Filipino-American and San Francisco native Regina Galang lived and worked in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, the UK and Thailand before landing in China in 2007, first in Chengdu and then Shanghai. Greg Holman came to Shanghai from St. Louis, Missouri for a trip to see his brother who lived there, met a woman (Regina!), fell in love, settled down here and married her.
Nearly 11 years later, they are still here with two amazing girls born in the city – Gwynevere (8) and Mackenzie (6).
Regina consults on a range of projects for start-ups and multinationals and is currently back working with Diageo, her former employer of 10 years. She also supports new businesses focused on women’s leadership and the experience economy.
Greg was born with a heart defect, and had open-heart surgery at the age of four, which drove him to dedicate his career to helping people have better lives. He is a med-tech veteran specializing in neurovascular care as Vice President of Japan and APAC for Stryker, a USA-based medical device company.
Favorite Restaurant in Shanghai
It’s hard to pick one, but we love the F&B at The Shanghai EDITION, especially HIYA and Canton Disco. HIYA’s temacos are addictive. We recently discovered Ottimo and have already gone back a few times. We love the walk-in wine cellar, the vibe and the food is fantastic. Other faves include High Yaki and Mercato by Jean Georges. I’d add places like SOiF, Villa Le Bec and Scarpetta, while Greg enjoys Cantina Agave, especially on a sunny day.
When we eat with the kids, our go-tos are Beef & Liberty and Hatsune. Our girls can be picky with their meals, but for some reason they prefer dishes like ribs, salmon sashimi and roe over spaghetti Bolognese. And of course, it goes without saying that Homeslice is on our regular rotation. Senso, a casual Italian restaurant just across the street is owned by a lovely couple. We can often be found enjoying their happy hour, and the girls devour their pizzas.
"It goes without saying that Homeslice is on our regular rotation." Image by Sophie Steiner/That's
Favorite Date Night Spot for Mom & Dad
When we met back in 2010, one of our favorite date night spots was Franck. We loved the ambiance, the menu on the blackboard and their beef tartare. We stopped going for a few years. Not long ago, we went back and were happy to discover that it felt unchanged. It’s not far from where we live; we can walk there, eat a nice meal and drink some wine. We make sure the kids are asleep and come home to watch some Netflix. We also like Polux – their generous wine pours are also awesome!
The Polux Waffle. Image by Sophie Steiner/That's
Favorite Family Activity in Shanghai
We enjoy exploring our neighborhood. We have our set circuit: coffee from Gentle Maker, croissants and cinnamon rolls from MBD and the sea salt bread from Sunflour. Along the way, we duck into various shops for things like a box of Honey Nut Cheerios, bacon from Swiss Butchery and boxes of overpriced mac & cheese from Laura’s.
We almost always run into friends; it’s like living on a university campus, with the various compounds feeling like different dormitories. We love that even in a megacity like Shanghai, it can still feel like a small town.
During quarantine, Greg suggested ‘Family Date Night.’ Since we couldn’t leave our apartment, we dressed up and ordered the popular combo of Hakkasan and McDonald’s. We lit candles, set the table, dimmed the lights and just loved being together. We’ve continued the tradition since.
Image courtesy of Jump 360
Latest Family Activity Discovery
Monopoly Deal! It’s the card game version of Monopoly. It’s so much fun and doesn’t take hours to finish. We recently discovered that our six year old might be a real estate mogul! And of course, it’s super easy to purchase on Taobao.
Favorite Family Movie
We have phases. For the longest time it was The Greatest Showman... until it wasn’t. Greg tried to get all of his girls into Star Wars, but that didn’t go as planned. We actually love watching The Voice, the singing competition. The girls are convinced they want to be on the show one day. Since we can’t hold a note to save our lives (and we passed these bad singing genes to our children), I think they’ll need to think of other dreams.
Best Addition to the Shanghai Scene in the Past Year
Klay, the newly opened Indian restaurant in Jing’an, is awesome, and we already can’t wait to go back. We’ve tried and re-tried all of the restaurants in 20 Donghu Lu: Blaz, Hundo and Cellar to Table. I love supporting my girlfriends, so have to give a shout out to Gin & Juice and all of their delicious cocktails. Finally, thank goodness for Charlotta Gandolfo and all of the beautiful clothes she designs.
Image courtesy of Charlotta Gandolfo
For more Family Favorites, click here.
[Cover photo courtesy of Regina Galang]