Chenling Zhang: VCLEANSE Co-founder and CO-CEO
Tian Mayimin: VCLEANSE Co-founder and CO-CEO
When Beyonce turned to the Master Cleanse Diet to help her drop a reported twenty pounds in less than two weeks for her role in the movie Dreamgirls, the Master Cleanse became one of the most famous and efficient diets. The Master Cleanse, also known as the Lemonade Detox Diet, is a modified juice fast recipe created by Stanley Burroughs in the 1940’s. Yeah, it’s that old! The Master Cleanse has gained more popularity as a weight-loss diet, but it must be noted that it is not meant as a permanent diet, and its main goal is not weight loss. It is in fact a FAST – a juice fast – and as with all juice fasts, the main purpose is to clean the body.
Juice cleanses are now sweeping the globe. In China, the industry leader is VCLEANSE, which was founded three years ago by two Chinese Harvard graduates. We got to sit down with these young entrepreneurs to learn just how they did it and to find out if a juice detox really can work for our bodies. This is what they had to say.
First, could you give us a little introduction to VCLEANSE? When did you two start it?
We started VCLEANSE in April 2012 in Shanghai. VCLEANSE is a healthy foods and lifestyle company dedicated to making delicious foods that help you renew, rejuvenate and reach your health goals, whether this be to shed a few pounds, improve diet and eating habits, increase nutrient intake, or deepen transformations. We currently offer cold-pressed juices, juice cleanses, nut milks, hot infusions and soups and have retail locations in Shanghai and Beijing, with delivery available in almost nineteen cities all over China!
I’m curious. How did you two meet, and what made you come up with this idea?
Chenling: We met while we were studying at Harvard. Tian and I shared a mutual group of friends through a student organization called Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR). We knew of each other but were not close friends. I worked at Morgan Stanley New York and Audax Group after graduation. Tian attended Harvard Law School and practiced law at the firm of WilmerHale in Washington, D.C. after receiving her J.D. But, later she realized that she wanted to do business, so she contacted me for advice. I always knew that I wanted to do a startup and needed a good partner who could complement my personality and skillset. She actually moved into my apartment and slept on my couch. We would talk every day for a month. We decided to form a partnership and quit our jobs, with no projects or funding. We thought we could work together to create something great.
While we were selecting projects, we decided that we wanted to pursue something that would do good and do well at the same time. We’d both had good personal experiences with juice cleanses in the U.S. Before we started the business, we also consulted with various medical experts and professors to ensure the subject we were about to take on was meaningful, not just a temporary cult. What we decided to do was to create a lifestyle business that promotes a plant-based diet. The juice cleanse is just our entry product, and soon we will launch snacks and meals that follow our principles.
Neither of you majored in this industry. Why should people trust your products, and how do you convince them to use your products in the very beginning?
In the beginning, we asked all the professors in the States that we could find – just trying to get to the truth behind juice cleansing. The answer became very clear to us: It's always good and beneficial for your body if you have a large amount of fresh vegetables and fruit every day. Over time, we have built a team of experts that consists of nutritionists, TCM experts, detox specialist and food science researchers. The two of us put most of our time and money into product research and development and our production facility. When we first started, our first kitchen was a thirty-square-meter shop in downtown Shanghai, six square meters of which was cold storage space with a controlled temperature of four to six degrees Celsius. So even if it was so small, we wanted to make sure we did the juice processing procedure that followed the U.S. standards.
Our first customer was introduced to us through a friend. She is an expat based in Shanghai. She’d tried cold-pressed juices in the U.S. and was in the process of transforming her lifestyle. We had no bottles, so we had to use plastic containers from Ikea, and we had no delivery services, but instead her driver came in and picked up from us. Despite all that, she loved our products very much and introduced us to everyone around. By word of mouth, we started our business. However in a year, we decided to use an invitation-only policy; only people who were referred to us directly could purchase from us. We wanted to make sure that we perfected packaging, delivery, suppliers and all sorts of operations-related issues before we officially launched in June 2013 at our first public event with Lululemon.
How did the market respond after you launched your products?
We have grown primarily through word of mouth. We are really grateful for our customers who appreciate our products and share our products with their friends.
Were there any difficult times for you two?
Sure, any meaningful partnership will go through challenging moments. We have built up a lot of trust between us and have figured out a series of rules and principles that govern our relationship. For example, one of the rules is family comes first. Whoever has a family commitment, the other person has to support it.
It has now been almost three years since VCLEANSE was founded. We have to say you girls have done a great job. How many users do you have now? What are their professions?
We do have a large base of customers, and we love our customers. They mostly have very discerning taste, care about their health, and are willing to invest in high quality lifestyle products. Typical customers would be a mother of two young children who’s trying to take care of the healthy eating of her family, or a professional executive in her late 30’s who’s trying to stay in good shape amidst all her intense professional and personal challenges. Our customers are usually high demanding, but at the same time, once you win over their trust, they are loyal and willing to come back. They are pushing us to get better and better.
There are more and more cleanse and detox companies these days. The number is growing fast. For juice cleanses, there are quite a few choices, such as Juice Queen, Juice Up, Hey Juice, Fresh, I.Juice, Beauty Juice, In Juice Cleanse, Love Juice, Drink Clean… How do you view the competition?
We aren’t worried about competitors. Watch your competitors but never follow them. Fair competition is good for consumers to compare and make the right choice, which will eventually be good for us. Healthy lifestyle is definitely a fast growing sector that will attract a lot of capital and smart people. We are very happy that we are in this business. What we need to do is to make ourselves a better company by offering the best products and services.
Since you are in this business, you must get to drink juice every day. What’s so special about your juice? Can’t people just make their own at home?
Sure. People could make juices at home, but ours is different in the following categories:
1. Technology: Cold press technology. We use a cold-press juicer that uses high pressure to extract juice, so the temperature during juicing remains low, and very little oxygen gets in during the process of juicing – instead of blades or centrifugal technology, it is a hydraulic press. Nutrients stay fresh and are well-kept for up to seventy-two hours. If you make the juices at home, you must drink them within twenty minutes of preparation; otherwise, the juices will turn brown and get oxidized.
