Speak Low

The first thing you need to do to visit Shingo Gokan’s famed speakeasy, Speak Low, is find it. Head to the old Shanghai’s French concession area, look for a bar tools shop called Ocho and search for the secret entrance within. As you go up the stairs of this four-story building, you will find different concepts, each getting more serious and exclusive as you go. The first bar is fun, with a downtown New York vibe and serving drinks such as the Corpse Reviver No.2. The next level up (again with a secret entrance) also ups the game by using Japanese ingredients (think wasabi, kinako and the like) with some rarer spirits including Shingo’s namesake cocktail, Speak Low. Last but not least is the exclusive members-only bar. One could be forgiven for thinking about the bars from bottom to top as economy, business and first class. In a city where speakeasies have become the standard, Speak Low still shows them how it’s done.