If you were over speakeasies, don’t be quite yet. Hidden behind Spicy Moment
on Wuyuan Lu, this new spot from Eddy Yang of Tailor Bar
is a chilled-out, unpretentious neighbourhood bar with great drinks. Well, it’s hardly even a speakeasy – just an obscure location in the back of a Hunan joint.
It’s a relaxed atmosphere – polished but minimalist in décor – with a handful of seats at the small bar, a few tables and two low, curved banquettes. There are two menus: ‘From Shangri-La’, focused on floral flavours and tiki drinks, and ‘Behind the Curtain’ – name riffing of The Curtain Club
at the Ritz-Carlton Berlin – which are classic, ‘forgotten’ drinks.
The cocktails are very good or great. The Far East Sour (78RMB) is a light blend of vodka and sake splashed with floral overtones from peach bitters and osmanthus; the Bramble (78RMB) hits all the right notes a Bramble should – perfectly balanced, sour with a touch of sweetness. For great, suck down a Tiki Time (88RMB) or two – white rum and London dry gin are brought alive with lime leaves, smoothed out with coconut puree and set off with a bit of spice. It’s tom kha gai cocktail-ified.
The brown spirit drinks pull their weight equally. The Bobby Burns (88RMB) is a heady, delicious mix of Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth and DOM Benedictine. Not a showstopper, just an expertly executed classic, which seems to be what Second Moment is all about – classic, sometimes forgotten drinks done well. And oddly, that’s a novelty in Shanghai.
By Cat Nelson