The Shadow Knows

Black Shadow

bar reviewWho knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Black Shadow knows! Smack dab in the middle of the bustle of the Dongcheng pedestrian street lays a bar that could easily be overlooked as simply another dicing joint. Fair enough: it isn’t exactly an inspirational venture when it comes to its design. The beauty of the joint is that the en masse drinkers would also be drunkenly steering towards bar street or other locales, leaving the stores of Black Shadow open for plundering, so it’s likely there would be free tables most of the evening. For those already initiated into the drinking scene, grabbing a few brews al fresco while high heel watching would be the perfect escape from the typical thud-thud-thud of the hundreds of “qing ba” (清吧) dives that have broken out like acne all over town.

Black Shadow is very “what you see is what you get;” don’t expect fanfare, red carpets or the extraordinary. The menu doesn’t overshoot any known bounds for the type of place that it is and the wait staff is always keen to bring peanuts and snacks. The interior is black on black on black, with dice cups upon every table and beer by the dozen appears to be the normal order. There is an adequate selection of German beers and other stuff the beer suppliers are trying to offload in bulk since foreign interest waned and locals took over. Booze has its own page with XO this, Johnny Walker that and Conquistador Tequila. Give the Hong Kong brewed Red Horse strong beer a try. At 8% ABV, it has a kick and at 35RMB, the flavor beats most other strong beers in quality and price point. The alcohol is undetectable and it is smooth and sweet; perhaps too sweet for some.

Decked out in holiday jive with tinsel and canned snow, it’s easy to see that Black Shadow is at least trying to habituate. Nearby establishments seemed to absolutely ignore the festive attitude DG has attached to Christmas and western holidays. Also, instead of thud-thud-thudding, The Bee Gees squeaked and warbled on the speakers creating a lively atmosphere on a different plane from elsewhere. The Black Shadow is an honorary mention worth benefaction simply for that.

Category Bar Reviews