Yes folks it’s that time of the year again. After so many posts, I’m sure you know the drill by now. It’s 258 RMB for dinner, 128 RMB for lunch (or 168 RMB for dinner and 78 RMB for lunch at some establishments) for a minimum of 3 courses, and you can get some amazing deals at venues that would normally cost 2-3 times more.
Restaurant week now spans two weekends running from 28th February till 9th March, so it means you have even more chances of getting a table at your favourite eatery.
Book your table directly on the Restaurant Week website and let me know how your dinner went.
As we approach the Chinese / lunar new year, I was amused by this story of a boss making his staff drink for their year end bonuses. The more they were able to drink, the bigger their bonus.
Men were given 500 yuan ($82.65) for a shot of liquor, 200 yuan for a glass of red wine and 100 yuan for a beer. Women were given twice as much money for consuming the same amounts
Luckily for me, my company allocated bonuses the old fashioned way based on, you know, performance at work.
Uber is a car booking service that works via a smartphone app. It was started in San Francisco back in 2009, but has only just entered the Shanghai market. You need to scan your credit card to sign up and after that, all payments are handled automatically – there’s no need to pay the driver, you simply get picked up and dropped off and then you get a receipt sent to your email account together with a nice map of your route.
Request a pick up
It’s certainly more expensive than a regular Shanghai taxi by a long way, but it can be useful for those special occasions or when it’s hard to find a regular taxi. It’s also quite addictive, so be warned!
Track the location of your car and estimated arrival time
There are of course Chinese apps that have been around for a while already, but they generally require some degree of Chinese language ability, so it can be hard for expats to take advantage of them. You may have noticed that more and more taxis are not stopping to pick up passengers on the street because they are waiting for app users who often add a “tip” of between 5 rmb and 20 rmb to attract drivers during busy periods. It will be interesting to see if the authorities eventually crack down on these apps, since charging a premium is technically illegal for regular taxis.
If you fancy giving Uber a try, you’ll get 100 RMB credit instantly if you enter my promo code when you sign up “f9nok”. I will also get a 100 RMB credit once you take your first ride, so everybody wins!
Both Tommy and Hui Hui love to drink from the tap rather than from a bowl. Recently they’ve started to just hang around the bathroom waiting for me to turn on the faucet.
Tommy goes first of course, because he’s the oldest.
And then finally it’s Hui Hui’s turn.
Happy new year everyone, from the three of us, and thanks for reading in 2013, we’ll see you in 2014.
A study by French market research firm Ipsos recently suggested that Chinese consumers are the most materialistic across the 20 countries the survey covered.
Percentage who agree with the statement “I measure my success by the things I own.” (Source : Ipsos)
As many of you know, I am a market researcher by profession so I think it’s important to point out some potential flaws with the study. Firstly it’s very hard to compare responses across different cultures – in Britain, most people would hesitate to admit that possessions were important in the same way they’d worry about admitting they didn’t like certain races of people. In China, both examples would be less of an issue – certainly admitting you hate Japanese people is to be encouraged!
And then of course you have bias simply by doing this type of survey online – you’re automatically excluding people who don’t have internet access which tends to include those on low incomes.
Nevertheless, I personally have been irritated by a lot of nouveau riche Chinese (some known to me, some not) who seem to feel a strong need to flaunt their wealth as much as possible at every opportunity.
My mother has recently met a wealthy couple from China and they are a good example – the woman enjoys making sure everyone knows how much each of her Hermes handbags cost (she has identical bags in a variety of colours). And I have numerous friends who spend most of each day posting photos of themselves shopping at Cartier and Tiffany and dining at fine dining establishments, not as most people might do as an occasional treat, but as a daily routine.
And then of course there are the Chinese tourists who work themselves up in to a frenzy when they travel to places like Europe and north America to shop for luxury brands, grabbing everything in sight as though they were giving them away for free!
So, are Chinese really more materialistic than everyone else, or are the nouveau riche simply behaving as nouveau riche as someone wrote in the comments section of the article?
The annual family Christmas eve lunch at The Ivy
After missing Christmas in London last year, it’s great to be back home to enjoy time with the family once again.
The WoAi full English breakfast
As usual, I’m binging on all the food that’s hard to find back in Shanghai after being deprived for almost a year and a half.
Melton Mowbray Pork Pies
My mother is a bit concerned about all the unhealthy stuff I’ve been eating since I arrived, so I have to remind her that I’m only here for 2 weeks and it’s not like I eat this type of crap every day of the year!
Merry Christmas everyone, wherever you may be.
I’m a celebrity get me out of here!
As you read this, I’ll be flying somewhere over Russia or Mongolia on my way back home to London for my first Christmas since 2011 (last year I went back in July for the London Olympics). So it’s time again for Tommy and Hui Hui to be packed up and transported to their temporary home for 2 weeks.
Are we there yet?
Merry Christmas everyone!
Just time for one last party post for 2013 before I head home to London for 2 weeks of detox and mum’s home cooking.
The party was held at M1NT (naturally) and hosted by Hugh Hefner’s youngest son, Cooper, along with playmates Jessa Hinton and Raquel Pomplun. Little Hef is a loyal blog reader and he grabbed me so he could learn some of my secrets for being popular with women and I was happy to help the young lad out!
I arrived fashionably late (around 1am) and missed most of the action, but it was still an enjoyable night with no shortage of eye candy!
It has been a while since the last Caturday update. Both Tommy and Hui Hui have adapted remarkably quickly this time compared to the last move, which is a huge relief. They seem to be loving the new place. It’s a bit smaller but still has enough room for them to run amok and unleash hell when the mood strikes.
But at other times they can just lie around in bed for days on end and although Hui Hui started off spending her nights sleeping on the sofa, she’s now got in to the habit of joining Tommy and myself in bed every night. Very cosy!
The Huaihai road retail scene in Shanghai is really heating up with the recent openings of K11 and Lane Crawford / Times Square as well as Parkson’s recent makeover as well as International apm (iapm) which is officially my new favourite mall in Shanghai, toppling K11 from the top spot. The name apparently reflects the idea that the mall will be open round the clock, so from AM to PM, hence APM. Covering 1.3 million square feet of retail space close to Parkson on Huaihau Road. The mall includes high end retail stores such as Prada, TODS, Gucci and Alexander McQueen, along with an Apple Store and iMax movie theatre and enough dining establishments (I think around 30 in total) to keep this blogger busy till well beyond the new year!