The Roof, Lola & Bar Rouge Revisited

The Roof

What:Relaxed, comfortable bar with large rooftop terrace

Why: Massive selection of whisky and lovingly-crafted cocktails

How much: Cocktails RMB 58 – 88, single malt RMB 50 – infinity

Where: 4F, Building 4, 570 Yongjia Lu, near Yueyang Lu. Tel: 6073 7628

If 2010 was defined by the rise of Yongfu Lu, 2011 is shaping up as the year of Yongjia Lu’s Surpass Court. As the art, food and booze complex slowly fills out, more and more reasons to swing by emerge. Initially, The Roof can be tricky to find as its elevator is buried at the back of the square, just past Art Labor 2.0. Once located, the bar’s first impression is it’s similarity to Yongfu Lu’s The Apartment. A very cosy main room complete with mismatched furniture and light fixtures is braced by a wood panelled bar which boasts an impressive bottle collection. A large, adjoining terrace, nearly 60 per cent of the venue’s total area, overlooks the courtyard below.

The resemblance to The Apartment extends to The Roof’s café-style food menu, which stresses fresh ingredients, yet it is here the parallel ends. Head bartender Alex Hsieh, introduced as ‘Taipei’s best’, has created an enormous cocktail list 50 choices deep, plus a separate single malt menu with over 20 Scottish, ten Japanese, ten North American and four Irish labels. The bar happily boasts it is the only venue in town with Bushmills 16 Year Old. All drinks come with a large, hand-chiselled ice cube and mixed drinks are made with juice straight from the fruit.

Late autumn is not a particularly good time to open a bar with a terrace, but due to the usual construction delays, this couldn’t be helped. However, the Taiwanese owner does plan on erecting a large tent complete with heaters, so most of the venue will still be utilised throughout the miserable Shanghai winter. As word gets around, expect to see whisky-lovers rubbing elbows with cocktail aficionados and expats looking for a cosy place to drink the evening away.

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