Article By Thabo Jaffe
Building 5, Chuangye Coffee Block, Gaoxin 2nd Road
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 120RMB (cocktails) / 350RMB (whiskey)
Walking down a bustling coffee street on a warm spring night makes it feel like things are almost back to normal. Branching off the main stretch a little, you’ll come across a set of quieter looking storefronts, but one stands out from the rest. With an exterior of slatted wood, an almost hidden door, and a solitary porthole with a moon-like light on the inside, 哪ナナgives off a kind of exclusive vibe. Walking in, we were greeted by chilled beats that never got invasively loud. The interior is somewhat as you would expect from a whisky bar – dark moody lighting, comfortable leather chairs, textured walls. Small enough to have your space, but never be ignored.
We settled down in our leather armchairs to read the menu. No luck, it’s all in Chinese. We did notice though, that there were only bottle prices displayed, and upon enquiry we found that they only sell their whisky by the bottle. Choosing to sample some of the cocktails first, we had to name our poison as the cocktail menu wasn’t ready yet – but we were promised it would be available by the time this is published – so I went with an Old Fashioned and Martini to see how their classics are. We were then gifted with a torrent of cocktails that we drank slow enough to taste and appreciate their presentation, and the showmanship of our barman. I’m not huge on cocktails, but I know my classics well enough to say that across the board they scored well, just what you’d expect from a high-end bar.
One could get the idea that this is a Japanese bar. They offer all types of whisky and bourbon, but they have an extensive Japanese whisky selection, so you wouldn’t be wrong. As I mentioned, whisky is not served by the glass here, so they were kind enough to let us sample some of their Japanese whiskies. Preparing the ice alone took some technical ability – our barman cut (with a small saw) a piece out of a 2×1 foot block of ice, then shaped it into a ball. Some standouts to try (my own subjective recommendation) are the Toki Suntory whisky, Asakura, Kujira, and my winner for the night, the Nikka coffey grain whisky.
Next time you’re on coffee street but want something a little more chilled and off the beaten path, look for the slatted wood front, with the moon in the window.
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 email@example.com