Here are all the new restaurant and cafe openings we featured in our October 2019 issue:
Hole in the Sky. Image courtesy of Alcove
Alcove’s cocktails are all priced at RMB118, so we asked the head bartender, Adrian, to recommend his top three.
The first drink he served was the ‘Hole in the Sky,’ which is sure to win over any cocktail connoisseur. Sweet and sour, with subtle hints of cinnamon, this gin-based cocktail was easy to sip on (and had a delectable layer of froth on top).
Next up was the ‘Sea of Stars,’ a Tiki-themed drink that’ll give you a bang for your buck. This tropical passion fruit, pineapple and Jamaican rum concoction contains not one, but two rum types – one of which sits at 69% ABV. It also came with a reusable metal straw (bonus points for sustainability!).
Moonlit Lake. Image courtesy of Alcove
For those whose drink preference leans towards something stiffer, like an old fashioned, try the ‘Moonlit Lake.’ This rye and apple brandy-based drink is topped off with a piece of handcrafted candy cap (type of mushroom) chocolate. Adrian suggested we alternate between sipping the cocktail and nibbling the chocolate, and his suggestion did not fall on deaf ears – much to the delight of our palates.
Who’s going: glamorous globetrotters, cocktail lovers
Good for: sophisticated cocktails, amazing views, penthouse vibes
Nearest metro: Futian Station (Exit 4A), 9 minutes’ walk
Screaming burger. Image by Jonathan Zhong for That’s
On our visit, the outlet was offering both locally-brewed and imported beers, as well as a variety of pub bites. Right off the bat, we asked for their most popular beverage, which turned out to be the good ol’ Belgian Früli (RMB55). With a refreshing strawberry flavor and a smooth mouthfeel, the beer served as a satisfying start to our night.
If you arrive with an empty stomach, we’d recommend trying Maltland’s ‘screaming’ burger (RMB78). This bad boy comes with a sizable beef patty and two slices of bacon tucked inside a sesame seed-topped bun. You may find the beef patty a touch too salty, but that’s when the Früli comes in to save the day.
Früli. Image by Jonathan Zhong for That’s
Curious about the beer that Maltland produces? We sure were on our visit. Currently, only five of the 21 beers available at the establishment are made in-house, but we’re told by the owner, Ethan, that we can expect more in the future.
Big Island Lava. Image by Jonathan Zhong for That’s
Before leaving, we ordered one of Maltland’s beverages – the ‘Big Island Lava’ (RMB32-40). This thick stout indeed lived up to the word ‘lava,’ and had a smoky coffee-ish aroma. Despite that, we found the intensity of its flavor somewhat weak and, therefore, the beer left something to be desired.
Who’s going: friends, lovers, hermits
Good for: beers, quietude, friendly service
Nearest metro: Huanggang Village (Exit A), 10 minutes’ walk
3. Gaga Garden
The seasonal menu is divided succinctly into brunch bites, small bites and mains. We started off the evening with the fried cauliflower bites (RMB58) and baked brie (RMB88). Although simple dishes on paper, the garnishes and toppings elevated these appies to the next level. The generously-sized, crispy fried cauliflower dish was topped with bonito flakes to give it a delicious umami flavor, whereas the baked brie was paired beautifully with honey and fresh berries.
Image by Phoebe Kut/That’s
For mains, we tried the zucchini ‘risotto’ (RMB78) and the lamb chops (RMB98). The meat was nicely seared, tender and rich with flavor. The risotto is a good option for vegetarians; however, it didn’t really have the creamy, cheesy consistency that one would expect. As it was a weekday, we decided to try one of their fresh fruit teas, which did not disappoint. The pineapple and strawberry punch tea (RMB33) was a blended concoction that’s flavor profile leaned more towards the fresh strawberries than pineapple.
Who’s going: urban creatives, out-of-towners, Nanshan neighbors
Good for: laid-back lounging, shareable appies, late-night nibbles
Nearest metro: Shuiwan Station (Exit C), 9 minutes’ walk
[Cover image courtesy of Gaga Garden]