Here are all the bar and restaurants we featured in our January 2019 issue:
Image by Lena Gidwani/That’s
Party Pier is a space that revels at the intersection of event and heritage, and it unquestionably has an abundance of both. Built around, over and in the midst of the remains (read: exposed pipes and barrels circa 1985) of the abandoned Zhujiang Beer Factory, the insanely massive Pearl River Brewery pays homage to the city’s social pressures and urban renewal plans with an innovative social club that combines craft beer with sports and bar bites. In a nutshell, beer production has been replaced with beer production, and it can’t get any cooler than this.
Spread over three floors, Pearl River Craft Beer Restaurant features a boxing ring beneath a larger-than-life jumbotron with kickass visuals and sound, a rock climbing wall, a beach volleyball court complete with sand and net, loads of billiard tables, gym equipment, a soft matted area with punching bags and boxing pads, private rooms, a BBQ zone, a souvenir shop, private kitchen, bar spaces and seating that could rival a small stadium. Really, calling it a just a bar or restaurant would be doing it an injustice.
Good for: impressing overseas guests, urban explorers, beer sample trays, fake beach volleyball
Who’s going: those who can’t afford gym memberships and want a beer whilst sparring
Nearest metro: Modiesha (Exit B), 30 minutes’ walk
2. Thai Alley
Image by Tristin Zhang/That’s
Thai Alley produces thoughtfully executed Thai cuisine. The restaurant’s extensive menu features dishes from across the Southeast Asian nation, and highlights include the beloved tom yum soup (RMB38/118), bu pad pong karee (yellow curry crab, RMB218), ko mu yang (grilled pork neck with a spicy dipping sauce, RMB68) and pad thai (stir-fried rice noodles, RMB55).
To whet your appetite, start with the scallops in sour and spicy sauce (RMB55), the piece de resistance of Thai Alley’s appetizer selection. The scallops come in a mixture of sliced ginger, lemongrass and shallots, all steeped in a sour-tasting soup. Skip the mediocre Angus beef in yellow/green curry (RMB98). This curry dish comes with eggplant, sliced bell peppers and beef and is far from delicious.
The chicken steak with lemon and salad dressing (RMB58), on the other hand, is as delightful as a chicken dish can get. Entombed in a crunchy coating and covered with a fruity, creamy sauce, this dish is a palate pleaser if there ever was one.
Who’s going: Ersha Islanders
Good for: appetizing Thai fare, family-friendly dining
Nearest metro: Wuyangcun (Exit B), 35 minutes’ walk
Image by Ryan Gandolfo/That’s
Creative eats restaurant 1906 is located on Tianhe Dong Lu, perpendicular to Taikoo Hui, and boasts an eye-grabbing storefront. The Tianhe location, 1906’s third and newest eatery, is adorned with a terrazzo finish that adds some artistic flavor while foregoing the three extra tables that could have been added to boost revenue on their busiest nights.
We kicked off our first 1906 experience with the spicy shrimp with organic lotus stems (RMB36), pandan leaf-wrapped chicken (RMB45) and one of their signature soft drinks, ‘Mr. Tall and Cold’ (RMB18). The shrimp and lotus stems were stir-fried with chilies to give the combination a spicy kick but didn’t do much to impress. With a tingle in our mouths, we tried the leaf-wrapped chicken, which provided an offsetting sugar rush thanks to the sweet Thai chili dipping sauce. Aside from the pleasant aroma released after opening the leaves, we found the tender meat to be lacking any real flavor and ultimately disappointing.
Several small groups of people came streaming through the restaurant shortly after we arrived, and with ambient jams reverberating around the eatery, 1906 offers a fun and trendy atmosphere – even if the food leaves something to be desired.
Who’s going: people unfamiliar with Guangzhou’s authentic Thai eateries, interior design buffs
Good for: a fun and trendy dining experience
Nearest metro: Shipaiqiao (Exit B), 5 minutes’ walk
[Cover image by Tristin Zhang/That's]