Casual bar just off The Bund with a great rooftop space
Waitan Yard has a simple concept: good drinks, a nice terrace and a relaxed vibe. The menu consists of a small set of craft cocktails, craft beers, Argentinean and Italian wines and spirits. As the name suggests, it's located a short distance from The Bund (on Sichuan Zhong Lu) and with a terrace that's open from 5pm Tuesday to Friday and from midday on the weekends, it makes for a great spot to lounge around and indulge in some post-work or weekend drinking.
The seating is comfortable and relaxed with urban views over the adjacent buildings. The surrounding greenery from potted plants lining the walls makes it seem less industrial than its neighbours, and the tea-light candles scattered around the tables lend the space an intimate feel, especially at dusk.
The cocktails are mostly decent. The Bianco Negroni (88RMB) is strong and smooth, mixing gin, Cocchi Americano and extra dry vermouth. Served over ice, the drink is slightly tangy thanks to a grapefruit twist, though it would benefit from a greater overall citrus kick. The Waitan Martini (78RMB) is more disappointing. A too-liberal addition of olive juice overwhelms the palate, making the drink taste more like a pickleback than a dirty martini. The blue cheese-stuffed garnish is the only real highlight of the drink.
If you're after a brew, the beer section of the menu is short but inclusive, with prices ranging from 48RMB for a Stella, to 68RMB for a Green Gold Tap from Danish microbrewery Mikkeller. The latter is a smooth and refreshing drink with a decent head and a malty finish. It's also great value if ordered during happy hour between 5-7pm on Tuesday-Friday when it's buy-one-get-one-free.
There's an assortment of snacks on the menu, including some blue cheese stuffed olives (30RMB) that may not look appealing, but are aromatic, juicy and addictive. For those with a bigger hunger, the satisfying fried chicken served with hand cut crisps (65RMB) is a top option. Although we generally prefer a heartier batter on our chicken, the version here is light, succulent and delightfully spicy thanks to the addition of Sichuan pepper to the batter.
Waitan Yard isn't the most exciting new addition to The Bund, but it's a pleasant spot for an early evening or weekend drink. Head here during happy hour and make the most of the chilled out and comfortable terrace while the weather's still suitable.