N Deli: Not Quite A Deli

0616_bar-reviewWhen walking into N Deli it is easy to wonder what this place actually makes. It certainly doesn’t look like a quaint spot that might sell prepared foods like Corner’s or Jay’s Deli. Perhaps it’s a store falling under the umbrella of the Deli brand in China that sells office supplies? Surely not. Still, there is not a deli in sight.
Nevertheless, it was an aimless Wednesday night and I decided to head in and have a look. I could hear live music from outside, so I was intrigued; after all, there aren’t too many places where you can hear live music on a week night.

Inside, two singers playfully serenaded the crowd in front of a big screen. They were called Peanut and Butter and they were singing a crowd-pleasing range of pop songs: a bit of Adele here, a spot of Michael Jackson there. The most impressive part, though, was when they sang 上海滩 (Shanghai Tan). These guys could sing perfectly in Chinese. At that moment, I figured N Deli is going for both the foreign and Chinese markets.

I do like the way this bar & restaurant is designed and also appreciate the furniture they chose. It’s a laid back, casual affair where you can sit inside or out. In other words, a nice place to relax and have a good talk with a few friends. I was just there for the drinks, but they do light meals, too.While grabbing a seat, I heard some women saying the cocktails were good. Tonight was Ladies Night (every Wednesday), meaning 50% off all wine and cocktails. I sprung for a Mojito (normally 45 RMB). Enjoying the ambience, music and nice drinks, my time here was well spent.

Now the Mojito is usually everywhere and Dongguan is not normally a city that serves up the absolute finest of cocktails, but this one was bang on the money. It took a while to arrive, but when it arrived it was all business. The mint, lime and sugar mixed and smashed together before adding Havana Rum, all decorated with a slice of lime and some more mint. It was a drink that didn’t just look beautiful, but hit with a very refreshing punch. One thing worth mentioning is that they use a Mojito straw, so that you don’t get lime seed or mint in your mouth. No trouble at all!

The whole experience was delightful, except for the very beginning. After I walked into the bar, nobody came to ask if I need anything. A drink? A seat? Was I looking for friends? It was awkward and unprofessional.

But well, we all learn. Don’t we?

Find the bar here.