Here are all the new restaurant and bar openings we featured in our July 2019 issue:
Image by Phoebe Kut/That’s
Upon entering the establishment, we headed to the fridge wall to pick out some beverages. Commune’s boozy offerings range from ciders, ales, lagers and coolers to the hard stuff – whiskey, vodka and rum. It is worth noting, though, that while there’s a wide range of cocktails and international bottled beverages, there are only five beers on tap.
A Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA (RMB38) and a Tempt No.7 Elderflower Cider (RMB32) caught our eye. Both bottled beverages hit the spot: flavorful, thirst quenching and, well, alcoholic. We also chose to try a playful strawberry daiquiri (RMB38), which we’d categorize as a sugar rush-inducing treat.
In additional to alcoholic elixirs, Commune also offers classic Western comfort foodstuffs, such as pizzas, pastas, salads and sandwiches. We’d definitely recommend starting with the Turkish-style fried chicken wings (RMB38), which arrived plump and juicy with a crispy coating. The Canadian Bolognese spaghetti (RMB42) came shortly (perhaps a bit too quickly?) after we sat down. It was a well-portioned serving of pasta with a good ratio of meat to tomato sauce. Worthy of note: all food orders and drink purchases are settled at the cash register on the left side of the bar. So, once you’ve picked your poison, be sure to head there to pay for it.
Who’s going: beer enthusiasts, patio loungers, expats who want a taste of home
Good for: drinks with friends, hookah sessions, relaxing on a humid summer night
Nearest Metro: Chegongmiao (Exit C), 10 minutes’ walk
Image by Luis Campos for That's
Though Indian Curry Cafe has plenty of meat options for carnivores (including fish, chicken and lamb curries), we decided to take a ‘healthier’ route by only sampling the restaurant’s vegetarian options.
Our meal began with the vegetable samosa (RMB22) and the veggie pakoras (RMB38). Both starters were fried, crispy delights, though they were not as spicy as we would have liked. We suggest asking for extra spicy if you’re used to Indian food with a kick.
Drink options are a bit limited, especially when it comes to traditional Indian beverages. We ordered the Indian masala tea (RMB15), but, upon its arrival, wished we’d ordered the mango lassi (RMB28) instead.
Who’s going: cricket fanatics, hungry veggiesauruses
Good for: swell samosas, cool curries, nice naan
Nearest metro: Shuiwan (Exit D), 10 minutes’ walk
Image via Raffles Hotel
The menu has a thorough list of cocktails, whiskies and champagne, but if you’re feeling peckish you can order a selection of oysters and caviar to complement your drinks.
The Long Bar’s signature cocktail is the globally renowned ‘Singapore Sling’ (RMB158) which was first crafted by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915 in – you guessed it – Singapore. The gin-based drink has a well-balanced sweetness profile, with notes of cherry and pineapple throughout. The gin is handcrafted at the Sipsmith Distillery in London for Raffles, and primarily infused with Asian botanicals such as jasmine flowers, pomelo peel, lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaf.
If you’re looking for an even sweeter cocktail, Raffles has crafted a Shenzhen version of the Sling (RMB158), using Guangdong’s native fruit – lychee. The drink stays true to the original but with a largely pineapple and orangey flavor profile.
Next, we wanted to try something a bit stronger and opted for ‘The Big Smoke’ (RMB158). Staying true to its name, the smoky aftertaste is balanced by the sweetness of homemade walnut honey, which you detect upon first taste. This bittersweet combination is sure to intrigue your palate, as a dash of Pei Pa Koa (a traditional Chinese herbal remedy) is also mixed into the cocktail.
Who’s going: romantics looking to splurge, cocktail connoisseurs
Good for: classy beverages, swanky ambiance
Nearest metro: Dengliang (Exit A), 10 minutes’ walk
Image by Bryan Grogan/That’s
While you can grab a cake or bun from Brownie Art Photography, the selection is very limited, with no snacks or other food items available for purchase when we visited. On the other hand, their drinks selection is immediately attractive and covers everything from gin cocktails to drip coffee and fruity juices.
We tried the cafe’s lemongrass milk coffee (RMB38) and a poetically named gin cocktail called ‘Sea’ (RMB68). The lemongrass milk coffee was certainly milky, but we were unable to taste the floral tones of lemongrass mentioned in the description.
Sea combines gin, espresso and tonic water, a mixture that we certainly can’t argue with. The piney taste of the gin is the overwhelming flavor, while the espresso provides a little more than a rustic overtone to the whole drink.
Who’s going: wanghongren, chic selfie stars
Good for: boozy shopping, caffeinated chats
Nearest metro: Houhai (Exit G), 10 minutes’ walk
[Cover image via by Phoebe Kut/That’s]