Stellar combination of Latin-inspired design, tapas, cocktails and music imbues exuberant Latin lifestyle
July 19th, 2013
One of the more stunning new lounge and cocktail bars to open in Shanghai in recent years,UNICO is approaching its first anniversary in September 2013. An enticing confluence of Latin-inspired design, cuisine, cocktails and music, UNICO has become a massively popular fixture on the Shanghai nightlife scene, and has been the recipient of numerous local media awards. UNICO boasts an ultra stylish interior design that exudes both a sophisticated elegance- and an authentic Latin soul- with its magnificent marble bar the centrepiece of the lounge. And with its alluring array of Latin and classic cocktails, complimented by superb tapas, and a vibrant Latin soul music program featuring resident international DJs, supported by regular live acts, UNICO delivers a zesty, multisensory experience for a discerning clientele.
Superbly located on the second level of the prestigious Three on The Bund building (which hosts an impressive assemblage of signature restaurants by international celebrity chefs), UNICO occupies, together with its associated fine dining restaurant Colagreco, the entire floor, making it reputedly the largest Latin themed lounge in Asia.
UNICO Lounge and Colagreco Restaurant are the creation of a collaboration between three talented partners. The concept and design of UNICO ( even detailed down to special hand-made knives) are the creation of Marcelo Joulia- the French-Argentinian artistic director and founder of international design and architectural studio- Naco Architectures. Marcelo also owns and operates restaurants in both Paris and Buenos Aires. Another Shanghai- based French national, Olivier Chouvet, is founder of the event planning firm Emotion, and more recently Glamour Sales Asia. And on the culinary side, the final partner is Argentine chef and restaurateur Mauro Colagreco. With an impressive background cooking in the kitchens of celebrated French chefs, Colagreco opened his own restaurant in 2006- Mirazur, on the French Riviera, which earned its second Michelin star in 2012. At UNICO and the eponymous Colagreco Restaurant, he applies his creativity and sound culinary techniques to his native Latin cuisines to create menus of contemporary tapas Latinas for UNICO, and a refined Latin dining experience at Colagreco.
Tapas menus at UNICO are updated seasonally with the availability of market-fresh local produce, with the creative dishes inspired by the diversity of regional cuisines across Latin America- ranging from the Caribbean in the north, to Argentina, and Peru in the south. The current Summer Menu features an extensive variety of dishes- assembled under “collections” or tasting menus, plus a broad choice of classic tapas, charcuterie, cheeses and grilled meats from the Argentinian parilla grill. Some notable dishes include Seaweed foccacia topped with smoked avocado and vegetable ceviche; Crispy and suckling pig confit with creamy polenta; and Slow cooked organic egg with crispy potatoes, romesco sauce and Ibérico ham.
The cocktail program at UNICO is under the direction of head mixologist Hektor Monroy- originally from Mexico- but more recently working in Spain. Before coming to Shanghai, Hektor was awarded “Champion best shaker of Madrid 2010” and also “Best Mexican mixologist of Europe” in 2010. Working with the culinary team for inspiration, Hektor crafts outstanding cocktails that embrace the diversity of Latin liquors, flavors and ingredients.
Music is at the heart of the Latin soul- and UNICO is renowned for their world class DJs and live acts with a repertoire that ranges early in the evening from cosmic tangos spiced-up with tropical Jazz and iconic voices to a soulful explosion of rare grooves, funky mambos, boogaloos, afro-cumbias, genuine bombas, plenas, descargas, and later in the night, crosses over into a more upbeat vibe.
Regular promotions at UNICO include “el Tuesdays”: COUTURE Wednesdays; and Late Sunday Brunches– see details below- or visit the UNICO Facebook Page for regular updates, and information on upcoming special events.
UNICO Lounge & Bar
Luxurious black leather banquette settings extend the length of the room – with the bar and lounge area opposite.
The centre-piece gray marble bar anchors the lounge space. Overhead, a suspended “ice” sculpture makes a bold creative statement- crafted by an anonymous young artist with Latin Indian origin (Suya tribe) living in the city of Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon, Peru.
Looking down the white/grey marble bar counter towards the open kitchen.
Section of the open kitchen opposite the bar area- with an antique cheese trolley standing in front.
One section of the lounge extends down the side of the bar- sleek contemporary armchairs and sofa settings feature pastel colored fabric furnishings, interspersed with tan leather covered chairs.
Corner section of the lounge exudes relaxed sophistication with black leather banquettes and modern armchairs.
Performance stage in the lounge area for DJs and live musicians. Latin music plays an integral role in the UNICO experience- with nightly DJs and live acts with an immersive and progressive journey into the heart of the Latin soul, hand-picked by worldwide specialists of the genre.
The impressive shared cooking facilities at UNICO / Colagreco span the entire length of the rear section of the interior space- with a white marble topped serving counter standing atop glowing red glass tiles.
Colagreco Restaurant- Fine Latin-Inspired Dining from Chef Mauro Colagreco
Adjoining UNICO at the Bund frontage of the floorspace, Colagreco Restaurant is beautifully furnished with plush red leather banquettes and dining chairs that blend harmoniously with the timber parquet flooring and charcoal timber paneling. The restaurant exhibits works by selected Chinese contemporary artists.
A mixture of large circular tables and more intimate banquette settings extend across the Colagreco dining room.
The front section of Colagreco- with windows overlooking The Bund.
Window-front tables enjoy fabulous views across The Bund and Huangpu River to the Pudong skyline.
Cocktail Specialties from the UNICO mixologists
MANGO & ROSEMARY CAIPI- Cachaça Sagatiba Pura, Mango, Fresh Lime & Rosemary.
AGAVE & CORIANDER MOJITO– Corralejo Blanco Tequila, Fresh Coriander, Lime Juice & Sparkling H2O
GREEN- blend of La Maison Fontaine Absinthe, Celery Juice, Green apple juice, Sugar Syrup, Lime juice, Olive oil, Coriander, Champagne.
Head Mixologist Hektor Monroy preparing the SMOKY DAIQUIRI- Havana Club Rum, burning stick of cinnamon.
UNICO Summer 2013 Tapas Menu
UNICO Lounge- contemporary Latin tapas/parilla lounge- Shanghai
Address: Three The Bund, 2/F, No.3 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Road, Shanghai. 200002. China
Metro: Line 10 East Nanjing Rd
Enquiries: +86.21. 5308 5399
Suday to Thursday : 6:00 pm ~ 2:00 am
Friday & Saturday: 6:00 pm ~ 3:00 am
El Tuesday– A Latin State of Mind- Free Flow Sparkling Mojitos 8:30 ~ 9:30 pm. All night 2 x Sparkling Mojitos for RMB80
COUTURE Wednesdays– Dress code- “couture”. DJ from 10 pm. 2 x bottles of Champagne MUMM for RMB1000
Festive Sunday Brunch– 2 pm ~ 8 pm Brunch RMB345 MUMM Cordon Rouge RMB480/bottle
Dress code: Smart Casual