- Jim Beam’s riding into Dxcel Town, says Hess.
It looks like importer and distributor Dxcel just downed the equivalent of a quintuple shot given word it has added Jim Beam to its portfolio. Dxcel handles brands that range from beer labels Brooklyn, BrewDog and Estrella to spirits Purity vodka, Rives gin and Templeton rye. This new deal is a biggie for the company and will obviously include Jim Beam products such as White Label and Black Label, though the company will not have exclusivity, says Brandon Hess of Dxcel. But he says the company will be sole distributor of Jim Beam’s “small batch’ products, including Booker’s, Baker’s, Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s as well as Maker’s Mark. He also says the company will pick up more brands, including Canadian Club whiskey, Corvoisier Cognac and Suaza tequila. More to come on these products and on the Bourbons.
I stopped by Flamme last night for happy hour (3:30 PM to 7:30 PM), heard some banter about that Margaret Thatcher movie and decided I wanted a cocktail called The Iron Lady. The ever-open minded Paul Mathew agreed to make some adjustments to a Pink Lady by swapping out the gin for whiskey, a typical Thatcher tipple, and even drew a Union Jack on the egg white foam using raspberry syrup and Blue Curacao. (Trust me, it looked exactly like a flag. It has been done an injustice in the pic below due to my crappy phone camera.)
The resulting Iron Lady had plenty of character and a Johnnie Walker kick, though some might find it tart and in-your-face, which would arguably make it even more appropriate. Given the choice, though, I think I’d go for a Titanic II. And for those who are wondering, we kept the Argentine Malbec safely away at the other end of the bar.
Note: The guys from Fontaine absinthe were in Flamme and gave me a sip of the stuff. More on this soon.
- Blame my camera, that topping looked *exactly* like a Union Jack
Every four years we get an extra day to waste some brain cells. It’s called ‘leap year”, it’s today, and here are four ways to mark it in Beijing tonight.
12SQM: Starting from 8 PM, every fourth drink is free.
Le Petit Gourmand: If today is your birthday, bring along some ID and get a free drink. LPG has a set menu tonight for rmb198 that includes salmon tartar, cream of mushroom soup, beef, chicken and lamb couscous, Black Forest cake and a glass of wine.
Great Leap Brewery: These guys are hopping about town and you’ll find their beer at Four Corners (from 7 PM), The Brick (also quiz night) and The Green Cap (starting around 7 PM).
George’s Bar: No Leap Year special but the weekly martini deal is good value — it’s either two for one, or half price, I can never remember, but either way it is worth checking out.
By the way, four years ago today I was posting on the soon-to-open Legation Quarter and six Workers Stadium venues getting red-carded for the Olympics, and earlier that week about the new China Doll in 3.3, Schwankermania II (check out my minimal design skills in this poster), and a wine tasting at Tim’s Texas Roadhouse.
- Imagine this baby fully loaded… with cheese balls.
I recently saw this vehicle outside my apartment and my first thought was Beatles. Not the car from Volkswagen, but the band from Liverpool, because I was standing beside neighbor Ian Burns of The Beijing Beatles and saw him in the vehicle’s reflection.
My second thought — and in no way am I saying this was due to Burns’ presence — was sensory deprivation tank / self-contained bong for one (or two if you squeeze).
And my third thought: this is the perfect all-weather delivery vehicle for Gung Ho, or other spots, for that matter. I simply thought of Gung Ho because I could imagine the trim painted day-glow pink, a couple of flags attached to the sides and the cockpit fitted with a cheese ball-shooting gun to help promote that product to pedestrians passed on the way to deliveries (that’s called marketing, people).
Plus, it’d be a lot cheaper than the planned, according to rumors, fleet of delivery vehicles the team is currently referring to as the Gung HoVercraft.*
* Actually, I haven’t heard a single rumors about that, which I guess shows how secret the plan is.
Look for Nali Patio restaurant Mosto to add a modest expansion. Manager Alex Molina says the venue has taken over the space next door and will add about 20 more seats, including a private area for groups of ~12. This will be ideal for small business dinners, birthday parties and wine tastings. The expansion will also give Mosto a longer facade and thus, come better weather, more seats out front. Molina says he expects the new space to be ready in about two weeks.
No shortage of drink options at Mosto...
So much for rumors the space next to Swire Sanlitun Village’s Element Fresh would be used for an expansion of that perpetually packed sandwich, salad, smoothie et al spot. If you’ve walked by that area, you’ve probably noticed the sign for Wagas, a competing chain from Shanghai. According to the Wagas website, there are 24 locations in Shanghai, with a focus on “healthy gourmet sandwiches” and homemade relishes, pickles and jams. As for decor…
Our style is contemporary but warm. Sofas, banquets, long wooden tables with a big bunch of flowers or apples, whatever is fresh. We like to keep things simple, fresh and clean, so every few months we will give our cafes a fresh coat of paint. We believe this is a good reflection of our company.
In addition to Wagas, we have 3 other brands – Baker & Spice, Bistrow and Cirka. Baker & Spice has 4 stores in Shanghai…
A fresh coat of paint every few months? Maybe these guys can come over and do my apartment in between jobs…
That would be the large...
The China View complex has Gung Ho, Annie’s, Danger Doyle’s and Da Giuseppe, with The Den a few meters away and Papa John’s across the street, so the thing the place needed was another pizza joint, right? Ask and you shall receive. Yummy Box opened on the east side, just down from Gung Ho, about a week ago.
This place doubles as a restaurant and bar, with five tables for four upstairs and plenty of seating on the main floor. Pizzas top out at 28 inches (see photo above), with 15 options from rmb498 to rmb518, including pepperoni, kimchi and tuna, and “Sicilian Pirate”, with pesto, smoked salmon, capers, mozzarella and Parmesan. Fourteen-inch pizzas start at rmb88.
Other items include salads, pastas and wings — see full menu here. The drinks list includes bottles of Beijing beer at rmb10 and Tucher and Karlsberg Black Baron at rmb30. I stopped in last night after I spotted Yummy Box on my way home and will soon return to try the pizza.
Brussels Restaurant and Bar, with a logo featuring Menneken Pis (see below), has opened as the newest food and drink outlet in Sanlitun South. The place is headed by owner Mo Fan, Jessie and Xiao Li a.k.a. Lily, who lived in Belgium for 15 years. Chad Lager came on board this week to assist during the opening and the first month of business.
Fans of Belgian beer can take advantage of a special mix and match deal: choose from among 13 beers regularly priced at rmb40 and get three for rmb100 or seven for rmb200. Draft beers include Tsingtao at rmb20, Stella and Tiger at rmb30 and Guinness at rmb50. Also on tap is Chimay Red at rmb40 for a 335 ml glass. As for other beverages, a 60 ml Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned will be rmb60 while a smoky martini with Caol Ila will be rmb40.
Brussels Restaurant & Bar is a spacious two-story venue that can seat about 120. It faces 1949: The Hidden City and is just around the corner from Sanlitun Kro’s Nest. The bar is currently open daily from 6 PM to 2 AM, with the food menu and official launch set for March 2. Expect the menu to include waffles, beef stew, mussels and other Belgian favorites and for the place to add booths and a pool table by then.