If you thought that Beijing already had enough swanky joints for the well-to-do to rub shoulders and toss back a few, you wouldn’t wrong. Still, the new bar and nightclub at Rosewood Beijing,
Mei, isn’t letting a saturated market stand in the way of hosting a bloody good time. With a fresh attitude, sleek multifaceted space and a killer menu, Mei is giving the established barons of bottle service a run for their money.
Depending on how you enter, from the lobby elevator or the dedicated street-level entrance (with its red carpet and private elevator), Mei is either a sprawling cocktail lounge and bandstand or smart wine bar. And just to have all bases covered, there’s also a plush whisky bar out back.
Subtle design accents help separate the wine, whisky and cocktail bars. Old-school grey brick and exposed timber ceilings run through the space, while the whisky bar has leather chairs and tartan sofas; the cocktail bar and band area brushed copper and polished stone. A large outdoor terrace off the wine bar offers exceptional views of the CBD on a clear evening.
The drink menus are exhaustive, as you’d expect from any hotel bar worth its salt. Wines range from the common to the truly exceptional, with prices to match (80RMB and up, all prices subject to 15 percent service charge). The whisky selection is similar in its scope, with modest six-year labels joined by their 40-year brethren.
From the signature cocktails, the Pisco Punch and Mint Julep Smash (both 85RMB) stand out as fun, innovative twists on classics.The former features a strawberry marshmallow garnish, while the latter’s pewter goblet gets a dusting of powered sugar.
The food menu shouldn’t be overlooked either; the ‘bar bites’ at Mei are hearty enough to merit their own visit. The duck nuggets with orange barbecue sauce (55RMB) are densely packed croquets of tender shredded duck meat, while the bikini sandwich (65RMB), mortadella and black truffles, would be passable at any high-end bistro, let alone a nightclub.
With a popping house band, some outlandish deals on irresponsibly large bottles of champagne and a rather spectacular view, Rosewood Beijing has added yet another top-notch space to its roster – and this one’s ready
By Nick Gollner