RAISING THE BAR AT PARK HYATT SHANGHAI
RAISING THE BAR 100 Century Avenue — a tavern in the sky, and your ultimate dining and entertainment destination
As well as being the highest hotel in the world, Park Hyatt Shanghai also houses 100 Century Avenue, the world’s highest restaurant, bar and private dining destination.
Park Hyatt Shanghai spans from the 79th to the 93rd floors of the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) located in the heart of the Lujiazui business district in Pudong. The eco-friendly skyscraper, which towers 101 storeys and measures 492 m high, was developed by Mori Building, which also built the highly successful Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo.
The interiors of Park Hyatt Shanghai were created by the award-winning New York-based designer Tony Chi of Tony Chi and Associates. His vision was to create a sophisticated modern Chinese residence, designed with respect for traditional Chinese geometry and architecture while providing all the comforts of a stately home. Guests therefore travel through a sequence of “gates, halls and chambers”, and spaces are understated in both mood and design, with a predominance of earth tones and natural materials.
Century Avenue, on the 91st to 93rd floors, is Chi’s interpretation of a “mountain cottage”. With swirling onyx mosaic flooring, gigantic cloud-inspired plaster wall murals, dramatic art installations, 25 m high floor-to-ceiling windows, multiple show kitchens and live jazz entertainment, the sprawling 2,870 sq m (31,000 sq ft) space has been designed to reverberate with energy and excitement, and is primed to be the ultimate wining and dining destination in Shanghai.
The 91st floor - steak, Chinese seafood and sushi
On the 91st floor, an informal 300-seat “tavern” serves Western steaks, Chinese wok and Japanese sushi and sashimi all from one menu. “In a cosmopolitan city such as Shanghai, you will often have diners of mixed nationalities or diverse tastes,” explains Leo Leung, Park Hyatt Shanghai’s executive assistant manager – food and beverage. “In a group, one person might fancy Western food, another might be in the mood for Chinese. Here, everyone can eat exactly what they want.”
They can also eat it however they want. Guests can choose fresh crustaceans from the shellfish-on-ice counter, a live fish from one of six display tanks or a piece of prime meat from the glass-walled meat locker and have it prepared however they desire. Fish can be steamed Cantonese-style, grilled Western-style or sliced up as sashimi, Japanese-style. The restaurant works with only the finest of fresh produce, from fish flown in three times a week from Tokyo (Park Hyatt Shanghai is licensed to import 50 species of fish) to seven varieties of fresh oysters from the US and Wagyu beef from Australia.
The 100 Century Avenue menu is refreshingly succinct and divided into simple categories, including seafood, sushi, grill, stove, steam and wok.
Last but not least, guests can eat wherever they want. A variety of seating is available to suit all moods: walnut wood log cabin-style chairs in the main dining areas, bar seating at the deil bar, counter seating at the sushi bar, intimate private booths and four private rooms seating from six to 16, with the same menu available throughout.
Collectively, 100 Century Avenue’s multiple show kitchens create an interactive dining experience and augment the restaurant’s buzzing atmosphere. The kitchens include an all-day deli bar; a sushi bar; a patisserie; a Western kitchen with four dramatic Beech display ovens; and a Chinese kitchen featuring a duck-roasting oven, wok stations and a bamboo steaming section staffed by authentic Shanghainese dim sum chefs.
In keeping with the communal, informal atmosphere of the restaurant, desserts are served family-style as entire cakes or in oven dishes and oversized bowls. The master pastry chef Louie Ye has created a menu of simple, classic desserts, such as crème caramel, strawberry tart, tiramisu and the signature chocolate cake. A fresh soft ice-cream machine dispenses a nostalgic favourite that diners can customise with myriad toppings, such as marshmallows, dried strawberries, mini meringues, home-made jelly cherries and nuts.
Rather than a “label-oriented” wine list, master sommelier, and certified winemaker and mixologist Jean-Marc Nolant has chosen a selection of high-quality vintages from smaller boutique wineries, focusing on great value wines, of which 80% are organic or biodynamic. After three years travelling around the world tasting up to 120 wines a day, Nolant has stocked the restaurant’s glass-walled wine room with 4,000 bottles and over 800 labels, and offers 40 wines by the glass, one of the largest selections in China. To accompany the Japanese dishes, an equally extensive collection of 20 sakes is available.
