Sips and slurps: 1/5 Taverna, Maxim’s, OT Lounge

1/5 bar opened on Friday and joined Duck de Chine, Sugar, Noodle Bar, and 1/5 Taverna in 1949: The Hidden City. Happy hour will run 5 to 8 PM, Monday to Sunday, with standard booze, beer, house wine, and juices at two-for one prices, says Malcolm McLauchlan, GM of 1949. “The music is ‘old school’,” he says. “No ‘boom boom’.”

Maxim’s opened its second restaurant in Beijing yesterday. The first outlet opened in… 1983! Focused on traditional French cuisine, the Solana-based establishment can handle 90 diners upstairs and 50 more in the brasserie below. Expect a decor that, as described on Maxim’s site, “has as its central theme the image of fauna and flora married to feminine charm.” I talked to GM / sommelier Nicholas Carre last week about China’s wine scene and will soon post about this on sibling blog Grape Wall of China.

Fellow food and drink researcher The Village Grouch announced yesterday that “the Iced Tea Triangle is complete.” Sampling this summertime drink on the deck at OT Lounge, he confirmed it as the third of three points that include nearby iced tea havens TGI Friday’s and Peter’s Tex-Mex. “Peter’s has the best iced tea I have ever had,” he added.

The Eleventh Commandment – ‘Get thee indoors’

Regular tip-provider 8 Songs tells me the first afternoon concert held on the patio outside the Grand Millennium Hotel’s Havana Bar ended on a sour note. “The hotel stopped the proceedings mid-way through the afternoon,” says he.

“Havana Bar, a cozy alternative to its neighbour Centro, had been promising its outdoor concerts since it opened its doors in May. Yesterday a small but enthusiastic crowd gathered for the first Sunday special, with a BBQ, champagne and some slick music from the house band, ‘The Eleventh Commandment‘. About 4 PM, while the band was having a break, black-suited managers appeared from everywhere and held hushed debates, pointing to the patrons and the settings. “

The end result: “Finally a manager came over and explained that apparently someone had complained to the police about the noise.”

“It’s an all-or-nothing world. There was no choice about maybe turning the amplifier down. The band was positioned behind a wall facing away from the street. The only residential area nearby (apart from the hotel rooms in the Grand Millennium) is Fortune Plaza, but without checking personally, I would be very surprised if you could hear anything from there.”

“The hotel manager expressed hope that they would be able to find a space inside the hotel restaurant, but that is no solution. Havana is aptly named. Like Cuba it is closed to the outside.”

All I can say is that if the authorities seek noise violations, the should leave The Eleventh Commandment alone and instead follow me to coffee shops where they can taser dozens of patrons who talk into their mobile phones at ear-shattering volumes.