2. Production Process: A team of pressers work in the cold storage unit wearing thick coats to make the fresh juice. We make sure the juicing takes place under four degrees Celsius to be in compliance with the U.S. juicing process. In addition, we have a rigorous washing and cleaning process.
3. Recipes: To make delicious and healthy juices is not easy. You want to make sure it is tasty but at the same time the sugar level and glycemic index level is low. Our recipes are created to produce deliciously healthy juices
4. Ingredients: It is hard to get high quality fruits, vegetables and nuts in China. We grow as many of the vegetables as possible ourselves using organic farming methods (but we have not been certified, so we don’t call ourselves “organic”) under the guidance of an organic farming expert. We use mostly high quality and imported fruits and nuts. They are usually hard to secure and very expensive in China.
5. Convenience: We did the math before. It would take a full-time ayi to do all the shopping, washing, juicing and cleaning work to make six juices and nut milks a day. We offer the convenience that the urban crowd needs.
Chenling, especially for you, you have lost so much weight since the first time we met. That was maybe seven or eight months ago. Now look at those abs. How much weight have you lost? What’s your secret?
I went through several stages of body transformation myself. The first stage was when I was introduced to juicing. I was still in the U.S. I found that I couldn’t fit into my largest pair of jeans, and I got panicked. I found a juice cleanse, and it helped me kick-start my own health regime. When I started VCLEANSE, I started drinking juices and switched to a plant-based diet primarily. It helped me further lose some weight. The third stage was to prepare for my wedding day. I went on a three-week rigid routine where I did mostly cleanses and went running for 6-8km every day, coupled with weight training. My waist went from 68cm in the first gown fitting to 61cm in the final gown fitting. And I have continued to stick to a fairly clean eating routine and exercise routine. Specifically:
1. Diet: Juicing almost two days, coupled with raw nuts and healthy fiber crackers
2. Exercise: Running almost daily for 6-8km; if not running then weight training with my trainer twice a week
3. The result is clean and deep ma jia xian!!!
How many places do you deliver to in China now?
Besides Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Hebei provinces, now we just opened nineteen more major cities in China with delivery available.
You two are very young and ambitious. What’s the future plan for VCLEANSE?
We want to be known as the Apple for healthy lifestyle products. We want to create extraordinarily delicious, beautiful and healthy foods. These three things usually don’t exist together in the same sentence, but we believe we can make foods that meet these three categories together at the same time. We will launch our healthy snacks and healthy foods product lines later this year. In the future, we hope to expand beyond just China and bring our amazing products to the world.
If you are interested in booking a cleanse course, go to their website: www.vcleanse.com. Beginners should start with a three-day course and be aware of the pre- and post-fast preparation needed. You don’t want to give your body a shock. Always begin and end a fast properly.
It was a rainy day on April 10th, 2015 when Jake Silbert and Seydi Yougo Ba, two passionate football enthusiasts got together to discuss their plans for a new football team right here in Hangzhou. Two days after that fateful meeting, the Hangzhou Generals had their first ever practice. Fast forward three years and the Hangzhou Generals are one of the twenty teams in the American Football League of China (AFLC). The Generals just had their first ever official league game versus the Wuxi team and even got their first W in that game.
Football preparation is crucial for the players and coaching staff. This group takes practice seriously. The drills are fast paced and highly intense. At Hangzhou Jiayang Football field (佳杨体育足球场) they practice on brand new AstroTurf every Wednesday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m and Sunday morning from 9 to 12. The fee to join the team is 300 RMB for three months which helps cover field costs and practice and equipment. Beginners first learn the basics, then after the two months of player evaluation the coaches will decid which position is suitable for their skills. It is approximately 3000 RMB for the full equipment set which includes a helmet, practice pants, team jersey, shoulder pads, football cleats, and gloves.
Off the field, two highly qualified training coaches conduct Saturday morning workout sessions from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Enjoy Fitness, located at the sports training center on 201 Kai Xuan road. The trainers can help to create the right workout program for you and your position.
The Generals philosophy is to be a tough family. Team Members are taught to grow as a group, not as an individual. Seydi once said in a huddle, “I love you all and I hope you love each other”. The players still say that in the huddles now. They comprehend that football is a rough sport, so everyone needs to be as tough as possible. If a player needs to leave the Generals, Seydi really hopes that they can remember the positives of being a General. The Generals are made of players from America, Cameroon, China, Congo, France, and the Ukraine.
When Seydi was asked what’s the three-year plan for the organization, he said confidently ‘to win a championship.’ I felt the seriousness in his tone, this coach means business. He understands that they need to keep raising the bar. They want to be the most competitive team in the league.
Seydi and YOUGO SPORTS are making an impact in youth football right here in Hangzhou. Together they operate American football programs. Four years ago, opportunities for young children to play American football were close to none. Now, children from all ages are getting the chance to be more active and meet new friends from different parts of the world just by playing youth football. Seydi realizes the challenge here, but to him if it is easy, then it is not worth doing. He feels that kids need to be involved in sports, and they must understand how their bodies work.
Q & A with Seydi
More Hangzhou (MHZ); Seydi (S)
MHZ: What drives you to put so much energy into what you are doing? How do you remain on task?
S: Always improve, a lot of hard work. I must stay focused. People only compliment you when they see results, but I didn’t hear anything when I was in the dirt. Now that the team is growing, people on the outside want to take it more seriously. They see us growing and constantly raising the bar. I need to be patient. I want to help more people and help the community, grow the city and get people together.
MHZ: Tell us a little about the interactions with the fans. Every time there are pictures it is noticeable that the Generals have a good number of supporters.
S: It makes me happy. It makes me proud. A Hangzhou TV program is going to start making a documentary about us and more people will see us and that bring more awareness to the Generals. This means more excited families, friends, and children. More people will be involved. When people bring their kids, it gives them options. It is good for everyone.
