BAR AT LE GARCON CHINOIS:
Heading south down Hengshan Rd from Dongping Rd, turn trustingly left down a dark lane with a large ad for Yang’s Kitchen on the wall. Keep walking till you see an old villa on your right-hand side where there is a faded brass plate with the faint engraved lettering “Le Garcon Chinois.” (Actual address is No.3, Lane 9, Hengshan Rd). Go up the stairs and you are there. Le Garcon Chinois restaurant has a cosy and unpretentious bar that serves good quality drinks at very reasonable prices. There is an extensive cocktail list with most drinks priced RMB35-55. House spirits are mostly RMB35-40, including Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray gins, both at RMB35. Vodka sippers can enjoy Grey Goose for RMB55, while Tequila massacists can revel in self-destruction by slamming down shots of Jose Cuervo 1800 at RMB45 a pop. Even though the bottled beers are run-of-the-mill, they are good value priced between RMB20-25 (Qingdao RMB20; others RMB25). For those on the wagon, soft drinks are also priced RMB20-25. Wine drinkers will be pleasantly surprised, with several wines available by the glass priced from RMB45-58, with the pick of the bunch being a fine Bordeaux red at RMB58. Should you wish to indulge in a bottle, a good selection is offered with this scribe noticing Vasse Felix merlot, Petaluma chardonnay and Henri Bourgeois sauvignon blanc. Being located close to many other well known expat bars and restaurants, this place should be on many more drinkers’ drinking circuits. Go give it a try.
AUSTRALIA DAY EVENTS:
Australia’s national day is this Saturday, 26th January. To celebrate, there are more events around town this weekend than you can poke a stick at. However, Winopete’s Australia Day picks are:
– AustCham Sundowner drinks at 789 Bar, Le Royal Meridien Hotel, 6-9pm Friday 25th January. Beers from RMB25, wines from RMB40. Everyone will be boozing till the cows come home!
– VB and Coopers, just RMB25 – fair dinkum! – at Koala Bar (280 Huaihai West Rd) from 3pm on Saturday.
– Aussie BBQ on Saturday at Room Twenty Eight, URBN Boutique Hotel (183 Jiao Zhou Rd). Phone 5172 1300. RMB350 for meat and all-you-can-drink Crown or Cascade beer from 11am-4pm. Wine also available. Better than a chook raffle in Coolaroo!
PORTUGUESE WINE FAIR:
Vinoportugal will hold a Portuguese wine fair in Shanghai on 1st February at the Four Seasons Hotel (500 Weihai Rd). Twenty Portuguese wine producers will be in attendance and they will all bring plenty of wine for sampling. Tasting for the trade will go from 3.30-5.00pm, while tasting for the public will go from 5.30-7.00pm. If you wish to attend, please register by phoning Angela Yao at Nuovo Mondo on 6249 7528, or e-mail: [email protected]
BLARNEY STONE HIKES FOOD PRICES:
The Blarney Stone (5 Dongping Rd) recently increased nearly all its food prices by about 10%. A Dublin Fry now costs an extravagant RMB105, while a simple beef burger will set you back a startling RMB95. Their lasagne has skyrocketed in price from RMB75 to RMB85, while the price of a steak heads closer to the RMB200 mark. For pie lovers, you’ll cop it on the noggin with a full ‘snake n pygmy’ pie draining your wallet by RMB115, but if you just want half a pie, the Blarney is charging like a wounded bull, demanding RMB90 (hey, Dave, did you flunk mathematics at school?). Even though you’ll have to put a few more shekels aside to afford these Dublin delicacies, the fact is the Blarney Stone still serves the best pub grub in town.
TIPPLER TIDBITS AND TRIVIA:
– Big Bamboo has a new chef. Hopefully, this means the food quality will improve.
– Woodstock on Tongren Rd has RMB20 drink specials all night long on Tuesdays for beers, vodka and gin.
– Fans of slavic sirens may wish to take a squizz at the Russian pole dancers performing on the second floor of European Eyes (Tongren Rd, near Yan’an Rd), which opened a month ago.
– Oscars continues its regular 2-4-1 happy hour from 2pm-8pm daily. However, on ‘Open Mic’ Wednesdays, happy hour is generously extended to 11pm. With this act of charity, it deserves large crowds.
– Emma, ex Real Shanghai Cafe, is now at British Bulldog (Thanks for that, Dave…not the same Dave as mentioned above).
– Blues Room will apparently cease the live music from the end of this month, surely spelling its own demise.
– Red Beat will soon introduce a happy hour. Some Aussie and US beers will also be available shortly.
Winopete is Shanghaiist’s resident drunkard. Email tips, recommendations, news and gossip about Shanghai’s bar scene to drink at shanghaiist dot com.