|8 Trees Wine Bar
|10am - 12pm|
|1 Pingan Ln., 25 Xihuamen St.|
|028 8669 9060|
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Pete Sweeney (more chengdu)|
To be honest, selling western-style red wines in China has always been a tough sell. The 8Trees Wine Bar, therefore, deserves a degree of approval just for trying. It also deserves credit for its dark wood interior, hand-painted paper lamps, and the window in the floor that looks down on the wine cellar. And of course for the quality of the food, which is excellent, and priced that way.
8trees has both indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor area features small tables running along a columned veranda, which is nice, and they are shielded from the street via strategically placed trees and shrubbery. The indoor area is dimly lit, thanks to the stained-glass windows and small colorful lamps. Its got couches and comfy chairs and Latin music playing quietly in the background. The bar is nice, but there are, alas, no bar stools and, apparently, no liquor. It is, in short, a great place to impress a date that likes Western food and red wine.
The menu, however, is the main reason to go. While the wine list is decent, it offers only one red wine by the glass and overwhelmingly favors retail red wines. There is one chardonnay and two champagnes. The bottles are priced between 168 and 498 yuan. The menu, however, is well structured, offering a set of French appetizers including escargot and a rich foie gras spread over apple. Entrees feature a selection of steaks, and four Singaporean rice dishes, plus a few pastas. Prices range from 32 RMB up to nearly 200 RMB for a top-shelf steak. The mushroom and tomato soup is well-balanced and like most places that make a good soup, they also make a good sauce. The Singaporean dishes, in particular the Nong Ya Chicken, are worth a try, but as they are basically spicy curries, it’s difficult to match a wine with them. I could not see any Zinfandels or other varieties that can stand up to red pepper. Service is attentive and wireless Internet is available.