Sips and bites: The wrap of Refresh, new Gung Ho pies, new Flamme deals

Paired with the longstanding Monday two-for-one burger deal at Blue Frog, the relatively new Tuesday two-for-one steak deal at Flamme gives Swire Sanlitun Village an early week one-two punch. Some good news: that steak deal will continue. And some bad news: the other Flamme deals will not. This includes the RMB50 all-you-can-drink Stella and Hoegaarden on Mondays, two-for-one lunch on Wednesdays, and RMB25 cocktails available only until the end of this month.

Back to good news: Flamme has replaced them with new deals, says manager Paul Mathew. Mondays now mean all-you-can drink draft and cocktails for RMB100 (and the drinks are above-average at this place) while Thursdays feature 250 grams of prime rib for RMB188. For other deals, see this flyer.

Finally, look for Flamme chef Jeffrey Powell to launch an extensive lunch menu. By extensive I mean more than two dozen items, including seven burger options: one of them, The Yeti, will pack a pound of Australian beef.

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Gung Ho! plans to offer seasonal pizzas to the dozen or so pies already on the menu. I attended a taste test on Wednesday night and tried some of the candidates, including ones topped with Beijing duck, with chuanr, and with potato, pumpkin, and spinach, as well as a special seasoning that will be given to customers. I’ll provide an update when I hear the final decisions on the pizzas. And for those wondering about that idea of testing some recipes suggested in this blog’s recent Formula for Pie contest, it’s still in the works.

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Saturday is the last day to take advantage of the RMB20 special at cafe Refresh! in the China View Building. That gets you a wrap, a sandwich, or a salad, plus a coffee or tea. I’ve tried about a dozen items so far and he is my, um, wrap.

Salads: The rocket in the organic salad was so fresh I skipped the dressing and ate my veggies naked. I wasn’t a fan of the dressing on the Caesar salad and don’t enjoy cold pasta so won’t be ordering the spiral pasta and pesto salad again, though the ingredients in both were good. The date salad, which includes feta cheese, pine nuts, and bacon, is a touch sweet and is an intriguing combination.

Wraps: I liked the Mexican wrap for its blend of salsa, chicken, and guacamole. I found the satay peanut sauce in the Thai and Indo wraps too strong, though I know other people who enjoyed them.

Sandwiches: I liked club (with chicken and bacon) and “mozzacado” (bacon, avocado, tomato, and mozzarella), found the Cajun chicken okay, and the Iberic a bit dry. The mango, prawn, red pepper, and pesto offers an interesting combination and texture.

Refresh offers booth and table seating, decent wireless, and friendly employees though they are loud at times and punching in orders seems to take a gazillion steps. You have the option of buying your food prepackaged or having it made on the spot–the latter can take much longer and such service ends at 8 PM.

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