MHZ: Explain your journey, you must’ve gotten into sports somehow. What got you into sports and eventually into being one of the founders of the Hangzhou Generals?
S: I grew up in Senegal for many years. I loved sports, swimming, horse riding, and martial arts. I love contact. When I got older I got more into boxing such as Chinese boxing and Thai boxing. I then went to France for school where I got a degree in sports. My brother was also in France playing football. That was the first time I saw the sport. I wasn’t into basketball or soccer. So, I thought I could learn football to play with my brother. Unfortunately, because of bad timing, him and I would not be able to play together, so I didn’t sign up in France. I eventually started to learn more about sports management. I was in Shanghai for two years. I was looking for a team sport and found the Shanghai Warriors, I eventually got a good job offer in Hangzhou and decided to move to Hangzhou. At the time American Football in Hangzhou was just emerging, and that is where I met Jake. After some time we discussed starting a team.
MHZ: You being the friendly person that you are and one of the most competitive coaches around, how do you balance coaching and friendship? Because you guys often train together, but you often spend time together off the field.
S: The players understand that I am one of the leaders and coaches on the team. On the field they respect me as a coach. They understand the difference. They know our relationship on and off the field won’t conflict.
MHZ: I am going to mention a couple of players on the roster, please tell me what pops in your head first.
S: Fast. One of the first players from the start. I think he is the only player who has been here forever and still doesn’t have his own gear. He is amazing though. What he does on the field is spectacular. He is a great guy for the team. He is always smiling and chanting. I am glad to have him on the team.
S: He is focused. He does everything he can to reach his goals. Good athlete. Understands the game. We need more people like Him.
Li Han Tao
S: Puts in so much work. He was shy at first. When we first offered him to be a captain he was humble, so humble. He does a great job, he shares everything. In a game he is the first guy on the ball. Defence and offence. He has that natural desire to coach other people. Always wants to get better, he wants to help any way he can. He helps recruit and helps spread the awareness of our team. We need more people like that. He made the difference to get the ball rolling with our team. He brings so much energy. He now does the team huddle chants. Just a great leader.
S: First thing that comes to mind is coach. I called him coach first time I met him. He was my first football coach. I slowly got to know him better and better. He started off as my coach, then teammate, and finally my brother. Great guy. I want him to come back. I know he wants to come back. Jake is the reason we have the team. He has helped pioneer development of football in China. He helped Hangzhou and Wuxi. He has had a huge impact growing the sport and bringing people together.
Xiang Wei Yang
S: She is the only female captain in China. She is one of our trainers. She plays cornerback and she is a beast.
MHZ: Sports in Hangzhou is growing. How do you feel of the current level of sports in Hangzhou?
S: Hangzhou sports market is growing, and that’s good because the city needs more sports teams, sporting goods shop, and sporting events. Hopefully Hangzhou keeps building sporting facilities and fields. It will create more jobs. It is an interesting time. Hangzhou is going more international. Hangzhou will probably soon be on Shanghai’s level. The city wants to attract more foreigners here, so by having more sports and qualified individuals it will be great for Hangzhou.
If you're reading this right now, you're probably in the market for a heart-thumping, blood-pumping, balls-to-the-wall workout. And, friend, we've got you covered. We're all about helping you get sweaty in pursuit of your goals, whether that means getting stronger, hitting a new PR, or losing weight. But let's be real for a second here: The tricky thing about weight-loss workouts is that they're kinda, sorta... a myth. Don't get me wrong—if you're trying to lose weight, a solid exercise regimen should be part of your plan. It just can't be the only part.
Here's the thing: Working out isn't enough on its own to make weight loss happen. There's so much else that goes into weight loss and body fat loss; in fact, exercise isn't even technically necessary in many cases. If you want to lose weight—and it's totally cool if you do and totally cool if you don't—adopting healthy eating habits has got to be step numero uno. To get technical, you need to create a calorie deficit, which means using more calories in a day than you consume—and the consumption part plays a much bigger role in that than burning calories in the gym, or while carrying your groceries home, or any of the other myriad ways you put your muscles to work each day. Other lifestyle habits, like sleep and stress management, and health conditions (think thyroid issues, to name just one of many) also affect your weight. Point is, weight loss is a complicated and extremely personal journey that doesn't look or work the exact same way from one person to the next.
Anyway, we are going to introduce a few quite efficient workout, if you have nothing planned for your National holiday, then why not use this time to start a new habit?
For a workout that's going to keep your metabolism elevated, turn to boot camp, as these classes combine two of the most effective styles of training: interval and resistance. You'll perform exercises, some more cardio-focused and others strength-focused, full-out for short bursts of time, coupled with short periods of rest. But if it's your first time going to a boot camp class, speak up. A good instructor will help you determine when you need to crank up the weight or intensity (tip: if you can cruise through 10 reps without any trouble, it's too easy), keep your form on par, and can always provide a modification for any move that might be too tough or irritates an injury.
You can do it in these places:
Zhan Training Gym 战健身训练馆
Add: 001, East side of the Dragon Stadium (next to Kedi grocery store) 黄龙体育中心东看台001号
Tel: 8738 1024, 177 6713 4643
Add: B1/F, Dragon Hotel, 2 Hangda Road 杭大路2号黄龙饭店B1层
Tel: 156 0653 6363
At its essence, boxing is really another form of interval training. But it also makes you feel freaking badass. Here's the trick to remember: It's a common mistake for beginners to punch using only their arm strength, but the majority of your power is going to come from your core and you'll use muscles that are typically ignored in other workouts (hey there, obliques).
It's best to log this type of workout in a class, it's crucial for beginners to learn proper form from an instructor who can help keep your intensity level high. But if you want to brush up on your skills at home, try this beginner-friendly video from Milan Costich, or P90X home MMA workout.