The 92nd floor - bars with live entertainment
Upstairs, the 92nd floor is split into two bars, perfect for pre- or post-prandial drinks. On the west side, the 145-seater Music Room is currently the highest nightclub in the world, featuring live music performances, a resident DJ and various themed parties
Nolant has also developed 20 creative signature cocktails for the bars, including a Ginger Pina Mojito, where Cuban rum is infused with raw ginger for a fortnight before being muddled with fresh roasted pineapple, kaffir limes and organic mint leaves, then topped up with ginger ale (rather than the conventional club soda). Equally intriguing is his Bloodless Martini, which incorporates vodka - previously infused with red and yellow bell peppers, celery, chillies and tomatoes - transparent “tomato water” (where 8kg of tomatoes is used to extract one litre of the clear fluid) and ground white pepper.
The capacious bar is dominated by a dramatic installation by Chinese artist Liu Jianhua. Daily Fragments comprises 800 plastic casts of seemingly random household objects, including bowling skittles, skulls, toy planes, Rubix cubes, cabbages, milk cartons, guns, bananas and slippers, suspended from the ceiling. Beneath lies a mix of seating: lounge chairs around communal tables, bar stools, booths and even an upholstered wing-back armchair. Designer Tony Chi purposely created a narrow area around the bar in a bid to create intimacy, belonging and potentially “allowing people to rub up against one another”, he says with a smile.
In front of the bar, the “whisky cellar” offers close to 100 different varieties - one of the most extensive selections in Shanghai - while a semi-private whisky room allows connoisseurs to sip their favoured “water of life” in more intimate surrounds.
Exiting the action-packed Music Room, a floor-to-ceiling cloisonné wall leads to the east side, the Shanghai Lounge. With sumptuous upholstery and intimate leather-lined booths, this cosy, 60-seat 1930s’ style bar is a quieter, more romantic affair.
The 93rd floor - private dining
Gracing the 93rd floor, the hotel’s highest, is a residential-style “gathering place”. Contemporary Nordic-style decor - solid beech armchairs draped with Mongolian sheepskin rugs, tactile rolled oak leaf walls by award-winning Korean artist Lee Jae-Hyo, and dramatically whimsical lacquered stag heads by US-based artists Jessica Corr and Isami Ching - create a distinctive and stylish “home”.
Perfect for private dining, celebrations and exclusive events, the space can cater to dinner events for up to 180 guests or cocktails for up to 250. The 93rd floor is split into three areas - the north, south and west houses, each with its own “living room”. A 5.4 m high dividing wall between the north and south houses can be pulled back to create one expansive space, highlighted at one end by a dramatic loft-style open kitchen. Wireless broadband Internet access is available throughout the space, and both the north and south houses feature two, 68-inch LCD TV screens each where presentations can be transmitted directly from a laptop, negating the need for projectors.
“The bar was raised very high,” says Leung. “Firstly, as a Park Hyatt hotel, the premium Hyatt brands secondly, as the first Park Hyatt hotel in China; and, thirdly, as the flagship wining, dining and entertainment destination within the highest hotel in the world, it was imperative that we create something superlative and outstanding. With 100 Century Avenue, we feel that we have achieved this and created a fun, unpretentious ‘tavern in the sky’. We’re really excited about extending our hospitality to local Shanghainese patrons, as well as to international visitors.”
About Park Hyatt
Park Hyatt is the most exclusive brand among Global Hyatt Corporation’s 368 establishments. There are currently 26 Park Hyatt hotels on prime real estate in such fashionable cities as Paris, Milan, Sydney, Tokyo and Buenos Aires. An additional eight properties are under development.
About Hyatt in China
Global Hyatt Corporation currently operates 13 hotels in Greater China: Park Hyatt Beijing, Park Hyatt Shanghai, Grand Hyatt Beijing, Grand Hyatt Guangzhou, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Shanghai, Hyatt on the Bund, Grand Hyatt Taipei, Hyatt Regency Dongguan, Hyatt Regency Hangzhou, Hyatt Regency Jing Jin City, Hyatt Regency Tianjin and Hyatt Regency Xian, with an additional 14 hotels under development.
About Global Hyatt Corporation
Global Hyatt Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a proud heritage of making guests feel more than welcome. Thousands of members of the Hyatt family in 45 countries strive to make a difference in the lives of the guests they encounter every day by providing authentic hospitality. The company’s subsidiaries own, manage or franchise more than 380 hotels and resorts under the Hyatt®, Park Hyatt®, Andaz™, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place® and Hyatt Summerfield Suites™ brand names, and have additional locations under development on five continents. Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc., a Hyatt Hotels Corporation subsidiary, develops and operates vacation ownership properties under the Hyatt Vacation Club® and Hyatt Residence Club® brands. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.