Last night I had dinner at Greek restaurant Mythos at the Cool Docks in Shanghai (???, Lao Ma Tou, literally “the old docks”). I had not been to the Cool Docks before and had actually not even heard about it before. Why? I guess they did a terrible job at marketing the place since it opened last year. If people don’t talk about it or don’t write about it on the Internet, others won’t know about it.
The place itself is great however, it reminds me very much of Xintiandi. It also consists of an area of renovated (or at least old style) shikumen buildings combined with some more modern structures, with lots of bars and restaurants. It looks quite nice, not as tacky as Xintiaindi and not as ugly-modern as Tongren Lu. I think the place can be better than Xintiandi: most of the restaurants are located around a big open square with fountains that gives the place a different, more open, feel than Xintiandi. And it has the advantage of nice views over the Huangpu river and Pudong from some of the bars and restaurants.
The location is about 2 km South of the Bund, too far to walk and not close to any metro stations. Next to that the place is surrounded by construction sites. Not the best way to get started for a new dining and entertainment location. When I walked around the place last night (a Friday night) around 8 PM there was hardly anybody in the bars and restaurants, even though that should be one of the busiest times of the week. The place deserves better and maybe this blog post can convince a few people to go there and have a coffee or a beer.
The dinner at Mythos was nice, but I found the menu a bit disappointing. I expected more Greek menu items, most of them were just standard international dishes (beef tenderloin, sirloin steak, salmon etc.). The starters were better in that respect, we ordered among others feta cheese and tzatziki. As a main course I ordered one of the few Greek dishes I could find, moussaka. The food itself was OK, but we did not find it very special. Watch out, the staff only speaks a few words of English which can lead to miscommunications, especially because they do not confirm whether they understood you or not. Instead of a (white) Sauvignon Blanc they gave me a (red) Cabernet Sauvignon for example, that I of course returned. I did not spot any Greek wines on the wine list, although I may have overlooked some, and the house wines were all from Chile and Argentina.
What makes the place special, however, is the 3rd floor lounge with white sofa chairs and a nice bar, and with views over the river. The 4th floor roof top terrace is even better, an excellent place to relax once the weather gets a little bit warmer in Shanghai. I am quite sure I will be back, probably for food but certainly for drinks. I can imagine sitting there with friends on a warm Friday night or Saturday afternoon drinking a bottle of chilled wine watching the ships sail by. I found a set of pictures of Mythos here on Flickr.
I did not try any other bars or restaurants last night, but will do so in the near future. As mentioned above, the Cool Docks deserve better and I hope the place will come to life soon. If you’re looking for some new restaurants to try out, give the Cool Docks a try. And even if you’re just looking for a (still quiet) place to have a coffee, this is a good place to go to. Among others there is a Starbucks, but there are many other places serving coffee as well. If you come by car, there are parking spaces on the back of the complex next to the river. Typical Chinese planning in my opinion, because that is normally prime real estate for an entertainment complex. Lots of taxi’s drive by on Zhongshan Lu, so if you come by taxi it won’t be too difficult to catch a cab back either.
The Cool Docks, 479 Zhongshan Nan Lu, close to Fuxing Lu.
Mythos restaurant, phone 021-61526755