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Tapas at Scarlet: Crispy shrimp, mixed olives, potato balls et al

Despite living within a fifteen-minute walk of Hotel G since it opened in 2008, my forays there — and specifically to bar Scarlett — have been few and far between, although most have translated to good times. Those range from wine tastings to this Pisco party to a few Friday stops during the rmb25 happy hours. And where else can in Beijing can you get baked Alaska? Anyway, I hope to visit Scarlett more this year and things got off to a good start with a tapas stop there on Monday night.

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If Scarlett were a dress code, it would be smart casual, given it is comfy and well-coordinated with its color scheme and lighting and layout. It works whether you are going solo and grabbing a seat at the bar or part of a bigger group and settling into a booth or at the high tables.
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We went for the rmb88 tapas option, which gives you a choice of nine tapas from about 20 cold and hot items. Crispy shrimp, mixed olives, tapenade, two kinds of squid, marinated salmon and more. Simply grab the tapas menu on the table, check the items you want, and hand it to the staff. Scarlett also has rmb48 and rmb68 options. Our two orders meant 18 items.
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Like these savory buttery clams…
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And this squid…
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And these potato balls, crispy on the outside, soft but firm on the inside, and three to a plate (I ate one before I took the photo).
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The Scarlett place mats all come with a label. Across the table, Bonspiel — who had the brilliant idea of coming here — got “sparkling”. Mine said “awesome”, which aptly describes the amount of food I managed to spill. Anyway, while I wasn’t a fan of every item, I enjoyed most of the tapas as well as the service and atmosphere. What might make it even more fun, given Scarlett bills itself as a “wine bar”? Perhaps a “flight” option, say three half-glasses of wine side by side, to sample alongside the tapas. By the way, if nine items isn’t enough for you, check out this deal…

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