Article By David Lee
Harbour City 9th Street, Yannan yi lu and Ci’en xi lu intersection North 200 meters.
(029) 8931 8169
4:00pm – 1:00am
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 125RMB
PROS: Live music and acoustics
SOLAR Jazz Club & Restaurant prides itself as a venue to experience some of the best live jazz music in Xi’an. While you’re listening, you can also fill up on some pretty good food and drinks.
Just south of Dayanta, SOLAR Jazz Club is nestled in a large plaza with some of the most upscale and expensive restaurants in town. It differentiates itself with its elegant ambiance and nightly live music.
Walking in feels like a portal into more sophisticated times—when the cool thing to do was to gather your friends, dress to the nines and listen to jazz music; back when Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis were the hottest gigs in town. I’ve never lived in that world. It passed me by before I was even born, but I feel like I was just there.
The wooden décor and intimate seating make the entire area feel like a private concert. The closest seats are just a couple feet from the performers, but there is also upstairs seating if you want the music without the pressure of front row seats. SOLAR promises live music every night around 9:30, with some variation due to musicians’ schedules. All of the best jazz artists in Xi’an and many foreign acts are sure to make a stop.
“Our first priority here is music, we’re a jazz club,” said Nikki Yu, the restaurant’s manager who is also fluent in English. “Then second comes drinks and finally our food.”
But that doesn’t mean the food and drinks are lacking. The drinks range from a wide assortment of wines and draft beers to a few specialty cocktails and whiskeys. They do tend to be on the pricy side, it seems you are paying for the experience alongside your consumables. The cocktails were incredibly delicious and the whiskey selection was downright admirable.
The food comes in smaller portions but is some of the best I’ve had in a long time. The German sausages and fried fish were beautifully plated and satisfyingly hearty. The salad and garlic bread were above average, but the food and drinks are really just a smaller part of the total experience.
If you are wanting a classy night out in one of the most uniquely conceptualized spots in Xi’an, SOLAR is the place to go. Maybe it isn’t for the ravenously hungry or the jazz-averse, but it is certainly for me.
David Lee is a reviewer for Xianease hoping to eventually write something as good as “real g’s move in silence like lasagna.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org