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New Drinks: The Nest

It's the Bund but not the Bund. The North Bund. The Origin. Muse and Grey Goose came together and made a love nest on Beijing Dong Lu...
Last updated: 2015-11-09

Grey Goose and Muse have had a lovechild. Imagine that for a moment. Tables and dice? Constant dance performances? Fruit platters and EDM? Actually, no. Not at all. The Nest might be a Bund bar/lounge for people who usually avoid Bund bars. They're ditching the janky nightclub template in favor of a gastro-lounge concept. That's basically F&B-speak for a bar with nicer drinks and gourmet food.

They've definitely got the "lounge" part covered. It feels pretty laid back in here. They even let me in wearing a sweatshirt, backpack, and sneakers, even though it feels like they want to court more discerning middle-class, white collar locals and foreign professionals.

Counting the outdoor space, there’s room for probably 300 people, but doesn’t feel empty with 60-ish. It looks like a 3D rendering from a Euro yuppie interior design magazine. To wit...

There is also this structure over by the bathroom that looks like it was swiped from the back lot of the set of Tron.

This LED sculpture is the centerpiece. Some say it’s DNA. Others see an abstract bird's nest or fish skeleton. It changes colors throughout the night and pulses with the music.

The music, by the way, is good. I don’t know another Bund place where you'd hear The Smiths, The Cure, Interpol, Future Islands, and The White Stripes.

Drinks are decent, too, and affordable for this neighborhood. Most cocktails are 58–90rmb.

Naturally, there’s lots of Grey Goose on the menu: Classic martini, dry. 68rmb.

Straight out the hot box, comes this...

The "Smokin' Perfect 20 (with dedication)" for 78rmb. Rum, Aberfeldy 12 single malt, Benedictine, Mancino amaretto, and bitters get wood-smoked out in a little glass cage. Overall, not bad. Cool trick.

And for the young grandpas like myself, the Old Fashioned (88rmb). This one was a bit too smooth though.

For beer there’s Kentucky IPA and Kentucky Kolsch on tap (38rmb) and Guinness in bottles (58rmb).

The food looks nice too. There are imported oysters (198–498rmb/dozen), black pearl caviar (298-2398rmb), pork shoulder for three (598rmb), lamb chops (458rmb), shared meat plates (198-258rmb), an 850g T-bone steak (998rmb), and some lighter options around 80-130rmb. No burger yet, but there is one on the way. A few drinks in on an empty stomach we ordered some vodka-battered fish and chips…

Really nice, these. They make the dubious choice of serving it on a brick. So let's hope no one ever starts a serious fight in here.

On both occasions service was attentive, bi-lingual enough, and genuinely friendly. Management is sharp and cordial. They’re coming in with experience at the Long Bar in the Waldorf, Scarpetta, and Couqille—places that are doing well.

So, The Nest. Surprisingly enjoyable. A welcome change for The Bund, a neighborhood whose nightlife options are becoming increasingly the same.

The Nest - 6/F, 130 Beijing Dong Lu, near Huqiu Lu. Details and Map here.