Speak Low

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.