Article by Stephen Robinson
D27-1, Gaoxin Glorious Plaza, No.305, Keji Road.
Average Price per Person /人均消费:80RMB
2020 has been a rough year for many in the hospitality industry, with many places going under as the year grinded on. But, as old places disappear, new ones pop up to fill the void and one of those is the newly opened Local Club at Localand. Located at Glorious Plaza in Gaoxin, Local Club opened up in mid-November with an idea of becoming a live music venue. .
The space is a relatively intimate one, with just a few tables with comfortable chairs and a long wooden bar with plenty of stools. There is also an upper level with additional seating. A bright neon sign lights up a small stage that has been set up for performances. The place has a very chill vibe, with just a touch of class. The bartenders are all dressed in vests and shirts, and the menu consists of a variety of cocktails, beers, and spirits to satisfy most anyone’s needs.
The manager recommended starting with a cocktail, so the first drink was a dry martini, a cocktail that is useful for gauging the skill of a bartender, as it is simple yet easy to do wrong. The drink came over not much later, frosty on the outside. They had used gin, which is the appropriate spirit for a martini, and it was spiked with just enough vermouth to make it interesting and a single olive. The glass had a slight hint of lemon that was refreshing but not overpowering. An excellent start.
The next drink was Mint Julep, a more complicated beverage that requires a bit more labor to do properly. As with its cousin the mojito, the Mint Julep requires the bartender to muddle the mint, a step that is often skipped or generally half-assed by many bartenders, barely bruising the leaves and leaving big chunks of unmuddled mint in your drink. When I heard my drink being prepared before I saw it, I knew they were taking the extra effort to do it right. When the drink came, it was served with an almost excess of crushed ice and the flavor was intense and delicious. If you drink your drinks more slowly, this is the beverage for you, as the ice slowly melting will gradually melt as you drink, softening the ratio and giving you more drink for your money.
The next cocktail up was the bartenders choice, a Negroni. When the drink arrived, everything was as it should be. The cocktail had become thick from vigorous mixing and was kept cold by a massive block of ice in the middle of the drink. A distinct aroma of orange rose from the glass, and each taste was equal parts bitter and sweet. It was a well-made cocktail.
For the last cocktail, they prepared a Zombie, a complicated and complex cocktail that is the Tiki equivalent of the Long Island Iced Tea – strong and sweet. A good Zombie needs to balance its different elements to create a good blend of flavors. The Local Club’s version hits the mark. Served in a Tiki cup, the cocktail is prepared with a selection of alcohols and fruit juices, including fresh passion fruit. The shell of the passion fruit is then used as a vessel for a bit of overproof rum, which is set alight before being served. After dunking the flaming fruit into the drink, you can enjoy the cocktail. It is sweet and sour and very, very strong, well worth the price.
Of course, any discussion about the value of a bar will also come down to price. The cocktails are rather unimaginably priced, which makes counting up the bill simple. A great majority of their cocktails are 60RMB, with a few, such as the aforementioned Zombie, coming in at 70RMB. Beers are much more reasonable, starting at 25RMB for beers like Asahi and going up to 45RMB for Lost Island craft beers. Spirits can be had by the glass or by the bottle, with decent rum coming in at around 30RMB and a range of whiskies going from 50RMB to 120RMB per glass with a few exceptions. Not the cheapest places, but generally reasonable. That combined with live music means that this might be a good place to check out with some of your friends. The bar opens around 8 and stays open until late.
Stephen Robinson is the editor-in-chief at xianease and would love to get your thoughts on everything we are doing. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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