May 27th: Plastic Beer

If you’re going to name your establishment “Dr. Beer”, selling five on-premise brewed beers at fairly expensive prices, then please, please, please don’t serve them in plastic glasses.  Fancy plastic glasses they may well be, but they’re still plastic.  Specially moulded plastic too, to disguise the fact that I’m getting somewhat close to a small-bottle-sized serving; nowhere near a pint.  And I don’t care if it keeps the beer inside the plastic a little cooler!  A relaxed Friday evening eating snack food with Bron in Dr. Beer was somewhat spoiled by the fact the fresh, flavourful, non mass-produced beer tasted, well, plasticky.

In an earlier post, I mentioned how several sights we’d once viewed as strange now appear normal.  One exception to this is spitting.  Since this blog is a record of our time in China, it has to include the lows as well as the highs; seeing people (usually men) spitting in the street certainly counts as one of the lows.  It’s not so much seeing it but hearing it that bothers me, since the act of spitting usually follows an elongated cleansing of the throat (I guess just to make sure whatever’s down there is all going to be ejected).  Some of the guidebooks talk about the necessity of cleansing the body and so in theory it’s far better to eject that which the body attempts to naturally expel rather than swallow it or deposit it into a tissue that could (potentially) infect others.    Regardless of why, I’ll just be British and say I find it unpleasant.

Enough complaining.
Gardens at Ding XiangWe have a “Walking Tours of Shanghai” book that throws up some fascinating nooks and crannies we’d never otherwise know about.  The book is also invaluable in revealing hitherto unknown restaurants and bars down these nooks (that’s bars in nooks, not nooky bars; I think that’s something else) and crannies.  On Saturday we discovered a superb dim sum restaurant at the end of a huge private garden.  So although we weren’t allowed in the garden, we had a great lunch overlooking it.

Saturday night was spent with work colleagues in a trendy bar called Char Bar overlooking The Bund, followed by a few games of pool in the not-so-trendy Big Bamboo.

Brunch at Sashas

Brunch at Sashas (not quite as poncy as it sounds) gave us an incredibly relaxing and enjoyable way to spend Sunday afternoon.  A good few hours, again with the work lot, sat outside with free-flowing sparkling wine.  Not quite a British beer garden, but it did for us both today.

And Dr. Beer owners please take note – the sparkling wine served was served in glasses, not plastic containers resembling glasses.

View of The Bund from the Char Bar

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