Sips & Bites: New Kro’s Nests, plus pigging out at Agua and BBQ at Tavalin

Did someone say hambulance?


Contrary to rumors, Olaf Kristoffer Bauer a.k.a. Kro of Kro’s Nest fame didn’t run away to join the circus, isn’t in jail, in the soup or even in the navy, and hasn’t been kidnapped by either humans or aliens. He’s simply been away on family business. Now he’s back and working on the current Kro’s Nest locations and two upcoming franchises, one in Joy City in Xicheng and one in Galeries Lafayette in Xidan. More to come…

Tavalin Bagels and Andy’s Craft Sausages will team up for a barbecue this Saturday from 5:30 PM. Will the “ham-bulance” / “patty wagon” make an appearance? By the way, Tavalin now has a sausage and egg bagel sandwich on its regular menu.

Also, there are only a few days left to try the suckling pig special at rmb498 — regular price rmb796 — that Agua has featured throughout August. Also of note, no corkage on wine on Sundays and Mondays — one bottle per person for parties up to eight…

Hat tip: Betty

joseph kornides 12sqm beijing china

Sunday on NLGX: 12SQM turns six and Kornides says bye

Kornides behind the bar and pretending he's closed.
Joseph Kornides appears to mimic a setting sun and thus make this pic relevant to his short amount of time left in Beijing.


It seems like yesterday that 12SQM was a brand-spanking new pub that measured, well, 12 square meters. My, how it has grown to… 45 square meters. But it still retains the coziness of the original plus a nice supply of single malts and Coopers Pale Ale.

This Sunday, 12SQM marks its sixth year in business as well as the departure of Joseph Kornides, who will go home indefinitely to Australia for family reasons and leave both this bar and the newer Mini Bar to run “as is” under the management of a friend.

Drink specials from noon to 1 AM. Drop by to say goodbye, have a drink, and take a photo with the stuffed tiger outside. A few photos from the past:

A man and his wood: the bar top ready to go in.
Wood you? When a man finds the right bar top…
stephen rocard joseph kornides beijinger 2011 restaurant awards renaissance beijing
Rocard & Kornides, winning some award
joseph kornides 12sqm beijing china
Taking up at least two square meters
Kornides keeps a close eye on 12SQM.
Kornides keeps a close eye on 12SQM.
mash rooftop big live sanlitun beijing china

Sips & bites: Salt, The Bar, Tim’s Texas BBQ, Mash & Heaven Supermarket

mash rooftop big live sanlitun beijing china
Mash up: Not the best photo but it gives an idea of the rooftop.


Salt is closed.* Temporarily? Forever? Who knows? Some readers of this blog made the discovery when they arrived for weekend brunch to find the place with darkened door. Word is a pile of unpaid bills led to the locks. It seems ages ago, but really isn’t, when Gaby Alves left Alameda and then opened Salt, or even when Daniel Urdaneta left Salt as chef and went on, with Alex Molina, to open Mosto, Modo and, soon, Moka. Alameda begat Salt, Salt begat Mosto and Terra, Mosto begat Modo and Moka. Time flies in Beijing.

It sounds like Sanlitun favorite Jack Zhou — who started at The Tree and is known from former stints at Shooters and 1F — is planning a new place north of his traditional bar-keeping grounds. He says the details are still being worked out. Every time I see Zhou, I’m reminded of the lines from Big Trouble in Little China:

“Have you paid your dues, Jack?”

“Yes sir, the check is in the mail.”

Few people have paid more dues.

Tim’s Texas BBQ held its sixth anniversary party, with free beer and brisket burgers, on Saturday from 4 PM to 8 PM, with free top-ups afterward. The night saw crowds inside and out, a band playing American classics, some NFL preseason action, and plenty of boozing, with trays of shots coming out the door. A nice way to relax on a Saturday night.

MASH, formerly Big Live, held its opening Saturday night. I went Friday to check the rooftop: a simple but comfortable space (see above and below) that will work especially well for birthday, going-away and other parties. We found service slow but, to be fair, the place was a day from opening, so a return visit is in order.

Barely a seat was to be found at Heaven Supermarket on Friday night even into the wee hours. Given this place moves an incredible volume of beer, it should INVEST IN SOME INDUSTRIAL-STRENGTH FRIDGES to keep things chilled. Or at least put the better beers in the better fridge which, on this night, seemed to be the one closest to the cash register. Anyway, given barely a seat was to be found, I guess there will be little incentive to do so.


* I considered writing “Shake Up at Salt” but I haven’t had enough coffee to be that perky today.

mash rooftop bar sanlitun beijing china

torres taste of nations 7 swissotel beijing china

150 wines, 14 countries: Torres’ Taste of Nations set for September 14 in Beijing

torres taste of nations 7 swissotel beijing chinaMore than 150 wines. From 14 countries. For rmb228. It’s time again for the annual Taste of Nations, one of the best annual wine consumer events in Beijing.

Now in its seventh year, and under the Everwines brand of importer and distributor Torres China, this event includes wines from Spain to South Africa, Hungary to Uruguay, Argentina to Australia, plus two of the top China operations, Grace Vineyard and Silver Heights.

My only advice is to be careful with whom you associate.  Last year, one lady asked me to watch her purse, then disappeared a few minutes before the end of the event, and it took me two hours to track her down again. If she’s reading this, a short message: Stay away from me, devil woman!

Slated for 2 PM to 5 PM, September 14, Swissotel…

My writeup from last year’s event.


Sips & bites: More on Moka Bros’, plus Four Seasons, Slow Boat & Kokomo Foam Party

Mosto and Modo sibling Moka Bros’ is slated to open in the first half of September. This venue by Alex Molina and Daniel Urdaneta is in the former Italian restaurant Pomodoro space in Nali Patio, facing the south side of Sanlitun Village South. While Moka might evoke thoughts of coffee, it will be more restaurant than cafe. From a press release, some info on the food:

[The menu] comprises of savory crepes, wraps, sandwiches, salads, red rice and various noodle bowls (the “Power Bowls!”) with the choice of alternative flour base such as buckwheat….

The beverage list offers a wide range of drinks to accompany dining and snacking from breakfast till late dinner. Specialty coffees, Tea Pigs’ funky tea blends, healthy smoothies, unique milkshakes, wines and cocktails are included in the menu.

The service is designed to be fast, dynamic and split between counter and table service. A central large open counter will display homemade cakes and stage juicers in action. MOKA’s central location makes it a convenient morning stop for an early breakfast meeting or a dinner date after the movies.

Moka Bros. will open daily at 8 AM and take last orders at 10:30 PM Sundays to Thursdays and at 11:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

Get half off on summer cocktails and Stella draft during happy hour — 5 PM to 8 PM — on Opus Terrace at the Four Seasons (ladies can get those summer cocktails for free during happy hour on Thursdays). Also of note, burgers are half-off (rmb79) on Friday nights, with five options — The Regular, The Understated, The Modern, The Health Conscious and The Introvert.

Slow Boat has a state fair theme this weekend with “spin the wheel” deals on Friday (tonight), deep-fried Oreos, funnel cakes and corn dogs, plus a beer stein-holding contest at 9 PM, on Saturday, and a cutest dog contest on Sunday.

And Kokomo is holding a foam party on Saturday afternoon (see poster below). Given that bikini, it looks like Cheers wine shop is a sponsor.

For other fun stuff happening this weekend, including at MASH, Tim’s Texas BBQ and Beer Mania, see this post from yesterday.