Category Archives: Sips and bites


Sips & bites: Greyhound Cafe, Wang Jia Sha to soon open in Village South

image-003The ample Swire Village South space that started off as Club Le Zazou three years ago, then went through phases as Club Le and G-Loft, is about to reopen as two restaurants.

One is Greyhound Cafe, which lists branches in Bangkok and Hong Kong, will focus on Thai food and should be open by month’s end. Expect a modern decor and exceptionally high ceilings now that the second floor has been removed.

The other place is called Wang Jia Sha, a restaurant that specializes in food from Shanghai and has branches in that city and Hong Kong, says management. This one is slated to open on January 9.


Will Yorke Vineyard Cafe Restaurant Wudaoying Hutong Beijing China

Down by the river: New Vineyard Cafe slated for Khatoon space

When I contacted Will Yorke of Vineyard Cafe / Vineleaf last week for this Must Tries Series piece, he mentioned that he has a third place in the works. It will be called The Vineyard Cafe, should open in the spring and, from what I understand, is taking over the Khatoon restaurant spacenear the Liang Ma River. A few more details from Yorke:

  • The new Vineyard Cafe will seat about 50 people on two floors, with space for about two dozen more on a rooftop terrace.
  • The food menu will be a combination of items from the current Vineyard Café and Vineleaf offerings.
  • He hopes to serve his craft beer although this will depend on ramping up production. (Here’s hoping the new place also inherits the wine list — see here.)

Yorke says he aims to have the place opened in March or April. And while that might be too late this year for patrons to go ice skating on the river, they will still be able to enjoy a post-brunch walk along it.

Will Yorke Vineyard Cafe Restaurant Wudaoying Hutong Beijing China
Vineyard Cafe’s Wudaoying digs…

Sips & bites: Salud is Disguised, plus Sequoia, Pavillion, Courtyard, Beer Mania

Some of my best wine memories are from the weekly Friday night tastings Frank Siegel once hosted at the former Sequoia Cafe just behind Opposite House. Siegel held everything from blind tastings to bring-your-own-bottle affairs, covered pretty much every country and style, and always had nibbles or even a barbecue for us. He closed the cafe about five years ago and the space has pretty much been empty since. Tonight I saw workers in there and it looks like this former gathering place for much of the wine scene — from the most experienced tasters to first-timers — will be an office. Sad.

I took the photo above of Salud in Sanlitun a few days ago. The facade has since been redone and the place now goes by the name The Disguised.


Here is a shot of the inside. The guys I saw there earlier tonight said it will open Wednesday. I haven’t been in this place for years, pretty much since bartender Jackson Bai left and then headed to Shanghai.

the disguised bar formerly salud sanlitun beijing china

William Bolton a.k.a. Chef Billy has left The Pavillion about four months after that Workers Stadium West place finally reopened. Bolton joined the project ~18 months ago after the backers of Sim Sim restaurant took over. I only stopped in a few times but found few customers, though this place still has one of the best patios in town (see below). I’ll try to contact the owners to see if there are any changes coming. As for Bolton, he says it is business as usual at his best-known establishment, Chef Too.

Meanwhile, Brian McKenna is heading the kitchen at The Courtyard and posted this shot today. The card says, “Prepare yourself for an experience that pushes the limits of what’s possible with food.”  Is that an edible envelope, by any chance? McKenna  remains the subject of my longest ever restaurant review, for this meal during his days at Blu Lobster.

brian mckenna at the courtyard

The new kitchen at Beer Mania, headed by former Le Petit Gourmand chef Fred, is doing a tasty brunch. The shot below shows the first course with sausage, bacon, egg, potato, vegetable stew (ratatouille), buns, fresh juice (four choices: the one in front is apple-starfruit) and coffee. The second course includes croissant, waffle, baked apple and jam. The brunch is regularly rmb88 but only rmb70 during December. It runs from 11 AM to 4 PM, which means you can merge it with the happy hour from 3 PM to 8 PM and get two-for-one draft beers as a digestif.

beer mania brunch beijng china

Finally, if you want a few posts re those former Sequoia tastings, check here:

held contests and blind tastings, a