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First Round
    • ADDRESS:
      739 Dingxi Lu,
      near Yan'an Xi Lu
    • PHONE:
      6215 6217
    • WECHAT:
    • AREA:
    • METRO:
      15 mins walk from West Yan'An Rd
    • HOURS:
      Sun-Thu, 11am-midnight
      Fri&Sat, 11am-1am
    • CARDS:
      Alipay, WeChat
    • WEB:
    • Editor's Description
      Boxing Cat's hard-to-miss roadside bar on Dingxi Lu. Beer is all Boxing Cat and food is general nibbles such as chicken wings or mini-pizzas. First Round has the very instagramable 'reverse pour' which sends the beer up through a valve in the bottom of the glass.
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    • Here’s the low-down on the latest action-

      The Beef: Burgers, chicken wings, flatbreads, and more. We’ll get back to the food.

      Having heard of the reverse beer pouring machines, I imagined this place would be too gimmicky. Not to mention they also have two full-on 桌游 machines that turn your tabletop into an interactive video game with your beer drinking mates.

      I wasn’t fully wrong. Our first attempt at the reverse pour machine was actually a disaster. The machine that was supposed to offer the “perfect pour and minimal head” wasn’t working properly and instead reverse engineered a glass of beer foam. So we had to pick another beer/machine which then did indeed deliver as promised. How it works: Self-service. They have a selection of 4 beers (2 ambers, 1 pilsner, 1 dark) on reverse tap, pick beer, scan QR code to pay, set glass onto dispenser, and watch your beer glass fill from the bottom up - in only 5 seconds.

      They also have a rotation of at least 6 other beers on tap behind the bar. The prevalent Contender (still a favorite but likely bc it’s the most familiar), TKO IPA (nice and strong), Helles Lager (too light and watery), and even a Breast Wishes Milk Stout with nitro gas (dark, smooth, chocolatey – sexy!).

      Back to the food. This is a big statement to make. But this place has the best fries I have had in recent memory. They were the perfect amount of thickness, crisp, and saltiness, dipped in ketchup and…what? Meiyo mayo?! My date and I agreed that we would bring our own tube of mayo next time.

      The rest of the food was also top notch – perfect for pairing with beers, naturally. Helles Fury Sichuan Flatbread was like eating those addictive bag of Wangfeihong spicy peanuts. The burger was juicy, and I would argue better than some of the actual burger joints. Korean style chicken wings were sweet, spicy, and oh-so-tender.   

      The Gang: Unfortunately it was extremely quiet on a weekday at lunch (we were the only patrons there). However, because of its location on Dingxi Lu, a late night food street for locals, I imagine less laowai, more Chinese millennials.

      The Motive: Fantastic neighborhood bar and super friendly service. I’ll definitely be back, and especially in summer weather for beers and food in their lovely backyard.

      The Damage: Two rounds of beer, tasting flight, and way too much food later, the total tally came down to around 300RMB for two. Reverse tap 35RMB for 400ml, beer taps 40RMB for 500ml. Flatbreads 45RMB, barley bowls 38RMB, chicken wings 28RMB.

      The Down n’ Dirty: Red light bulbs made it really hard to see, but toilets seemed pretty clean.

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