Imagine the exhilaration of sharing wine with Anthony Bourdain, and Yao Ming, and Rupert Hoogewer amidst the glittering opulence of The Bund in Shanghai. The magnificent Oriental Pearl rising regally above the Huangpu, River, colors pulsating like the heartbeat of a benevolent alien being.
This was my fourth trip to Shanghai and third visit to The House of Roosevelt – the favorite dining establishment of one of my husband’s esteemed Chinese colleagues. But it took seeing Anthony Bourdain dining at the House of Roosevelt with investor Tim Tse on CNN’s “Parts Unknown“ (Season 4, Episode Shanghai) for me to realize just how prestigious The Roosevelt is.
I was beyond excited that Allen Zhang, assistant manager at the Sky Restaurant & Bar, honored us with a private tour of the members only wine cellar where Tony now has his own wine locker in the company of the creme de la creme of Shanghai. If you’re an intrepid “foodie” you’ve probably seen the episode. Of course, you haven’t been there unless you can post a pic on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and “Just me with @Bourdain in The Roosevelt’s members only wine cellar.” received a ton of likes from Bourdain fans around the world.
Vino talk ensued and Zhang shared stats on wine consumption, bottles cellared, etc. – The House of Roosevelt cellar is the largest in Shanghai and winner of many awards including a 2014 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, the Hurun Report’s Best of the Best Club in Shanghai for the second year in a row, and Best View Restaurant & Bar by Travel and Leisure.
Our host, Mr. Yu Jiwei (top), with Allen Zhang (left) and Yu Jiwei with his colleague, Li right).
And of course, photos ops in front of Anthony Bourdain’s locker and, in the next room, Yao Ming’s wine locker (above 666’s and adjacent to Rupert Hoogewer’s) were a given. I know you’re thinking, “Who’s Rupert Hoogewer?” – he is also known by his Chinese name Hu Run and is the renowned publisher of the Hurun Report, a monthly magazine best known for its “China Rich List”, a ranking of the wealthiest individuals in China.
Our generous host invited us to select a bottle from the cellar, we decided on an excellent vintage of a perennial favorite: 2008 Opus One, which Mr. Zhang ceremoniously decanted at our table. Business dinners can become one big blur, especially since I’m not an actual participant in the negotiations or posturing at hand, but this one will not soon be forgotten.
Whether you’re in Shanghai on business or visiting as a tourist, The House of Roosevelt’s stunning view of The Bund and historical significance will wrap you in a cloak of prestige and power while satisfying your taste for gourmet cuisine. From the best imported foie gras to sublime poufs of housemade lobster ravioli, you’ll have experienced one of Shanghai’s most memorable dining experiences.
The House of Roosevelt is a Neo-Classical building originally built in 1920 and owwned by Roosevelt China Investments Corp. (RCI). RCI is an investment firm based in Boston, Hong Kong and Shanghai. RCI’s Chairman Mr. Tweed Roosevelt is the great-grandson of the 26th President of United States Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, and a nephew of the 32nd President of United States Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Roosevelt Family redeveloped the building in 2008 and committed to preserve the history and restore the past glory of the architecture.
No. 27 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road (27 Bund)
Shanghai, China 200002