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Agnes Lew's Top Choices for Places to Go in Shanghai

By Melody Yuan

July 26, 2018

Agnes Lew is East West Bank's senior vice president, head of private banking, and a self-proclaimed global concierge. She and her team of experienced bankers and wealth managers specialize in providing advice on both sides of the balance sheet - lending and investment, as well as wealth planning solutions for high net worth individuals in the U.S. and Greater China.

Given the level of trust and friendships that are established, clients often look to their wealth managers for recommendations on some of the best places to eat, sleep and visit in cities around the world.

"Shanghai has so much energy,” says Lew. “It’s so very ‘happening’ in business, lifestyle and culture. It’s like the New York City of Asia!"

With years of experience introducing high-profile clients to the most attractive places, Lew is always on top of the latest trends and hottest spots, from Shanghai to Paris to Los Angeles. In this edition of her A-List, Lew shares with us some of her favorite locations in Shanghai.

"On a personal note, my mother grew up in Shanghai, and I love hearing the Shanghai dialect,” says Lew. “The dialect and city have a sense of style that is unique and incomparable. One can have fun and enjoy Shanghai on a budget, or live it up at the most luxurious hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants."

 Agnes Lew, East West Bank’s senior vice president and director of private banking

About Agnes Lew

Agnes Lew, East West Bank's senior vice president and director of private banking, leads a team of financial advisors that provide financial and investment advice, ranging from retirement to estate planning.

More about Agnes
Anges Lew A-List Shanghai Hotels
Exterior of the Langham Shanghai Xintiandi Hotel

Langham Shanghai Xintiandi Hotel

Huangpu District (The Bund)

A contemporary and sophisticated hotel located in timeless Old Shanghai, the Langham Shanghai Xintiandi blends traditional Chinese elements with modern design to offer a unique and comfortable lodging experience.

"The Langham is right in the middle of Xintiandi. It’s perfect for busy business travelers, and I love the Langham hospitality—it reminds me of the one in Pasadena, near our East West Bank headquarters, where they have a beautiful property too."
Exterior of the Amanyangyun Hotel in Shanghai

Amanyangyun Hotel

Minhang District

The Amanyangyun Hotel is the perfect respite from a fast and densely populated city. With 24 contemporary Ming dynasty courtyard-style suites nestled within a camphor forest, the hotel offers a peaceful and introspective retreat for those who wish to experience China’s old architecture and lifestyle.

"I am one of these so-called ‘Aman’ junkies,” Lew enthusiastically proclaims. “It was really exciting to learn that Aman has just opened an exquisite location in the outskirts of Shanghai—perfect for a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city."

Anges Lew A-List Shanghai Dining
Mercato Restaurant and Pizza Bar Shanghai

Mercato

Huangpu District (The Bund)

Located on the sixth floor of Three on the Bund, overlooking the colorful waterfront of Shanghai, Mercato tastefully brings warm farm-chic and modern industrial together and welcomes diners with fresh food and delicious Italian dishes. Mercato’s pizza lounge, with its aroma of freshly baked pizza, is enticing, and diners can enjoy unique cocktails made with Italian spirits to accompany the perfect slice—or five.

"I carb-load at Mercato, and it’s worth it,” laughs Lew. “It’s the best pizza and pasta in town, with a fabulous view. Great place for vegetarians too—the black truffle and egg pizza is amazing."
Yongfoo Elite Restaurant's Exterior in Shanghai

Yongfoo Elite Restaurant

Xuhui District

With a history of entertaining the elite, the Yongfoo Elite restaurant was once a members-only club, diplomatic headquarters, and is currently owned by former Shanghai clothing designer, Wang Xingzheng. With an eye for vintage art, vibrant colors and elegance, Wang meticulously designed the restaurant with sophistication. Upon entering the lush garden, diners are transported from the and time travel back to Shanghai in the 1930s to enjoy dishes like braised duck with mushroom and smoked codfish in black tea.

"During hairy crab season, the city goes crazy eating them,” says Lew. “To be honest, I’m too lazy to eat it served whole, but I love to eat hairy crab xiao long bao or hairy crab tofu."

Anges Lew A-List Shanghai Art
Inside the ShangART Gallery in Shanghai

ShanghART Gallery

Huangpu District (The Bund)

Established in 1996 as one of the first contemporary art galleries in China, ShanghART Gallery has been an integral part of the development of Chinese contemporary art. With spaces in Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore, ShanghART is an active venue for regular and exclusive exhibitions that feature contemporary local artists.