You can do it in these places:
CrossFit PUNCH 拳击综合训练馆
Add: 4/F, Building 2, Joy Park, 153 Wuchang Avenue 五常大道153号西溪乐天城2号楼4楼
Tel: 8619 2681
MMA Boxing 竞界格斗 MMA综合格斗馆
Add: 604 Jinsha Avenue, Xiasha 下沙金沙大道604号(张弛射箭馆对面)
Tel: 137 7738 7873
There's a reason CrossFit has become such a booming part of the workout industry—it works, so long as you don't overdo it. Workouts are varied—you may be doing anything from kettlebell swings to rope climbs and box jumps to front squats—and the routines are designed to be short and intense. The most important thing to find when looking for the box (CrossFit slang for "gym") that fits you best: a well-informed coach who can explain and modify the moves, and make sure that you don't push yourself to the point of injury. Here are a few things to keep in mind before every WOD.
You can do it in these places:
Add: 102, A2, 1138 Park, Fenghuangshanjiao Road 凤凰山脚路7号凤凰御元艺术基地1138园区A2-102
Tel: 150 5712 3112
Add: Inside Huancheng Sports Center, Huaide Street, Binjiang 怀德街怀诚体育运动中心
Tel: 8779 7269
Add: 706 Fengtan Road 丰潭路706号
Tel: 8721 0221
Reebok 1030 CrossFit
Add: A304, 3/F, Gran Canal Place, 58 Lishui Road 丽水路58号远洋乐堤港3楼A304
Tel: 5626 0377
The burn: 481-713 calories/hour (at 150 watts, which you can check on the machine)
The bonus burn: To get maximum torching power, row in super-fast one-minute intervals (150 watts), and take 30- to 60-second active rest periods by alternating between squats, pushups, and planks. (This high-intensity rowing workout will get your heart racing.)
Most of Crossfit boxes all have rowing machines.
You can do it in these places:
Oakwood Residence Hangzhou Fitness Center 奥克伍德国际酒店公寓健身中心
Add: 28 Jiaogong Road 教工路28号
Tel: 8899 3131
Add: Room 605, Building B, Huarun Mansion 华润大厦B座605室
Tel: 157 1578 8529
If you can't stand the thought of running, or just want to work out without a ton of pounding on your joints, do a few laps in the pool. It's a low-impact exercise that will work all of your major muscle groups. As with most workouts, it helps to go in with a plan. Try this one: Tread water for as long as possible by standing upright in the deep end and using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Then rest for two minutes. Now swim 10 sets of 100 meters (that's back-and-forth lap in an Olympic-sized pool), resting for one minute in between sets. By the time you climb out of the pool, your muscles will be pleasantly worn out.
You can do it in these places:
Oakwood Residence Hangzhou Fitness Center 奥克伍德国际酒店公寓健身中心
Add: 3/F, north building, 28 Jiaogong Road 教工路28号北楼3楼
Tel: 8899 3131
Physical Fitness & Beauty Center, West Town InTime Branch/舒适堡健身中心, 城西银泰店
Add: 7F001A/7F001B, Building 3, InTime Mall, 380 Fengtan Road 丰潭路380号城西银泰城3幢7F001A/7F001B
Tel: 2899 8996, 2888 8878
If you have a tight budget to spend on the equipment or membership, don’t use that as an excuse, there are many other ways to do your workout. Here are some really simple and easy ones, everyone can do.
All you need is a pair of sneakers before you head out the door. But if weight loss is the name of your game, the lackadaisical head-out-for-a-light-jog style of running isn't the way to go. Instead, find a hill you can sprint up, or crank the incline on that treadmill. "Running up hills forces you to work your glutes and legs—two of your body's biggest muscle groups—even more, which requires smaller muscle recruitment and more energy expenditure. As noted earlier, the more energy you're using, the brighter that calorie-burning fire burns. But proper form here is key. Lean into the hill, and drive your knees as high as you can, striking the ball of each foot down directly under your body, keep your hands open and arms bent at 90 degrees, and drive your arms straight forward up to face level, then backward to the top of your back pocket. And try not to let your arms cross over your body—that'll just waste the precious energy your muscles need. If you're training indoors, here are a few fat-burning treadmill routines to get you started.
Try it: You can do these 4 fat-burning workouts on a treadmill. Or you can take them outside if you'd like—for incline work, just fine a good hill.
If your biggest excuse for skipping a workout is being crunched for time, Tabata is your dream come true. It's designed to be four minutes of high-intensity interval training that consists of 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times. And you can use this protocol with any number of different exercises. You'll spike your metabolism and heart rate in four minutes, but it is to be warned against making this time frame a habit if you're trying to lose weight. Your body will quickly adapt to that interval, and you'll need to increase the volume or intensity to continue getting a benefit from it. To do that, you have to extend your session to 20 minutes and following the same format. Simply pick four exercises—think jump rope, squats, mountain climbers, and squat jumps—then do each for 20 seconds as hard and fast as you can (while maintaining proper form, of course), then recovering for 10 seconds and 10 seconds only. Repeat for eight rounds on that one move (so, four minutes of work) before resting for one minute and moving on to the next exercise.
It's time to kick it back to the good ole' days of P.E. class, when you first learned how to swing a jump rope. This tool is cheap, portable (it'll fit in the tiny parts of your suitcase!), and can be used just about anywhere. After just a few minutes you will feel your heart rate racing!
Here's a speedy routine to try:
1. Warm up with a light 3-minute skip with the rope
2. Do 100 traditional jumps (both feet leave the floor at the same time, and no extra hops in between)
3. Once you finish, immediately do 100 jump rope sprints (think regular jumping rope but at an even quicker pace)
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, but follow this format: 50/50, 21/21, 15/15, 9/9
5. If you want more, work your way back up the ladder until you reach 100/100 again Oh, and whatever you do, don't do it barefoot. Few things compare to the pain of missing a skip and smacking the tip of your toe with a jump rope. Noted. You can do this entire sequence mock-style, though, if you don't have a rope handy.
