Over ten years ago, when The Reggae Bar moved to Xueyuan Road, we thought it was a gutsy move. Back then there was nothing really happening in this part of town, but then Ellen's opened just around the corner, and when Joy Bar started serving its famous huge whisky selection, we changed our minds. Gatto Matto threw pizza and drinks into the mix solidifying the area as a place where you could always have a great time. More recently, Jin Bar has added itself into the foray by splashing a new flavor onto the scene.
Huang How, from Taiwan, prides himself on quality cocktails, and does it all with a focus on customer service. Having been in the business for many years, he knows what it takes to make you feel at home whether it be in English or Chinese. We arrived that Sunday night at around 8:30, and expected this new establishment on the block to be dead, but much to our surprise, the place had more than a few tables full.
Starting off the night with a classic Negroni (65RMB), as one should always do to test the skill of a barman, proved to be a great choice. Having passed this small quiz, we then let Huang How flex his muscles, and give us something original.
We've been to more bars than we can even begin to count, but what appeared in front of us was something we had never seen before; it's aptly called a Minty Smoke Jin Bar Special (85RMB), and it's served with a smoking glass inside of the mug that the delicious cocktail comes in with a shot of jelly beside it. A perfect drink for the unusually warm February day we went there.
From there, we went on to something that didn't appear on the menu as well, and had an Uji River (80RMB). Again, we were astonished at how well balanced this libation of green tea, gin, and both melon and sour apple liquor was, not to mention the presentation.
Though their menu will change every three months depending on the season, a few things on it will not change including the classic Dirty Martini (65RMB), their Long Island Iced Tea (65RMB), and the Mojito (60RMB) to name a few. And then there's their Whisky selection which numbers well over sixty different types, 60-160 per glass, not to mention a few beers: Panda Brew (36RMB), Vedett Extra White (45RMB), and Boulevard Single Wide IPA (58RMB), to cover even the non-cocktail loving crowd.
Huang How is a man on a mission to give customers a homelike atmosphere, with quick and friendly service, and get this, in the future his dream is to open a smaller bar with 8-10 seats. How about that for a change?
Small snacks are available, as is limited parking, and smoking is permitted.