Article By Stephen Robinson
1101, No,1 Building, Liang Zi Cheng, No, 466, Xi Ying Lu, Qu Jiang New District
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 100RMB
COMMUNE is probably familiar to many expats in Xi’an, as it is one of the more reasonably priced options when it comes to going out in Xi’an. With a massive selections of drinks and food, a lively environment, and friendly service, it is no surprise. Capitalizing on the success of their first location near West Gate, they have opened up a new venture in Qujiang near the BeiChiTou subway station. Since people have been so taken with the first location, we decided to go check out their newest venture to see how it stacks up.
Located in the fashionable 量子晨 open-air shopping plaza, this branch is tucked in the northeast corner of the plaza, having its own stand-alone building to operate out of. The first thing you notice coming in is that this place is huge. Between the indoor and outdoor seating, they could probably host several hundred people without an issue. I’d like to say that this means there will always be a table available, but that is no guarantee, because the other thing that you notice is that this place is very popular. Even on a Tuesday night, the place was buzzing with conversation, with most of the tables already occupied even at an earlier hour. Over the course of the next several hours, more people began to arrive, and the bar switched from a restaurant vibe to more of a bar ambiance – the lights dimmed, the music turned up a bit (though thankfully not as oppressively loud as some place do) and the general mood shifted from one of polite conversation to the louder conversations of people having a good time.
One thing that has remained consistent between the two COMMUNE branches is the massive selection of drink options available. The whole place is built around a massive central display with drink fridges at the center with every kind of beer, soft drink, and sparkling wine you could want, while ringing around the outer part of the circle is the truly impressive bottle selection, with varieties of tequila, whiskey, vodka, and other spirits that are hard to find in other bars. At the endcaps of the fridges are a selection of red wines on one end, and a dazzling variety of mini bottles at the other, most of which have a corresponding larger bottle nearby, great if you want to try a bottle before committing to more. Besides this, there is a range of draft beers that can come by the glass or by the tower, all at a pretty reasonable price (if memory serves, most of the towers were about 3L and cost around 200RMB). They also have a range of cocktails, including your standard drinks, like the whiskey sour, gin and tonic, etc.; but also including some cocktails you wouldn’t find many places, such as the strawberry daiquiri, a sweet cocktail of blended ice, strawberry, and rum topped with whipped cream that is pleasant on a hot evening. Some of the cocktails can also come in tower form for easy sharing.
Besides the drink selection the food options at COMMUNE are varied as well. It seems that they were going for a more restaurant centered approach at this location, as there are many more options that go beyond what we would consider to be ‘bar food’ though those choices are still on the menu. For example, they now have a range of pastas, including spaghetti Bolognese and a shrimp and truffle pasta that definitely speak more to a restaurant than a bar. There is also a range of pizzas. On the night, we tried a truffle, Parma ham, and ruccola pizza and a pepperoni pizza, both of which were surprisingly good considering the price. They also served up a plate of ribs that were very tender, coated in a sweet barbeque sauce and topped with peanuts and chili flakes. There were also some of their topped rated wings, with very crunchy skins and like the ribs, topped with peanuts and chili flakes for some extra heat and added crunch. Probably the most unique item came in a metal cocktail glass. These bangbang shrimp were coated in a sweet fruity glaze and tossed with, of all things, pop rocks. Every bite set off a series of popping sounds in your mouth, which was … interesting. It’s definitely something to try.
Overall, COMMUNE is a great place to meet up with a few friends for drinks. The service is fast, the food is decent, and the selection is unmatched, so everyone can get what they want. Definitely give the food a try, as you might be surprised by the options available. Whether you decide to go for a quick nip or want to go all out, they will have what you need. It’s also a great option for those living deep in the heart of Qujiang, as it’s closer than your average bar. If you get a chance to try it, I hope you enjoy it.
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 stephen@xianease
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