I often hear local people saying that they have a Chinese stomach, this especially reflected when they travel out of China, instant noodles and zha cai became the reserve grain in their luggage. For me though, I like all kinds of food as long as they are tasty. For breakfast though, I have special preferences. I’m not saying the croissant or pain au chocolat aren’t good, I just miss those vendors which pop up on every street corner in the morning, and the smell of deliciously frying dough, steaming savory dumplings, boiling wontons and noodles, cooking rice, baking bread, and roasting treats wafting over me like a warm, comfy blanket. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water.
I stumbled across this place randomly, it’s located on the junction of Hangda Road and Paomachang Road, it serves Quzhou food and snacks. Their Steamed Pork Bun土猪肉包子 (2RMB) and Qingmingguo 清明粿 (4RMB) are the best of the places I know. The people who work in that area—whether they are white collars, bartenders, bakers or fancy restaurant owners—they will always gourmet meal to go for the baozi and Qingmingguo.
Qingmingguo is a type of steamed dumplings served during the Tomb Sweeping Festival. The dumpling skin is made of wormwood, rice and glutinous rice, and filling is the mixture of preserved vegetables, minced pork, chopped bamboo shoots, mushroom and chili. Though they don’t open till 10am, just in time for lunch, I could eat four of those!
Find it: Yuan Wei Tang / 原味堂
Add: 14 Hangda Road 杭大路14号
Tel: 0571 8106 1020
Hours: 10am – 10pm
This is absolutely our secret! I’m sharing it with you guys for the first time. Any of you ever had Tofu baozi? They’re very rare in Hangzhou. The white and tender tofu, fragrant spring onions, red pepper wrapped in a thin skin, it’s so delicate that you can see the tofu juice and feel the temperature. If you poke it, the juice will flow out. This is the unique local Jiande snack "Tofu baozi". I had them in Jiande when I spent my summer holiday there during my childhood, it has been the lingering memory, and I never forget that taste.
There is only one place you can enjoy this delicious doufubao, it’s a small shop near Gan Qi Shi on Lianhua Street. It only costs 2RMB each and you need to go during the business hours as there is always a queue of people waiting for it. Take a bite, let the tofu and juice explode in your mouth, but be careful, it’s super hot inside!
Find it: Jiande Doufubao / 建德豆腐包
Add: 264 Lianhua Street 莲花街264号 (甘其食隔壁)
Hours: 7am – 1pm, 5pm – 7pm
This is a snack from Quzhou, Zhejiang. Usually you will see an old man making them. The filling is made of minced pork, spring onion, and preserved vegetable. After he rolls the whole thing into a ball, he used his palm to flatten it, then patted with a little water so it could stick on the wall of the charcoal stove. Just 2 – 3 minutes later, it’s ready to eat. Mmm… it smells so good, it tastes even better. Only 2-3RMB each.
Find it: Qu Er Ye / 衢二爷
Add: 52 Yile Road 益乐路52号
Hours: 7am – 9pm
Find it: Gu Pu Liang Shi / 古铺良食
Add: 42 Xueshi Road 学士路42号
Tel: 0571 8535 7119
Hours: 8am - 2am
Fried dumplings (Shengjian Mantou) also known as the shengjianbao is a type of small, pan-fried baozi which is a specialty of Shanghai. It is usually filled with pork and gelatin that melts into broth when cooked. They are a cousin to xiaolongbao in terms of their pork filling mixed with a jellied stock that turns into hot soup during the cooking process. However they have a much more rugged exterior featuring a crisp bottom and a fluffy bao top. Shengjian mantou has been one of the most common breakfast items in Shanghai since the early 1900s. As a ubiquitous breakfast item, it has a significant place in Shanghainese culture.
And if you like Shengjian Mantou, for sure you will like Guo Tie. It’s slightly different than traditional dumplings, I would like to say these dumplings have been dressed up because they are all stuck to the pot by a layer of golden, crispy cornstarch flakes. Guo Tie is the pretty cousin of dumplings… It is not fried dumpling or pot sticker, it is Guo Tie!
Little wontons, or xiao huntun, are made with flour and egg wrappers crumpled casually around a tiny nub of pork. Unlike big wontons, little wontons are made with paper-thin wonton wrappers that will be labeled "extra-thin" on the package. Little wontons are always served in soup and are typically eaten for breakfast or as a snack. The wontons float gently in a savory broth that's chock full of garnishes, such as tiny dried shrimp, Sichuan-style pickled cabbage, thinly-sliced egg crepe, slivers of dried seaweed, cilantro, and scallions.
Find it: Tangkou Lao Qi Shengjian / 堂口老齐生煎·老汤面
Add: Downstairs of Taihe International, 168 Chaohui Road 朝晖路168号钛合国际楼下
Tel: 131 1678 7867
Hours: 6am – 12am
Find it: Drum Tower Fried Dumplings / 鼓楼正宗煎包店
Add: 70 Shengyouguan Road 佑圣观路70号
Find it: Baomei Dim Sum / 宝美点心
Add: 108 Chengtou Lane 城头巷108号
Tel: 133 5710 6391
Hours: 6am – 1:30pm
Xiaolongbao, the broth-filled Shanghainese steamed pork dumplings, is inarguably one of the great culinary inventions of mankind. Xiaolongbao is traditionally filled with pork. One popular and common variant is pork with minced crab meat and roe. More modern innovations include other meats, seafood, and vegetarian fillings. The characteristic soup-filled kind is created by wrapping solid meat aspic inside the skin alongside the meat filling. Heat from steaming then melts the gelatin-gelled aspic into soup.
Here is everything we know about the art of eating xiaolongbao. We ask you to give it a shot. Treat xiaolongbaos with the respect it deserves and it will pay many dividends.
➊ Carefully grasp the top of the xiaolongbao with your chopsticks so as not to puncture the skin, and place it on a spoon.
➋ Give one of the sides a small bite, or puncture it with a chopstick, allowing the soup within to fill your spoon.
➌ Sip the broth and take time to consider its delicate flavour, before taking a bite of the juicy bao itself.
