By Jim Boyce | I recently resurrected Must Tries, a series where the Beijing bar and restaurant trade reveals its favorite foods and drinks. Now I’m bringing back Give a Crap Report, which explains how the scene would be so much better if only everyone listened to me, me, me. (Note: I don’t claim to be an F&B expert, this is just my take as a consumer and, yes, I realize everything here can be filed under First World Problems.) I’m giving five craps this time around…
After more than ten years of observation, I estimate 50 percent of guys do not wash their hands after using the loo. (Someone else will have to provide figures for women.) Consider that next time you share the free peanuts at your favorite drinking hole and find them gamey.
But, you might ask, is there hope? Yes, and veteran Centro has shown the way:
Presenting the nuts in a high narrow container forces patrons to spill them into their hands and keeps the rest from being, er, contaminated. Looks classy, too. I’ve seen this presentation at a few other places in recent months.
Going to the toilet and having your feet stick to the floor because a half-dozen previous users lacked the coordination and/or consideration to hit the urinal? It isn’t cricket and the solution might be football. The average bar-goer’s attention span and hand-eye coordination decrease per drink, thus it’s important to maximize their brain power and this tiny net, seen here at Q Bar, will undoubtedly do so:
Speaking of Q Bar, I really wish this place would advertise its happy hour more. Buy one, get one free Manhattans, Margaritas, Mojitos and more, from 5 PM to 8 PM, seven days per week. That means a pair of martinis for rmb50. On top of that, when the weather is good, the comfy deck is a superb option. Yet there is little promotion, with the happy hour signs and handouts in the shadows at the bar’s edges. I don’t get it: this place could use the business and the city’s imbibers could use tasty drinks at low prices. Come on Q, you can do (it).
Dear five-star hotels: When a taxi pulls up to drop off a guest and the weather is hot enough to melt the nuts off a brass monkey, to tweak an expression, your staff need not immediately open the vehicle door. The receipt machines in taxis are like cats barfing up hairballs and take a painfully long time. That open door means nice cool air-conditioned comfort is being replaced by Beijing’s hot summer funk. Same deal in the winter when our city is being pounded by cold arctic blasts. Just wait until the rider is ready, okay?
Finally, Bungalow might bill itself foremost as a tiki bar but half of its menu is devoted to ‘lost classics’ like the Scofflaw and Corpse Reviver No. 2. The Alfonso Special is not only pretty much lost and arguably a classic but also delicious. Plus, it’s named after a guy who lived in exile and died far from home, a situation to which more than a few expatriates might relate. Gin, Grand Marnier, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth and bitters: guys, please add this one when you next update your menu.