Inside the Pearl Lam Gallery in Shanghai

Pearl Lam Gallery

Huangpu District (The Bund)

The gallery was founded by art collector, Pearl Lam, whose passion for art has earned her an international reputation in Chinese contemporary culture. One of her first ventures into art was the Pearl Lam Gallery, which opened in 2004 and exploded onto the scene as China’s interest in contemporary art grew. Today, with galleries in modern cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, Lam holds multiple shows and exhibits for eclectic art.

Interior of the Edouard Malingue Art in Shanghai

Edouard Malingue Art

Xuhui District

Originally launched in Hong Kong in 2010, Edouard Malingue Gallery has provided an important narrative for social rhetoric for Asian contemporary artists. From installations of videos, to paintings and sounds, the gallery features dynamic art that pushes the boundaries with socially relevant discourse. The Shanghai space opened in 2016.

"Edouard has an exquisite eye for discovering young artists,” says Lew. “Many of his artists have gone on to win international recognition such as Samson Young who represented Hong Kong at the 2017 Venice Biennal and is being shown to as far as the Guggenheim in New York."
Painting in the BANK Gallery, MABSOCIETY Shanghai

BANK Gallery, MABSOCIETY

Xuhui District

MABSOCIETY is an international curatorial and consulting firm based in Shanghai that promotes cultural exchange by bringing artists and artwork from all corners of China to the global marketplace. BANK is a studio of MABSOCIETY that was founded in 2013 in the former Bank Union Building in the historic Bund area of Shanghai. BANK features exhibits and contemporary artwork that portray societal and cultural issues pertaining to China in the 21st century.

Art installation from the Yuz Gallery in Shanghai

Yuz Gallery

Xuhui District

Visitors to the Yuz Museum will be welcomed with plenty of sunlight, wide-open contemporary spaces and colorful modern art. Budi Tek, a Chinese-Indonesian entrepreneur and art philanthropist, opened the gallery along the West Bund in Xuhui district as a way to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation for contemporary art. The space, which was once an airplane hangar of Longhua Airport, perfectly complements the gallery’s art installations.

The Antenna Space gallery Shanghai

Antenna Space

Putuo District

Established in 2013 by Simon Wang, Antenna Space in Shanghai is a highly active gallery that collaborates closely with local artists to help them accomplish projects and promote their exhibits internationally. Located in 50 Moganshan Lu (known as M50), Shanghai’s art district, visitors will be able to enjoy exhibits by new-age media artists such as Han Bing, Yu Honglei and Guan Xiao.

"I first noticed Simon Wang’s Antenna Space by following what famous art curator Hans Ulrich Obrist likes on Instagram,” says Lew. “Antenna Space is recognized by major collectors as one of the most influential and visionary galleries for critically acclaimed emerging artists."
ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair

ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair

Xuhui District

Every year in November, the Shanghai Exhibition Center comes alive with artwork from around the world. As part of the Shanghai China International Arts Festival, ART021 is supported by the municipal government and the committee of the festival, and has entered its fifth successful year. In 2017 a total of 11 countries, 27 cities, 104 galleries and 19 museums participated, attracting more than 70,000 visitors from around the world. JINGART, which is their Beijing art fair counterpart, takes place in May.

Later this year, I look forward to joining some of the most prominent U.S. contemporary art collectors at the Art021 and West Bund art fairs to learn and discover the best of Chinese contemporary art. Drop us a message if you have interest in finding out more!

Anges Lew A-List Shanghai Shopping
Shang Xia Fashion in Shanghai

Shang Xia Fashion

Huangpu District (The Bund)

Where Chinese luxury meets French legacy. Backed by Hermès, Shang Xia is a Chinese luxury fashion brand that beautifully blends traditional Chinese designs with contemporary twists. The brand first launched in the European luxury market in 2009, with the opening of its pilot store in the St. Germain neighborhood in Paris. It then opened a flagship store in Shanghai in 2010 and another store, two years later, in Beijing. Appealing to a sophisticated global consumer base, Shang Xia’s timeless aesthetics and quality products make for a great fashion statement.

Ms Min Fashion in Shanghai

Ms Min

Jing’an District

China’s rising fashion star, Min Liu launched her own label in 2010 after graduating from the London College of Fashion. With big collaborations with brands like MAC Cosmetics and high-end department stores like Lane Crawford and Saks Fifth Avenue stocking her collections, Ms Min is the new wave of talent in luxury design and femininity. Clean lines stitched with wispy simplicity, Ms Min has been hailed as the new look for the modern Chinese woman.

The Beast bouquet and luxury gift in Shanghai

The Beast

Huangpu District (The Bund)

Beautiful bouquets, luxury gifts and flower arrangements welcome anyone who enters The Beast. Don’t let the store name fool you: what started as a small e-flower business on Weibo is now one of the top stores in Shanghai that specializes in a range of bouquets, gift sets and lifestyle products. Located in Xintiandi.

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