Find it: Din Tai Fung / 鼎泰丰
Add: 3/F, Mixc Mall, 701 Fuchun Road 富春路701号万象城3楼
Tel: 0571 8886 9511
Hours: 10am - 9pm
Find it: Xie Ting Feng Steamed Crab Bun / 蟹庭丰蟹黄汤包
Add: Booth 8, Building 12, east of Jia Lv Jing Yuan 嘉绿景苑东园12幢8号商铺; 373-5 North Zhongshan Road 中山北路373-5号; 259 Fengqi Road 凤起路259号; 120 South Jianguo Road 建国南路120号; 74 Xinshi Street 新市街74号
Hours: 7am - 8:30pm
This is one of my favorite breakfasts. It’s a brilliant combination of a baked pancake and a fried crispy dough stick. In the case of shaobing and youtiao, what seems stupid simple is actually quite delicious. The fried dough stick is crisp and airy, and, if fresh, hot enough to scald your lips. While it's mostly devoid of flavor, there's an ever so subtle saltiness, that, when combined with the outer shaobing, works wonderfully well. I've eaten this more often than I'd care to admit, but most of the time I would wash down with a cup of soy milk, you should give it a try too!
Find it: Taoyuan Village / 桃园眷村
Add: L1, Grand City Plaza, Tiyuchang Road and Yanan Road 体育场路与延安路交叉口国大城市广场L1; 1/F, Powerlong City, 3867 Binsheng Rd. Binjiang 滨盛路3867号滨江宝龙城一楼外围4号门与5号门中间
Hours: 7am - 11pm
Find it: College Breakfast / 学院早餐小吃店
Add: Booth 107, Building 62, District 3, Cuibai Road 翠柏路翠苑三区62幢107商铺
Tel: 182 6815 6694
Hours: 6:30am - 1:30pm
Find it: Fengtan Road Breakfast Booth / 丰潭路早餐店
Add: Junction of Fengtan Road and Zhengyuan Street 丰潭路和政苑街交界口
Hours: 6:30am – 11am
Jianbing Guozi is the perfect on-the-go breakfast; it takes about 2 minutes to make, it's delicious, and costs the equivalent of about 3-5RMB. But the best part is there are jianbing stands all over the city every morning of the year, rain or shine, so you never end up waiting in line for too long! They are always easy to spot since all you need to do is look for a big queue of people!
The jianbing ayi ladles a thick glutinous batter onto a hot, flat griddle which is then spread into a thin, savory crepe. An egg or two are cracked and smeared across the top as they sizzle and fry into the batter. Then, she adds the youtiao, in north China, they use baocui, it’s more crispy, then sprinkles on cilantro, spring onions, and puts on the sweet and chili sauce, I normally would skip the sweet one. She folds the crepe in half, you have it and it’s ready to go.
Find it: Lao Zuo Jidan Bing / 老做鸡蛋饼
Add: Yugu Road, near Zheda Qiushi Village 玉古路近浙大求是村底商
Hours: 7am – 10am, 3pm – 7pm
Find it: Tianjing Jianbing / 天津煎饼果子铺
Add: 426 Tiyuchang Road 体育场路426号
Tel: 180 6979 7180
Hours: 9am – 9pm
Find it: Wang Lao Da / 王老大蛋饼店
Add: No. 9, Building 51, Liushui Xiyuan, junction of Zhaohui Road and Jianguo Road 朝晖路与建国路交叉路口流水西苑51幢底商9号
Tel: 0571 8558 4556
Speaking of Cong Bao Hui Er, or Shallot Stuffed Pancake, Hangzhou natives certainly know it well. It is a popular dim-sum through all streets and lanes of Hangzhou. Cong Bao Hui Er is made of ordinary materials with simple cooking methods. It is a bit like a crepe with a fried dough stick, shallots, sweet or spicy sauce and pickled in between. We remember one year at the West Music Festival, among with all the other international cuisine booths, this little Cong Bao Hui Er was the best seller of the year, now you know why.
Find it: Wang Lao Da / 王老大蛋饼店
Add: No. 9, Building 51, Liushui Xiyuan, junction of Zhaohui Road and Jianguo Road 朝晖路与建国路交叉路口流水西苑51幢底商9号
Tel: 0571 8558 4556
Hours: 6am – 9:30pm
Find it: Grandma Sun’s / 孙奶奶葱包烩
Add: 391 South Zhongshan Road 中山南路391号
Hours: 7am – 5pm
Hello, fellows, this city is changing so fast with new places opening all the time. Some quickly became the hot new spot of the city and some were replaced by others after a month or two. In this post, we have put together 12 bars that recently opened, and soon we will have the latest opened restaurant chapter for you.
❶ KPub / 龙门会
What does it feel like to drink on an outdoor air lounge on a crane? A bit scary as well as exciting at the same time, and meanwhile, you can enjoy the beauty of the city.
If you have been to our Walk & Eat event last year, you would remember this White Pagoda Park, that's where KPub is located. This crane was serving at the first train station in Zhejiang Province 30 years ago. Now it's a great place to enjoy cocktails and watch the FIFA World Cup.
If you have had Long Island Ice Tea, London Fog or Manhattan at other bars, then here you can try the cocktails with Zhejiang flavor such as Qiantang River and Rooftop which are worth trying, along with their delicacies from around the world: Spanish ham, bluefin tuna, Norwegian salmon, Korean sea urchin, French Gillardeau oyster and Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial from Cuba.
On the second floor, they kept one carriage with limited seats. They only accept phone calls or WeChat reservations and that gives this place great mystery and secrecy.
Add: White Pagoda Park 白塔公园内龙门吊
Business Hours: 4:30pm - 1:30am
Tel: 136 5664 5402
This is the first Mill in town and the owners are a bunch of designers, that's why it has been an icon since it opened. Two months ago, Mill reopened after a redecoration. It ingeniously uses the partial tone "miaow" for Mill to extend the cat theme.
A large number of brass elements are used on the gate and the bar. Dark grey and green can also be found in many corners in the bar. Once you enter, you will immediately notice a cat statue on the right side along with a row of liquor bottles that are printed with head portraits from the musical "Cats".
