Second Helpings: Jean Georges Lounge Bar

What: High-end bar food and drinks in a relaxed environment
Where: 4/F, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Guangdong Lu. Tel: 6321 7733. Web: www.threeonthebund.com
Why: For unpretentious dining in one of the fanciest establishments in town

Sandwiched between the classical entrance foyer and the newly designed restaurant lies the modern, yet elegant, Jean Georges Lounge Bar. Situated opposite one of the impressive open kitchens, and, encircling a long, wooden bar with brass accents, the Lounge Bar oozes French elegance, but has moved away from the gentleman’s club vibe of yesteryear.
The Lounge Bar feels welcoming, less pretentious and more feminine. Being more accessible, on our visit we noticed that many guest were mingling at the bar, having a drink before dinner or even ordering plates of food as an evening meal.
Who would go to Jean Georges and not step over the threshold of the restaurant before ordering food we hear you ask? Well, as strange as it may sound, the Lounge Bar has a pretty solid food menu, not to mention exquisitely crafted cocktails and has a lowkey atmosphere, when compared to the namesake restaurant.
We happily tucked into the JG Blackmore truffle cheeseburger (RMB 188). The juicy patty, made from a combination of Blackmore M9 Australian Wagyu beef chuck and Ranger Valley MB 7 rib-eye, was slipped between two freshly made sesame buns with house made yuzu pickles sauce and extremely rich black truffle sauce. It was an all around crowd pleaser.
The lobster cheeseburger with green chilli mayo and yuzu pickles (RMB 228) was superb, and reason alone to visit the bar. Primarily made from thick chunks of lobster claw, the fresh bun is also slathered with shrimp mousse, herbs and lemon zest.
Classic cocktails are reinvented with a modern twist at the bar. Our favourite was the cherry-yuzu old fashioned (RMB 128). The cherry yuzu base blended well with the straight whiskey, and the drink was garnished with a rich, alcohol soaked cherry.
We will be back again to work our way through the short but succinct menu.