RUSSIAN STANDARD VODKA: At a recent vodka blind tasting event at Sashas (corner of Hengshan and Dongping Rds 衡山路/东平路), the winning vodka out of the field of 23 was something called Russian Standard. A few days ago we were invited to partake in consuming a bottle of this drink. Very neutral and smooth, it ended up going down particularly well when served on ice with some crushed basil stirred in. Sashas hasn’t confirmed a definite price for a bottle of Russian Standard at time of writing, but we paid RMB450 after some hard bargaining. Winning the competition at Sashas will no doubt spur the local sales rep into ensuring that Russian Standard will be seen on more bar shelves around town before too long. Vodka aficionados, take note.
CARREFOUR AUTUMN WINE FAIR – OCTOBER 26TH: The Gubei Carrefour store (268 Shuicheng Nan Lu 水城南路268号) will hold its annual autumn wine fair this Friday (October 26th) from 5.30pm to midnight. To get an invitation, e-mail [email protected]. All wines by the bottle will be discounted by 20%, with tasting of lots of lower end wines FREE. Winopete went last year and withstood the heaving masses who acted like locals wanting to board the day’s last bus. If you have not been, give it a try, but take an umbrella with sharpened point to clear your way.
CARMEN RESTAURANT: Carmen Restaurant recently materialised on Xikang Lu, near the even newer Steak and Eggs. Passing by, what caught our eye was their blackboard promotion for all you can drink: 50RMB for chicks and 80RMB for blokes. Went inside and discovered the deal was just for draught beer (Carlsberg) and cocktails. OK, could be acceptable, but decided we’d better try their cocktails first before committing to an all-out drink fest. Winopete chose a G&T that was actually quite decent. A friend opted for vodka and tonic which was also quite satisfactory. What was not so good was being hurried into deciding did we want the all-u-can-drink deal or single drinks, and also being asked to pay before a sip of alcohol had passed our lips. Furthermore, this night a bunch of rowdy German card players to descended around us which led to the staff cranking up the music to a very conversation-unfriendly level. The timing of both these events led to us upping and leaving. The mouldy-looking furniture for a brand new venue is never going to earn brownie points with me, but a decent all-you-can-drink deal grabs our attention, especially given the dwindling reputation of Bon Bon. The bottom line is we’ll try Carmen again.
AMERICAN BEERS NOW AVAILABLE FROM SHERPA’S: Until American Craft Beer Partners started importing some stronger tasting micro-brewery beers from the US early this year, we were among the bunch of sceptics who thought US beer drinkers couldn’t stomach anything stronger than Coors or Budweiser. The beers imported by American Craft Beer Partners include Dead Guy Ale, Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, Acme California Pale Ale and American Amber. Since a tasting and launch at Bubba’s (2262 Hongqiao Rd), the beers have been eagerly sought after by various pubs around town and are now available at popular watering holes and eateries such as Eager Beaver, Big Bamboo, Kommune, Gourmet Cafe, The Naked Cow and Azul/Viva. Even better news is that for those craving one of these brews, yet can’t escape from the office or house, three of these beers (Dead Guy Ale, Acme California Pale Ale and Brooklyn Lager) can now be delivered to you by Sherpa’s in 6-packs costing just RMB99 a throw (plus delivery charge). This’ll have you rushing to the phone faster than Speedy Gonzalez! Visit www.sherpa.com.cn.
– Most fancy, schmancy Sunday champagne brunches opt for Moet et Chandon , which is dreadful fizz, IMHO. Should you concur, then check out the spread at Cafe Studio in the Four Seasons Hotel (500 Weihai Rd), where they serve Pierre Jouet, a much smoother bubbly, plus buffet brunch for RMB398+15%. Don’t be daft and use your own coin, find someone else to pay (tell them it’s your birthday or something).
– For those poor Pudongers who are subjected to almost enforced teetotallery, I bring some good news. The Jala Bar in the Eton Hotel (535 Pudong Avenue) has a 2-4-1 happy hour for standard drinks from 5-8pm, Monday-Saturday. Worth trying if you’re on that side of the river.
– The Blue Frog Group is seeking an Executive Chef. Recently, they were also seeking a GM.
– Kiki, ex Real Shanghai Cafe, is now at Joy Bar and Cafe. Sissi (RSC) has gone AWOL.
– Alan, a.k.a. Harry, has resumed his musical duties at the Blarney Stone
– Zapatas, in Suzhou, is apparently doing better food business than clubbing business. Do all Suzhou party animals come to Shanghai?
Until next time, Happy Drinking!
Photo from theshanghaieye
Winopete is Shanghaiist’s resident drinker. Email tips, recommendations, news and gossip about Shanghai’s bar scene to drink at shanghaiist.com.