Article By Michael Gruendner
3F Meisha Hotel, Huancheng South Rd West Section
7:30pm – 2:30am
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 50RMB
PROS: Location, View, Shochu, service
CONS: No English, limited Beer
Are you in the mood for a different feeling? (Did you see what I did there?) How about a taste of some great Japanese liquor? The Japanese-themed bar, Different Feeling, is nestled just outside South Gate behind the Grand Park Xi’an hotel. It’s on the third floor of its building and it sports a massive, all-glass wall of windows that provides patrons with a stunning view of the exterior of South Gate, which is personally one of my favorite views. While I was lucky enough to be present during a fireworks display (making the view all the more amazing), even without the colorful explosions it was a beautiful place to enjoy Xi’an’s night lights. This Shōchū bar will excite your taste buds and give you a wonderful vista while you relax in climate-controlled comfort.
So, what is the “Japanese liquor” that this place serves up? Shōchū. Now you might be wondering, as I did upon hearing that all their cocktails are mixed with it, what is Shōchū? According to Wikipedia, it’s a distilled beverage that is less than 45% ABV and has a flavor generally described as “earthy” or “nutty.” When mixed up at Different Feeling, it makes for some interestingly named but totally delicious cocktails. Over twenty specialty cocktails will satiate the palate of any cocktail connoisseur. Of the ones I sampled, I’d have to say the cinnamon flavor of the Black Samaria hit my sweet tooth just right, but you can’t go wrong with fun drinks like “Transporter” and “Fire Burning Island” and a third whose name I can’t recall, save for that has something to do with horses and fire. These drinks come packed with flavor (and enough liquor to pack a punch as well) and they are easily worth their 40-60RMB price tag. They have a minimal selection though for my beer-loving friends though, offering up Asahi for 40RMB and other to-be-expected beers like Hoegaarden. Don’t pop by hoping for any special Japanese beer on tap either. All their beer is kept in a fridge by the entrance to the bathroom.
This spacious bar has room for plenty with enough tables of varying sizes to fit any group and a bar with seating for 20 your bound to find a place to rest your weary legs. The larger tables even have Japanese-style curtains for privacy and their loft area, while a little low in ceiling height, provides a more secluded place to enjoy their amazing cocktails. Different Feeling is begging for you to come check it out on some of those nights that are just a bit too hot for rooftops. Come on down and get a little taste of Japan. But, be sure to bring your Chinese speaking friends unless you want to play some menu roulette, though that can be fun in its own way.
Mike Gruendner is an Energizer bunny FOMO-ing at the mouth. He can be reached at email@example.com