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  • Here’s the low-down on the latest action-

    The Beef: We missed the daytime action here, apparently they do an awesome brunch til 4pm (note to self). But real fun starts after dark when the neon signs burn brighter and the cats come out to play. When we arrived, it was standing room only at a high table, but the vibe was so chill that nobody seemed to mind the cramped yet cozy space.  The service was so personable even at the start, where they apologized profusely and promised us a seat once a spot at the bar opened up (which they made good on). The attentive service lasted through the time we were there. Japanese barman Roger is the best host ever, and judging by the enthusiastic hellos from fellow patrons, we were not the only people to think so.

    In addition to the regular line-up, the highlights here are the “tea” or “coffee” cocktails. We tried one of each to start. I am a tea drinker by day, but usually shun tea cocktails because the milder flavors of tea bring out the harshness of the liquor they are made with– à la vodka or whisky (no whisky green tea here). I can’t say the tea drinks here changed my mind, but they were a refreshing surprise and if that’s your thing, you’d be in heaven here.

    But we ended up sticking to the coffee selection for the rest of the evening. All the drinks are made meticulously, and with scrupulous care – and the drink prices here are super reasonable! So we tried most of the menu. My favorite remains the coffee & tonic for its simple complexity (ha!)

    Food was also divine. The foie gras sn*ckers was completely unexpected but beyond words, and the bed of coffee beans paired perfectly with the foie in terms of flavor (rich yet light) and texture (more crunch!). Comparatively, the avocado fries were heavy since they were breadcrumb battered.

    The Gang: The cool “older” kids who want a low-key vibe that still serves sophistication…and willing to shell out a bit more for it - especially later on as they move up the “ladder”, or rather stairs to Sober Kitchen & Sober Society.

    The Damage: 3-4 rounds of cocktail plus late-night snacks for two on a date night, approx. 650RMB.

    The Down n’ Dirty: Spankin’ clean.

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SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.