Article By Jin and Francis
Fine Wines and Good Times
The end of May in Xi’an was, in a word, HOT. Cub Grocery is here to save us with cold beverages and tasty food.
For lunch, we visited the Cub Grocery in Qujiang in Liangzichen 量子晨, part of a hip new chain of café/bar/restaurant/wine stores with three other locations: one inside the city wall, one in northern Xi’an in Weiyang District, as well as a new location opening near south gate. Each location has its own kind of style and atmosphere. For example, the Weiyang Cub Grocery has a rooftop and the new location opening by south gate will focus on entertainment. The location we visited at Liangzichen has a weekly DJ and plaza to host events. It offers a comfy space for getting tipsy and being social, all in a relaxed environment.
For wine, we tried Cub Grocery’s house wine, a sparkling white that was sweet and slightly lower in alcohol content – perfect for lunchtime libations in between your work hours. We also sampled a Sauvignon Blanc from Auntsfield winery in New Zealand, a delightfully crisp, citrusy mouth-filling white wine with a brilliant light-gold color. We also had an iced Americano, since this Cub Grocery really is at heart a wine bar, that also has an extensive drink, cheese, and meats selection. They are also ramping up their craft brew offerings, promising a wide selection of beers from Great Leap Brewery in Beijing.
As for the good eats, we started with a meat and cheese platter that didn’t disappoint. Parma ham, salami, and two different cheeses accompanied by olives, sweety drops (tiny red peppers), dried mango strips, and salad greens. If you are wondering, yes, the wine paired well.
Next, we moved onto more substantive dishes. A fried chicken plate came with fries, as did our hamburger. The burger was a classic, on a toasted bun, appropriately cooked through to order, and with onions, tomato round, lettuce, and pickle slices on top. Portions were healthy – we were left quite full and satisfied.
Finally, we finished the meal with cantaloupe (Hami melon) topped with Spanish ham. It was the perfect summer desert – a delicious combination of sweet and savory to complete the meal.
Some things to note, 6 days a week every day except Monday, a DJ lays down tunes from 9:30-11:30PM. On the weekends and summer evenings, expect the crowds to swell. This is becoming a very popular spot. If you want a seat, be sure to get there early, although they do also have a standing bar. Finally, they do have a truly excellent collection of value wines from around the world. Some of the interesting ones we look forward to trying include an ice wine from Whistler, Canada, as well as a cider from Hokkaido, Japan.
And on that note, for all the wine afficionados out there who may want to enjoy these wines somewhere else, we wanted to highlight that Cub Grocery offers sturdy plastic totes. You can fill these with ice to keep your wine of choice not only chilled tableside, but also on the go. Serious question: who doesn’t want chilled wine on the go?
If you give this a try, let us know about your experience by messaging us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jin and Francis are both teachers in Xi’an and love exploring food. They can be contacted at email@example.com