Genesis Bar

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
442 Zizhong Lu

A stone’s throw from Xintiandi, Genesis Bar looks like any old lane house from the road, but push through the heavy gate and you’ll find a sweet al fresco terrace, a lounge and bar on the ground floor, and a dining room on the first floor.

Upstairs, photos line the walls and the atmosphere is relaxed with low-lighting and comfortable seating. The onepage food menu pales in comparison to the drinks, a huge affair brimming with cocktails, wines and an epic whisky list.

Starting with the bar’s namesake, The Genesis cocktail (78RMB), sets the tone well. A smooth mix of bourbon whiskey and smoky single malt is offset with a good amount of lime juice and lemon bitters, and a sweet honey-ginger syrup. This isn’t one you’ll want to sit on – it’s too easy to drink – and is a refreshing instance of a bar absolutely nailing its signature cocktail.

The Elegant Fizz (78RMB) is a more herbal offering with a fairly strong dash of Fernet Branca and fresh thyme added to the Beefeater Gin base. It’s served long and mixed with fresh lemon juice, egg whites and soda. In this instance, we couldn’t help but wish the soda hadn’t been invited to the party as it diluted the mix and the main ingredients lost some of their punch.

If you’re after something stronger and thicker, opt for the Whisky Negroni (78RMB). The generous drink’s texture resembles syrup, but the mix of whisky, Campari and Martini Bianco is balanced and not too sweet. Or perhaps order the equally delicious Smoky Old Fashion (88RMB), which arrives at the table with a smoking cinnamon quill that permeates the entire room with sweet baking smells.

The food menu is small but acceptable, with a fair whack of fried offerings on the list. The Genesis style spicy chicken (88RMB) is juicy and plentiful, with a decent side of crisp but somewhat flavourless fries. The meat platter (pricey at 128RMB) offers a good selection of Parma ham, salami and Mortadella, and manages to satiate nicely, teaming well with a drink.

One to check out for the terrace or if you’re in the area.

By Victoria Brownlee

Venue name: Genesis Bar
Opening hours: 6.30pm-2am daily
Metro: Xintiandi
English address: 442 Zizhong Lu, near Danshui Lu, Huangpu district
Chinese address: 黄浦区自忠路442号,近淡水路