Table reserved for James

Table reserved for James! Shanghai Nights @ Brooklyn Hotel

A friend has a birthday and has decided to hold it at Brooklyn Hotel for the Shanghai Nights event. . I don’t want to go, as last time was mediocre for me, but I must keep up appearances, plus it will give this place another chance for a review, so here we go!

Shanghai Nights @ Brooklyn Hotel
Assessment Time: 09:30pm-1:00am (Including lining up from 09:30pm – 10:15pm)
Opening Hours: Club night opens its doors 10:15 and closes at approx 4:00am. Brooklyn Hotel is open from 10am – 4am.
Address: Corner George and Grovenor Streets
Dress Code / Door Policy: Standard dress code applies. Jeans ok, normal shoes ok. Runners is risky, but you may or may not get in.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free before 10:30 if you are on the guestlist. $25 otherwise. $20 if on the guestlist before midnight.
Guestlist: Submit guestlists to – Do mention if it is your birthday and they may be able reserve some seating etc.
Inside:  A main bar dance area to hold 100 or so people with DJ elevated a metre or so above the floor. 2 square podiums on the side to hold 2 or 3 people each. Central circular bar. Second bar at the back to primarily serve the back outdoor courtyard. The DJ here is also on an elevated platform about half a metre up. The courtyard holds 2 or 300 people. There is also a smaller room to hold metal tables and chairs for the birthdays.
Cloak Room: $4 per item I think. I didn’t utilize it tonight. I left my bag on the dancefloor and came back half an hour later to find it missing. Where was it!? I handed in a lost property form, and I only just picked it up the Monday after from the Brooklyn Hotel – someone luckily handed it in.
Bar: Advertised as $3.50 per shot based drink before midnight (scotch, bourbon, vodka, gin, rum).
Music: Modern RnB in the main room, with house mashups. Outside was pretty much commercial house all night, but at a lower volume so people could chat. It wasn’t as quiet as last time, thank goodness, but it wasn’t loud enough to warrant the house music fans to dance vigorously.
Crowd: Dominantly Asian
Entertainment: Podium dancers. I can’t remember if there was an MC tonight, but I don’t think so – correct me otherwise. Also the ‘Luxy girls’ (Apparently 4 girls from Taiwan who are great with pole dancing) appeared for a photo shoot as promotion for their club appearances for the upcoming Easter Long weekend. They didn’t perform tonight though.
Food: BBQ out back, with sausages, kebab sticks and Vietnamese ‘nem’ sticks for $5 each. It’s a monopoly here. The kebab sticks are burnt – It was his “first night” cooking, the promoter/chef explains to us. At least have a girl do it.
Atmosphere: Pretty busy inside. Outside was relaxed, and again a smokers paradise. It really wasn’t happening outside. All the action was inside the main room.

Lining up for free entry
I was pretty determined to not pay entry for tonight, as I do believe this event is overpriced. The two options to get in for free were to either enter Brooklyn Hotel before 9pm before the promoters close off the club for the public, or line up and hope to get in before 10:30, provided your name is also on the guestlist. We lined up at the door at 9:30 and were the lucky first people to be in line. After 5 minutes more people joined us, and by the time it was 10:15, the line was pretty long, about 50 deep. We did get in before 10:30 and scored our free entry.

First as you enter, and the inside room is dead. Walked out and all the languishers who entered Brooklyn before 9pm were still here, drinking and eating. About 20 or so people, including a group of friends. Small world!

Confirmation that I’m not too old for clubbing
We made friends lining up with two asian guys who are here to enjoy the night and “meet girls”. Guess how old they are – they are 28, and 33!!  These guys are my new heroes! They lament on how they wish they were younger again, but they are determined to have a good night tonight. I lament on how much better the old Brooklyn Hotel was before the promoters came in – drunk girls and space for dancing.

I pretend to be “James”

Out back there are two tables reserved for “James”. Isn’t that selfish! So after about 15 minutes of waiting for this supposed “James” to arrive, I decided to pretend to be “James” and sit down with my friends on one of the tables. As part of the “Shanghai Night” experience, you get a waiter girl to order drinks on your behalf, priority service style. So the girl came up and we ordered drinks. She returns quite soon after with our drinks – awesome! Next thing you know, “James” turns up and demands his table!! Too soon, too soon. I was ready to stand up and go, but my friends, being my friends, defend me, saying this table belongs to me, “James Tran”. Oh man, so ok, I go along with it and play ‘lets have an argument that I pretended to reserve this table under my name’. Of course, he insists it is his table, and we insist that the table is ours. Oh the poor guy, he almost gave up, but we give up our temporary awesome seats.

Podium dancing

It’s squishy to dance on the floor, and so I hopped up for a bit of a short dance. I had to ask permission from the podium dancers before I got up. I did my thing, but I probably looked like a fool 😉 After 2 songs the podium dancer kicks me off and does her thing with the head spinning and fancy dancy stuff.


All my friends have left, and I am at this point looking for my laptop, which I have just given up looking for. I am now bored. Even Jason the Korean bum dancer has arrived tonight – he has just entered the building and was warming up his dance moves – It was game over for me. I left to move on to Havana, where M was. Noticeably as I walk outside, there is no longer a line – everybody has been let in already.


No big bang celebrations as the Grand Opening last time – the regular Friday night here is just average. Outside nobody dances to the house so really its only the inside that you are expecting dancers to be at. I find it sad that there are not as many asian people who love house, as I would have stayed outside all night if there were more people and less smokers. Overall, I still would personally avoid coming here – you would only enjoy this place if you were drunk.
Shanghai Nights @ Brooklyn Hotel Club Sydney: 4.5/10
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2 Responses to Shanghai Nights @ Brooklyn Hotel: Friday 26th March 2010

  1. Sally says:

    Hi James!!
    Thanks, I really love reading all your comments on clubs in Sydney. they are very interesting!
    anyway I usually go clubbing to Bamboo on sat night and today I was thinking of trying Brooklyn Hotel for this friday..but I am now determined not to try there after reading all your posts abt this club!

    so do u have any recommendation for any other club for Fri night? I and my friends love hiphop or just normal pop music is fine too like Bamboo!

    Thanks xx

    • James says:

      Hey Sally!

      Firstly, I am honored that people out there actually read my stuff. It helps keep me going :)

      Secondly, if you go Bamboo regularly, I would say, go ahead and try Brooklyn – there may be a chance that you might like it, as it is coming from the same promoters as the Bamboo events. You will get the same crowded feeling on the dancefloor and you have the BBQ and smoking area outside as well, just like Bamboo 😉

      That said, there are two other clubs you might want to try:

      1. Flow @ World Square Pub. Its rnb, all asian crowd. Though its small, and can get stuffy it is packed full of people. Though, again, a friend went there 2 weeks ago and reported it was good except there are lots of perverted guys, since it’s all dark and all (she is pretty though). No cloak room for your bags. I am personally 50/50 on this place.

      2. Candy Dreams @ Havana. Its also rnb, but about half the crowd is asian. Last week a reader reported to me that there were a lot of Lebanese due to two Lebanese birthday parties, which was interesting. She then went to Brooklyn and massively enjoyed it (!!), so it really depends on what you expect from a nightclub experience. The music here is rnb/hip hop and probably the better of the two. It’s not as dark as Flow.

      These are the only other rnb clubs I would consider for you to visit. :)

      Let me know how it goes!


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