it's a historical fact that much more than in the capital beijing, the notion and appreciation of modern lifestyle has always been a tad more advanced in shanghai. the city's coastal location and its many foreign trade links have always sustained an international outlook that in all of today's china is only rivalled by the sophistication and vibrancy of hong kong. officially opening on sep 14-15 is a new hospitality concept that brings a chunk of south american savoir-vivre to town. dubbed unico, it's a restaurant + lounge concept concocted by architect marcelo joulia, entrepreneur olivier chouvet and award-winning chef mauro colagreco, a savvy trio with each an expertise of his own. located at the swanky three on the bund, a historical building on the banks of the huangpu river, the setting is obviously plush, but in a way we simply can't get enough of. naço architectures crafted a well-balanced contemporary interior that seems to be intended as a link between the building's past and the modernity of current times. beautiful fishbone parquet flooring forms the very base of the intricately layered decorum, and various intimate seating areas with carefully sourced vintage furniture pieces on brightly coloured carpets are positioned in a linear configuration along one side of the L-shaped space.
directly opposite is another row of seating areas and across a second aisle, an elongated marble bar with stools allows guests to a more active interaction on the premises. and as only experts know, lighting is key, also here at unico. most light fixtures are also clearly inspired by examples from bygone days, but have been given a distinctly contemporary edge. a sculpture by peruvian artist mr x that hovers over the entire length of the bar gives the interior a decidedly modern edge. another feature is le fumoir, a specially designed smoking room for anyone who has yet to kick the habit. so, what's cookin'? doing justice to its latin concept, unico is all about signature tapas dishes that showcase the many rich flavours of south america, all specifically designed by top chef mauro colagreco. another trump card of the establishment is the range of killer cocktails by inès de los santos and hektor monroy, two acclaimed pros in the field. and last but certainly not least, special attention has been given to the muzak listing. suiting any mood or event, music director amar kabouche cherry picks the exactly right tunes to hum and sway to. see you there, people! location: three on the bund, 3 zhongshan dong yi lu, second floor [the bund].