This venue has closed.
Following the crackdown on Yongkang Lu, this outlet is now closed. However, you can head on down to Revolucion on Yanping Lu
Formerly known as La Buvette, this latin-themed cocktail bar from the Urban Bar team has reopened as Revolucion. The review below is from its original La Buvette days.
Now that the charge has eased a bit and the dust has settled, Yongkang Lu, it seems, has two sides: the interesting, creative bars and cafés attempting to do something different and distinct; and the unimaginative, me-too, land-grabbers getting in on the action before rent gets really silly. While not massively ambitious, the perky, Cuban-themed drinkery does enough to join the former camp and is one of the better openings this year.
The bar is a joint venture between Alexandre Daune and co’s ever-growing Saleya-Stagiaires empire and Urban Bar, a bar consultancy owned by French pair Geoffrey Gayton and Sebastian Bonnefoi. Urban Bar are known for their so-called molecular mixology. After working for El Bulli’s Ferran Adrià, Bonnefoi applied the principles of molecular gastronomy to concept cocktails. The drinks are good, the prices are pleasing.
The menu is basically variations on daiquiris, mojitos and margaritas. We order the passion fruit mojito (48RMB), with Havana 3, to see if it stands up to Kaoru Wakayam’s consistently brilliant version at Mardi Gras. It doesn’t quite, but it’s still a refreshing, well-pitched drink that can happily wear its price with pride. An even cheaper Amaretto sour (38RMB), with lemon juice and bitters, and a mango Tom Collins (48RMB), are similarly successful; enough care, boozy weight and character in both.
The crowd is young and the music, one recent Wednesday, has the focus of a pissed Irish plasterer: from samba to The Doors, via some disco funk. We ask if they have neighbours upstairs. They do, says a barkeep, shrugging his shoulders (doors close at 10pm but the bar stays open until midnight). It’s the sort of careless attitude that makes for a worrying portent for the longevity of the street. But, either way, it’s another fine bar for the strip – and a goal for camp creative.