Article By Thabo Jaffe
B1, Zhongda International, No.30 Nan Da Jie.
(029) 8720 3604
10:00am – 2:00am
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 100RMB
PROS: Great Americana atmosphere, good food and beer, no difficulty for English speakers, reasonable prices
CONS: I struggled to find any
Under the pretence that I was just going to do a bar review, I headed to the easy-to-find Zhongda International just inside the South Gate on South Street. Walking down a well-lit side alley I find the name I’m looking for, splayed across the side of the mall. I head in the little door and start heading down some stairs, but stop to anxiously check where my partner-in-crime for the night is. I don’t go to bars alone and I’ve been somewhat let down by underground bars in the past. On cue, my partner arrives and we make our way inside. This wouldn’t be one of the times I’d be let down.
It would be grossly unfair to say that we walked into a bar. As the name alludes to, Morii Vintage Lifestyle is just that. This place takes up the entire basement floor, with the bar/restaurant/livehouse an island surrounded by a small gallery, classic barbershop, Wagyu beef restaurant, Chinese rice wine store, toy store, various clothing stores (fitting the theme), a leather goods stand and a tattoo parlour. These are separately managed parts that all fall under the Morii umbrella, and most close at 10pm, save for the main island, which closes at 2am.
Now onto the bar review. You can let your translation app rest, as they have an English menu as well as English-speaking staff. The Burpger Beer and Burger menu is American/Mexican themed, with some standouts being the tacos (hard- and soft-shell), the premium hamburgers and tasty Mexican rice bowls. For their craft beer they’ve partnered with “18” Brewery of Wuhan, and they cover all the bases—wheat beer, stout, IPAs, saison and more—a total of about 10 on tap with taster sets available. Mix and match the food and drinks or choose one of their combo sets. The word I would use to describe it is affordable. Wednesdays are ladies night, AKA “Funky Nights,” whereby the fairer sex gets a buy-one-get-one-free as well as a 99RMB “free flow beer” special.
Their whiskey and cocktail bar offers all the whiskeys you could possibly think of, at a competitive price, and the cocktail menu has all the classics as well as some in-house specialties. Having vintage in the name of the establishment, I went for an old-fashioned and was not disappointed.
The atmosphere is warm and spacious, with Morii going the extra mile, having chairs to tables to signboards, literally all the furniture, imported from vintage USA. With the promise of many future events to be held here, I get the feeling that this is going to be one of Xi’an’s new nighttime hotspots.
Thabo is an avid explorer and less-than-worldly South African, always in search of new experiences. Stopping just short of suicidal, he’s a true Yes Man. You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org