579, Fuxing Middle Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi
Despite the name, Speak Low’s reputation as the holy grail of Shanghai’s cocktail scene has been shouted from the heavens, with Tokyo-born Shingo Gokan’s concoctions carving a place in the heart of Shanghai’s most fickle sophisticates. The triple-treat speakeasy is reached via a bookshelf hidden in the shop-front of Ocho Bar Tools. Successful entrants then ascend to the second floor, a New York-inspired operation with a convivial atmosphere and classic menu interspersed with charming creations: the Sawadee-Cup blends rum and tapioca for a booze-meets-bubble tea experience.
Discerning drinkers can climb up to the third level to reveal another speakeasy with a more subdued atmosphere: standing and shouting are prohibited, but imbibing of the premium cocktails — often made by Gokan himself— is of course encouraged. There’s more: lucky patrons can find yet another speakeasy, a Japanese-style whisky bar hidden behind an “Employees Only” sign.