Article by James Morrow
No.334, Ti Yu Guan East Road.
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 58RMB
Bueno is a brand that might be somewhat familiar to many of the expats in Xi’an who have been here for a while. Bueno started out selling their unique mix of cocktails from a cart located inside of Xiao Nan Men. It was always a place to stop by if you were in the area, as the cocktails were good and sold at a very reasonable price. Then, later on, they opening up their first store front, just a few meters away from where they had previously positioned their cart. It is a great location, and still in operation, but it often fills up quickly. Well, now space will not be a problem, as they’ve opened up a new location just outside of South Gate behind the Ginwa, a short walk from exit D2 of the Yongning Men subway stop.
The location is marked by a glowing yellow box floating on the wall and a wooden bench sitting out front. Heading in, you are presented with a large wooden and concrete bar with a huge shelf of bottles on a wooden and wire mesh shelf acting as a back drop. A large beer fridge sits by the door and tables and chairs ring the walls, leading into a back area with even more seating. Space is definitely not an issue here.
Pulling up to the bar, we took a look at their menu. The main menu consist of all of the classic Bueno beverages, organized by mixer types and each with their own signature name. There are also secondary menus for food, bottle service, coffee, and a special 5-drink menu featuring signature cocktails by famous bartenders. Gravitating to the specialty cocktail menu, the first drink served was a Rum Martini. Served in a rocks glass with olives and a single massive ice cube, the drink was just the right kind of sour and sweet. We also tried a Harmony sip, a whiskey-based cocktail garnished with apple slices and fresh thyme. After that was a Negroni Australiano, a bitter coffee flavored beverage that had just enough sweetness to balance it.
It was at this point that we noticed the taps. What I had taken to be your typical beer taps were actually taps that had been modified to distribute certain pre-mixed cocktails from their standard menu. Seeing this, we flipped over to the standard menu to have a couple of the Bueno Classics. Everything tasted exactly as it should and overall we had a great evening. It should be noted at this point that pricing is very affordable as far as bars go in Xi’an. The average cocktail runs between 30 and 40 RMB per glass with only a few higher octane or specialty cocktails tipping the scale slightly at around 60 RMB. All of the previously mentioned star bartender signature cocktails come in at 58RMB a piece.
The food menu has a few interesting items listed on there as well. From Mapo Mashed Potatoes to Beef Jerky and Juicy Chicken, there is indeed a lot to choose from. Though we didn’t try anything on this turn through, we definitely will the next time around. The beer fridge is also packed to the edges with unique and interesting beers, including several from Lost Coast Brewery and Cigar City Brewery, two American micro—brewers that are hard to find elsewhere in Xi’an.
Overall, this place is an excellent addition to the Bueno brand. Comfortable, affordable, and convenient; this place could easily become a regular hangout for those who live or work near the South Gate, and is worth a visit if you’re in the area.
James is currently living in Xi’an and loving it, from the food to the people.
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