The whole bar is now divided into a cocktail area and a whiskey area. The whiskey area is in a private room which can hold 15 people with a huge selection of whiskey.
The cocktail area features the musical "Cats". You can find 12 cat cocktails on the drinks menu that are inspired by the musical "Cats": Macavity, Mr. Mistoffelees, Alonzo, Skimbleshanks, Rum Tum Tugger, Etcetera, Bombalurina, Jellylorum, Grizabella, Asparagus, Cassandra, Victoria…
The bathroom has a theme of red. If you are a narcissist, sorry, in here you will not be able to appreciate yourself in front of the mirror. They are all bronze mirrors, so you can only get an outline, but we loved it, it feels like being in a Wong Kar-wai movie.
Add: 77 Yile Road (close to West Wen’er Road) 益乐路77号(近文二西路)
Business Hours: 7pm - 2am
Tel: 0571 8891 2175
❸ 186LanD Café Restaurant & Bar
This small place can be many people's dream place, don't you just want to have one of your own? Located on Yan'an Road downtown, 5 minutes walk from the West Lake, with three floor-to-ceiling windows on a grey brick house that makes you want to take a peek inside.
186LanD opened in March and it serves western food and decent cocktails. In addition to classic ones like Negroni and Old Fashioned, we tried one cocktail that was highly recommended by the boss. A blue liquid contained in a high cocktail glass. When you take a sniff, it almost smells like chocolate liquor, but in fact it is made with 52° Maotai which you only realize after drinking it. The baijiu flavor is hard to erase, but it's well mixed with other ingredients, very original.
When the weather is good, the boss likes to put tables outside on the pavement. Invite a few friends, enjoy 1664 on draft, cocktails and prawn crackers on the roadside.
Add: 186 Yan’an Road 延安路186号
Business Hours: 5pm - 2am
Tel: 0571 8657 2268
❹ Peer’s Bar / 啤客
You probably have been to Peer’s Bar on Baochu Road, this new branch on Zhongshan Road has been upgraded to a new level.
It might well take you a while to find the entrance from the 2,000 bottles of beer wall, and once you finally enter, you will realize the beer wall is just the tip of the iceberg.
You’ll be surrounded by more than 400 types of craft beer. A 16 door fridge is full of beer, from local to imported, from 300ml to 3,000ml. It’s like a beer supermarket. Most of them are priced from 20RMB to 30RMB, you can find anything you want, just name it. Pick the beer you want, take a spot on the sofa, listen to the live music band, or watch World Cup on a big screen.
And just when you think this is a beer bar like the other Peer’s, let me tell you, nope! Walk through the bar and try to find the leather suitcases, there is a secret passage hiding behind it. Follow the stairway, you will find a whiskey and cocktail bar hidden on the second floor. You can find Yamasaki 12 years, Macallan 18 years, vodka, brandy, rum, gin… Try their signature cocktails like Summer Night and Lost in Thailand.
If you are getting hungry after a few drinks, they have beef burger with fries, German sausages, pizza, pasta, salad and chicken wings.
Add: 338-1 Middle Zhongshan Road 中山中路338-1号
Business Hours: 6pm - 2am
Tel: 0571 8722 9338
❺ GM House Bar & Café / 伽马咖啡酒吧
GM House: outdoor, music, beer, working flair, downtown… These are all keywords for GM House. We guess the GM stands for gentlemen, since here you can find everything that is gentlemen-like.
It's very close to the Kerry Center and the whole bar has two floors. The first floor mainly serves beer with Heineken, Meteor, Goose Island and Budweiser on draft.
The second floor is for cocktails and whiskey. The difference compared to other whiskey cocktail bars is that GM House is a place for working flair. The dazzling skills, the drinks like "Won't Go Home Tonight", "Deep Sea Bomb", "Ice Fire Nine Heavens" definitely will make you dizzy.
There are cocktails for the twelve constellations. If you see a girl you like, take a guess, and buy her one of that, "Hello, miss, I thought you might like this one" could be the icebreaker of the night.
Add: 2/F, 2-1 Wulin Road 武林路2-1号2楼
Business Hours: 6:30pm - 2:30am
Tel: 189 6914 9573
❻ Chun Whiskey Bar / 醇
Take a turn into a small alley from Binsheng Road and you’ll find yourself at Hanfeng Mansion, a small door with a big character "醇" written on it. Once you enter, follow that short passageway, it leads you to another heavy iron door, push, you’re in!
A long bar that stores a lot of whiskey from all over the world. Blue ocean waves were projected on the back wall, making it feel like being in an aquarium.
There are 15 special signature cocktails and the price for the classic cocktails are around 90RMB. There is football on the big screen and the bartenders are very friendly. If you live in Binjiang, you should give it a try.
Add: 1826 Binsheng Road 滨盛路1826号
Business Hours: 8pm - 3am
Tel: 0571 8602 2279, 130 5990 0064
❼ Liyue Music Bar / 里约酒吧
This place is located in Wake Town, only a few minutes walk to the West Lake. Liyue is the pinyin pronunciation for Rio, and that makes it the biggest characteristic of this place.
When the night begins, people start drinking and mingling. Their six-piece house band, Resonanse, comes from South America and they are bringing so much passionate music to the crowd: Latin jazz, blues, pop, samba. They were born with a sense of rhythm, and you can't resist shaking your body with them.
Just when you think you might be getting some Brazilian BBQ, we have to warn you there's no BBQ, the food is the contrast, they serve Sichuan and Hangzhou cuisine. The chef used to work at the Dragon Hotel and you can find Spiced Beef, Sour and Spicy Fish, Sichuan Pickles, Spicy Crayfish with Garlic, Spanish Ham, Gillardeau Oysters on the menu.
The cocktails here are working flair. You can also come here in the afternoon for their afternoon tea set, followed by dinner and drinks.
