Article By Jimmy Reid
#39, East Shun Cheng Xiang, Inside South Gate, Beilin District. 碑林区南门里东顺城巷39号
186 2755 7502
3:00pm – 3:00am
Average Price per Person / 人均消费: 20RMB
Ample drink sizes and one of the staff speaks excellent English
A little close to the road
Did you know Don Juan was a fictional 14th century Spanish libertine, famous for his prowess as a womaniser and lambasted by Lord Byron in one of his epic poems? No? Well, neither did I. However, more pertinent to the readership of this magazine, Don Juan is also a bar in Xi’an.
Don Juan is located next to the city wall, very near South Gate. On the inside it resembles a quaint little coffee shop, one wall lined with books, curios strewn within. I imagine during the day it would be a wonderful place to relax and read a book, sheltered from the Shaanxi sun by the shade of the city wall. I wouldn’t know as I went during the England vs. Wales Euro match; every inch of pavement real estate outside was packed with spectators staring at the sizeable projector screen. As someone who loathes football I’m happy to report there wasn’t too much jeering. However, the little audible support was inexplicably for the English. I thought the Chinese would root for the underdog.
I first wet my whistle with a mojito that would make Hemingway blush. I should note there were many flavours on the menu but I opted for the classic lime. To say it was a huge glass would be an understatement, and it was full with an abundance of mint and lime. Those of you who are simply after a pint will also be catered to with a good selection competitively priced beers (of course, the Chinese bias is towards German and Belgian beers).
The football and the warm evening’s air were putting me to sleep, so my mind quickly moved to coffee. To make up for my lack of adventurousness in my previous beverage choice I decided on a strawberry latte; a decadent concoction, not for the purists, but certainly one Don Juan and his hedonistic ways surely would have appreciated.
Don Juan is a wonderful little bar for those looking for a temporary escape from the usual expat crowd and the usual haunts. The pleasant staff, drinks and atmosphere more than made up for England’s victory that night.
If you want to get down like Don Juan this might not be for you, but if you want a decent selection of drinks without the pretentious price tags Don Juan’s a winner.
Jimmy Reid is a miserable Scottish bastard that can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org