Tianjin Restaurant Review: G² Cocktail Bar

By Sid Gulinck, March 9, 2018

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G² Cocktail Bar is a true speakeasy – patrons must press a button on a fake vending machine to enter. (Though don’t worry about finding it – the stream of customers going in and out of this place will ensure you won’t have trouble getting in.) Once the vending machine door slides open, we’re greeted by the owner’s trademark: a statue of a face protruding from the wall like Han Solo emerging from carbonite.

With its low ceilings, cozy niches and pink leather sofas, the well-thought-out decor feels sophisticated, if a tad prefab. Despite its cheeky Prohibition-style allure, for most patrons, getting buzzed discreetly seems less of a priority than taking the perfectly framed selfie. This is perfectly understandable, though, because each drink in this place is an experience in itself – with funky glasses and props included. 

As ambient and trip-hoppy music fills the cellar-like space, impeccably groomed bartenders with dandy-esque aprons and slicked-back hair mix concoctions for the well-to-do regulars hanging around the bar. 

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We try The Old Man and the Sea (RMB85), which comes served in a book (really), and whose Pernod absinthe base is complimented by tangy grapefruit juice and frothy egg white. The Coffee Negroni (RMB85) comes dripping into the glass like a pour-over brew, and other inventive takes on classics, like the Bacon Old-Fashioned (RMB80) grace the diverse menu. 

Admittedly, the drinks could pack more of a punch, given the steep price-point (cocktails average RMB80, and Hoegaarden clocks in at RMB55 – ouch). But the clientele doesn’t seem to mind, which would explain the long queues and the buzz this place has been generating. Fortunately, affordable classics like the Moscow Mule (RMB65) and original takes on staples made with homemade infusions, foams and syrups can be found alongside a decent selection of whiskeys, which are certain to attract even the stingiest of bon vivants. 

With their second concept already buzzing in Tianjin, the G² crew have once again raised the bar for the city’s cocktail scene.


See a listing for G² Cocktail Bar and read more Tianjin Bar Reviews

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