tincture of wine, Antica Formula vermouth and wood smoke blend into a thick swirl that’s misleadingly easy to drink, as the triple shot is softened by red apple syrup and maraschino cherry. If it weren’t so thick and treacly, you could knock them back at a dangerously fast pace.



The Sailor’s Journey (RMB95) is similar with a smooth coffee tequila liqueur base that sneaks through. The rum, Matusalem 15 Years and the macadamia syrup adds nuttiness. It’s further mellowed by the richness of freshly brewed and a cap of stout beer foam.



On a lighter note, the Dove Whisper (RMB100) makes you forget how miserably cold and damp Shanghai winters are. Grey Goose vodka with orange oil, fresh mint and fresh lime juice shine through with notes of honey, elderflower liquor and the fizz prosecco hammering the point home. Gin keeps it from being cloying, creating a beverage that leaves you craving outdoor seating, which The Captain has.



The Captain makes for the perfect port for a long night out, before or after hitting the Bund’s other stand-bys. And of course, you can always ask for a beer or house pour if it’s just a stunning view you seek.


Our Rating: 4/5 Stars



What: The Captain

Address: 6/F, 37 Fuzhou Lu (near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu) 福州路37号6楼 (近东山东一路)

Tel: 6323-5053

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