Add: 108, Building 1, Wake Town, 9 Wulin Road 武林路9号Wake Town1幢108号
Business Hours: 1pm - 3am
Tel: 0571 8588 6111
❽ Hermit Bar / 大隐
Hermit Bar moved to a new location. The old one used to be on Yile Road and West Wen'er Road and served great cocktails with Japanese food. The new one now is on Gaoji Street, it is so discrete with a sign that you would miss if you don't pay attention.
Once you enter, you would probably like the high ceiling, all wooden decorated bar and leather sofas, it really felt like being in an old English club. The head mixologist David Luo used to work at Vesper and Apothecary, having a couple of Negroni and Old Fashioned made by him would ignite your night.
They have the projector on a big screen for World Cup, you can get a very good angle on the second floor, but it's a little too bright for people who just want to have a few drinks on the first floor.
Add: 35 Gaoji Street 高技街35号
Business Hours: 6:30pm - 2am
Tel: 0571 8720 6738
❾ Y.E.S / 你很特别
Hidden in the middle of the compounds Shanshui Renjia, Qinya Garden, Hehua Yuan and Lianhua Village, this small but cozy place is good for a couple of drinks if you live in this neighbourhood.
You can see the owner is trying to bring a speakeasy concept , as the door of the bar is a vending machine. The quality of the drinks is good, as well as the service. There is football on the big screen and casual music playing in the background.
Add: 48 Ailian Street 爱莲街48号
Business Hours: 6pm - 2am (Mondays off)
Tel: 139 6817 6431
❿ Harbour Island Bar / 哈珀酒吧
Seems like Hangzhou people started to get interested in speakeasies as there are more and more bars going towards this direction. Harbour Island opened in the end of May, finding the way in is not so easy, the secret is on that sailing map.
Once the door is opened, you will see a huge "L" shaped aquarium with gentle blue light in front of you, the bar is on the right hand. A few beams of light coming from the floor create the feeling of a summer beach.
The bartenders are getting busy behind the bar. The cocktails are around 70RMB-80RMB. If you like Thai food, give Summer's Corner (夏日一角) a try, a hint of lemongrass teases your taste buds, it's perfect for summer. In addition, Cold Fire, Good Boy and Simple Fashioned are their signatures too. Bar snacks available.
Add: 31 Booth, Chunjiang Licheng, Binjiang 滨江春江郦城31号商铺
Business Hours: 7pm - 2am
Tel: 0571 5650 8777, 156 5807 7810
⓫ Beer Micro Factory / 享站吧
It's not really a bar. In a 30 square meters shop, they are selling draft beer in a takeaway plastic bag with a 1-meter long straw to drink with.
There is a small area for you to sit down and drink if you don't feel like takeaway. 55 inch TVs play World Cup.
There are 18 types of beer available, plenty of choices for you: Belgian Raw Beer, Flower Pepper Beer, Graham Golden Beer, Light Colour Eyre, Blueberry Beer, Lizard Saliva IPA… The must order one is the 13-degree beer with a high concentration of alcohol. It comes from the famous Tsingtao Beer Factory, has a very smooth taste and you can only get it here.
Their beer comes directly from the major breweries, so the price is extremely cheap because the middle agents are skipped and the takeaway price is the same as dine in. Usually the takeaway is 1000L with your choice of packed in a bag or bottle and 650L is for dine in.
Add: 359 Middle Zhongshan Road 中山中路359号
Business Hours: 11am - 2am
⓬ Qiantang River Cruise 钱塘江游轮
The last entry is not a bar, but something that could be different for nightlife. When we are in Shanghai, we could take the boat to have a tour on Huangpu River, the night view is especially amazing and some of you probably have even been on the boat party. And it's the same for the Thames River, La Seine, Victoria Harbour, a boat trip is a different way to look at a city. Hangzhou finally got its own now!
The "New Star" cruise tested water on May 18th and the whole trip takes 1.5 hours. It starts from Binjiang Wharf (north of junction of Jianghan Road and Wentao Road), passes Xixing Bridge, Olympic Center, International Expo Center, City Balcony, Xixing Bridge, followed by Qianjiang Bridge, Fuxing Bridge, and ends up at Binjiang Wharf, a 10KM journey in total.
On every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, you can enjoy the lights show at CBD from the boat.
The boat has 280 seats and there are two shifts: 7:00pm and 8:30pm. 258RMB/person includes dinner (80 minutes) for the 7pm and 98RMB/person excludes dinner (60 minutes) for 8:30pm. Kids under 1.3 m are free.
Add: Binjiang Wharf (north of junction of Jianghan Road and Wentao Road) 滨江区江汉路闻涛路口以北钱江龙码头
Business Hours: 7pm / 8:30pm
It seems like British business in Zhejiang is growing, and we may see an increase in British expats in Hangzhou in the near future. The China-Britain Business Council Chairman, Lord Sassoon Kt., visited Hangzhou on May 24th. The delegation had separate meetings with Mr. Zhu Congjiu, Vice Governor of Zhejiang, and Mr. Zhou Jiangyong, Secretary of CPC Hangzhou Municipal Committee.
The influence of British style international education is also growing in Hangzhou, with the opening of Wellington College International Hangzhou in September this year. Wellington College China represented British education in the recent China-Britain Business Council meetings in Hangzhou. Ms. Helen Kavanagh, CEO of Wellington College China, is fifth from the right in the photo above. Other delegations included BP China, Standard Chartered Bank and Jardine Matheson among others.
Wellington College International Hangzhou is the third international school to be opened by Wellington College in China. Like all Wellington College schools, the education is centred on providing a holistic, values-based education including a wide-range of academic and extra-curricular opportunities, supported by state-of-the art facilities and world-class academic staff (see the campus below).
Wellington College International Hangzhou will follow a curriculum based on the English National Curriculum in Pre-Prep and Prep School. When the children reach Senior School they will do the IGCSE, and then can choose to either take the IB Diploma Programme or A Levels, depending on their interests and needs.
If you are interested in learning more about Wellington College International Hangzhou, they are holding a parent information session in their campus on Sunday, June 10th. To register to attend, you can scan the QR code.