Sips and bites: Bungalow, Q Mex, TRB Bites & more

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Long on drinks but short on life, tiki bar Bungalow closed last week. Sounds like the neighbors and, in turn, the authorities didn’t appreciate quality Pina Coladas–or 30-kuai Old Fashioneds for that matter–on their boring street.

Or the fact this place had the seal of approval of Julian Tavalin. To quote him again: “I don’t care much for cocktails in general but [owner] Phil [Tory] makes me a believer” and “He wipes flavors into the glass and all this weird shit and loves every moment of it. I’m thinking ‘Is this really necessary?’, then I taste it and I’m like ‘Wow, maybe it was’.” (Tavalin was right.)

Phillip Tory promises a bigger and better Bungalow soon. One of the city’s biggest tiki drink fans has a request: more of an “Elvis / Blue Hawaii” look this time around.

Q Mex is working on a series of takeaway condiments. One of these is a habanero salsa labelled “very spicy”. Spicy enough to burn your face off? Chef Marcus Medina said it rates high enough on the Scoville scale to be painful to some. Sounds like you can keep your face but will lose a few taste buds.

Traitor Zhou’s is finally open in 1949: The Hidden City. I don’t know how many pre-opening posts I wrote about this place but it wore me out enough that it’ll take a few weeks before I can shop there. Look for the a outlet to open in a week or so in front of Migas.

Word is the team behind Suzie Wong will take over the doomed Sanlitun Space that previously housed Ink and, before that, about a half-dozen other ventures, from a tapas joint to a glass-floored jazz club that charged rmb50-plus per Tsingtao. Meanwhile, Touch Bar, the massive space next door, will soon open as shared office space.

Temple Restaurant Beijing put out a press release a week back that said it will take take over The Courtyard restaurant space and rename it TRB Bites@The Courtyard. Hmm, “bites” sounds a bit frivolous for such a historic place, no? Anyway, it will be interesting to see the result, given TRB’s Ignace Lecleir has done well with such venues.

A couple of bars recently celebrated birthdays: Beer Mania turned ten with two days of live music and Belgian beer specials, while Enoterra celebrated year eight and has a growing list of new wines, from Sonoma Chardonnay to German Pinot Noir.

By the way, I posted most of this info last week on Facebook and WeChat, so if that mode of communication works for you, connect with me on either / both via the account “beijingboyce”.

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