MOONSHINE: Now open in the former Apothecary space on the third floor of Nali Patio, with Lynch, most recently at BBC, manning the bar. Cocktails from rmb70, whiskey from rmb60, post coming soon. (Hat tip: A-Mac)
FANG: This cocktail bar on Fangjia Hutong has added snacks, including sun-dried tomato hummus, almond-stuffed olives, and Emmental cheese and ham (all rmb25 per serving) and ceviche tortilla cups (rmb30). They’re half price this week, says Zak Elmasri.
POP-UP: You can now catch movies in the bar area every Tuesday night, with It’s a Wonderful Life and Some Like It Hot already screened. The eventual goal is to have the movies visible outside as well so passersby can stop and catch a few scenes.
MODERNISTA: My first real visit since the renovations — yes, I know, that makes me over two years late — and it was packed for a band called The Mack Daddies. (This outfit, with horn section and two backup singers, did tight versions of Christmas songs, classics like “The Saints Go Marching In”, and more recent tunes like Bruno Mars’ “Uptown”, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose”, although band intros took about thrice as long as any of those songs. I’m not big into live music but would catch these guys again.) Had two draft beers: the La Chouffe was fine, the Vedett, um, not so good (not sure if this was a line or an age problem). This place also has a late-night happy hour: rmb10 shots from midnight to 2 AM.
MAS: Turns out there is a two-for-one cocktail deal on Tuesdays so I sampled a handful. In order, with the qualification that there was plenty of free-pouring and thus these might taste different next time around:
- La Floradita: A rough rum edge hangs around like an unwanted house guest. No like.
- Rosado: Lots of flavor sensations — sweet, sour and bitter — in this Cachaca, Campari, hibiscus and grapefruit bitters mix. Good if you want something lighter. Might work well after work on a hot summer day.
- Turkish Delight: Potent aroma and rich flavors, with amaretto, spices and lemon playing off each other. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it drink. I liked it.
- Coral Gables: Muddy combo of rum, falernum liqueur et al with too much lime. No like.
- Kingston: Lean and balanced. Fresh lime squeezes between a cardamon aroma and lingering finish. My favorite along with the Rosada.
There’s a food menu, with quesadillas, Cuban sandwiches and the like, but it was past the 11 PM cutoff by the time we tried to order so that’ll have to wait for next time.