The buzz: Popular Minhang-based beer emporium Boxing Cat Brewery has opened a second branch on Fuxing near Yongfu, under the aegis of Kelley Lee (of Cantina Agave fame). Good for anyone who wants decent home-brewed beer and good Southern American grub but can’t be assed trekking all the way to Minhang. Plus, a pleasant, leafy outdoor area to attract sun-seekers.
The décor: Bare red-brick walls, tall dark wood stools, saloon lighting, and a terrace around the side.
The food: We planned on having dinner as well as beer, but after a round of appetizers we were too full even to contemplate the tempting array of main courses (the pulled pork sandwich sounded particularly good). On the advice of the manager, we had the ‘Sliders’ – four deceptively cute miniature cheeseburgers which were spicy, hearty and filling – and the chicken wings, coated in an intriguingly vinegary chilli marinade.
The drinks: A big menu of brews is placed in front of you when you arrive, from which you can pick from two to four, depending on how many are on tap, and how quickly they sell out. When we went, the brews on offer were Ol' Smokey Porter, Righ Hook Helles, and Wild Mild. Of course, we tried them all. The best was the rich, malty Smokey Porter, and the most interesting was the Wild Mild. Legend has it that this beer was brewed especially as light refreshment for Welsh miners. For all beers, a 3oz glass is ¥35, while a British pint is ¥45 and a pitcher is ¥100. Something you wouldn't necessarily go there for but is a great bonus is the cocktail list. We tried a spicy Bloody Mary and a Catnip Julep (kind of like a whiskey mojito, if you can imagine that) - both ¥55, and were impressed. The Bloody Mary apparently contains 10 spices, and we're pretty sure we could taste each one.
Why you’ll be back: This place looks likely to become an expat favourite. It’s in the right area, and the prices are just expensive enough to push it into ‘hip exclusive’ territory without putting off the mid-range clientele.
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