theSommerlier’s very first club review – it’s time to start wining, not only dining in style! And there’s no better place to start than at M1NT Shanghai, winner of multiple industry awards in 2010, and quite possibly my favourite club in the world.
M1NT Shanghai is squarely positioned in the prestigious list of the World’s Finest Clubs – and for good reason. This stunning club/restaurant/cocktail bar is in the ideal location, nestled between the beautiful old Art Deco buildings of the Bund on the Puxi side of the river, with breathtaking views of what has in recent years become probably the new NY skyline – the glitzy, shining, futuristic skyscrapers of Shanghai Pudong, including the iconic Pearl Tower and the bottle-opener shaped World Financial Center that holds a brand new Ritz-Carlton and ifc mall in its belly. Everything about M1NT is stunning, from the music, to the décor, to the cocktails, and especially – the people.
Beautiful people everywhere. I have never seen that great a collection of good-looking people in one place, the whos-who of Shanghai’s hip party/art/restaurant scene turns up to this club to see and be seen – it was like fashion week minus the coked-out, anorexic models.
The club is divided up into a restaurant (which I unfortunately did not visit), a cocktail lounge, and the nightclub itself, where said beautiful people swing along to golden house beats of the distinctly non-commercial variety – something that no other club in China has so far achieved. I decided to test out the quality of the bar by ordering my signature drink – a Cosmopolitan. Common though it is, surprisingly many bars do manage to get it wrong. But this guy was magic – instead of disappearing into the dim recesses of the dark-mirrored walls, he prepared the cocktail from scratch in front of my eyes, artfully handling his shaker, straining the cocktail over ice, and losing a single drip of Contreau-and-Goose infused mixture. I then continued on a tour of the club with my friends.
M1NT won all the most significant categories in the Finest Clubs awards, Best
Restaurant, Best Cocktails, Best Club, and – significantly – Best Design. Upon entering, you first come face to face with a gigantic SHARK. Literally. Directly opposite of the entrance, the genius designer of M1NT installed a huge, lit-up tank with real, live SHARKS in it. Just to whet your appetite before dinner…
Continuing into the club itself, everything yells sleek, sleek sleek. Low lighting (neon lights, disco balls and epilepsy-inducing strobe lights would feel more welcome in a cathedral than in this club), buttery leather sofas, marble countertops and sleek Asian-inspired furniture create a smooth, stylish atmosphere, where a truly cool audience (and, as of yet, not too many wannabees – except the occasional Sommerlier plus crew…) swings along to pulsating beats.
This club is truly worthy of a city like Shanghai, which is quickly working to regain its title as the cosmopolitan party metropolis of the East – a position it proudly held in the roaring 20s – and caters to a discerning crowd: M1NT Is the world’s first shareholder’s club! For a hefty yearly membership fee of min. € 2000, shareholders enjoy innumerous benefits kept very secret from a nosy blogger like me.
Weekly highlights include ICON on Thursday nights, Models Night on Wednesday (I went on a Wednesday, which might explain the abundance of beautiful people - looks like it isn’t snowing in the Chinese model scene yet…) and a whole host of luxury brand events by the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Jimmy Choo.
In M1NT’s own words, it is –
“more than just a member's club. In fact, in many ways, it's quite the opposite. M1NT is a modern day members club for the chic, professional and classy clientele that still enjoy a great party, yet sophisticated environment. It's a glamorous destination where you can dine, network and party with like-minded people. Ditch those misconceptions: you won't find any stuffy old men in tweed jackets here. M1NT is a world-class destination restaurant, stylish cocktail lounge bar, stunning roof terrace and night club, all rolled into one with award winning services.”
Enjoy! (and watch out for the sharks, you never know what might happen after one too many drinks…)
For info on how to become a member, click here.
318 Fuzhou Road, 24th Floor, 200001 Shanghai, China
Photos courtesy of finestclubs.com