Decadence kills depression

So, the Boy and I crashed onto the Chinese clubbing scene on Friday, taking in polar ends of the nightlife spectrum (not hard with a sample size of two). About the only thing these places had in common was a slightly trippy feel and the fact that neither hosted the night billed in the listings.

The first was Bonbon, Godskitchen’s oriental offering. Looked super-slick and shiny, but the fact that 80% of the space was given over to sofas should have been a giveaway. The cover charge was an astronomical 150 yuan (about a tenner, but bear in mind that on Tuesday we had a slap up three course dinner and drinks for two for 18 quid).

We paid it anyway and were therefore pleasantly surprised when our first drinks were free, in exchange for our entry tickets. Slightly more surprising, our next drinks were free, and the next, and the… oh dear…

Most surprising of all, they categorically refused to serve any water or soft drinks. I tried twice and got turned away both times, until a patient Chinese clubber explained that all I could do was ask for “little vodka” and drink it slowly. Perhaps the beginning of the end?

On the music front, we’d gone along all eager after a flyer had promised skull-thumping D&B, so more surprising than the free bar was the almost sugar-coated funky house. The locals seemed to love it though, and the place was absolutely rammed with Chinese, although they all seemed to be about 16 years old.

Hmmm. The music hardened up enough to have a bit of a dance, but it wasn’t really cutting it (although it’s been ages since I’ve been clubbing and felt old *tips a cheeky wink to Poppa Dave*) so onwards and upwards we went, to a place called DKD, which was supposedly spinning deep house and trance.

Hmmm, once more. Now to be fair, I don’t remember much of the music (I’d had two martinis, some beer and some sake before we even got to the free bar) but it certainly wasn’t trance. It was reasonably progressive though, and we had a good dance. I think.

The atmospehere was pretty stilted though; from packed out teeny pop we found ourselves in another beautifully presented space, but this time it was probably only a quarter full, every one in there was western, and the Vinny Jones-esque bar manager had definite shades of the underworld about him.

Despite this, we managed to party until dawn, although at one point our conversation was reduced to something like this:

J: Where have you been for the last hour?
L: Umm, I’m not sure
J: And where’s your handbag gone?
L: Err, I don’t know
J: Were our passports in there?
L: Ahh, maybe, yes…

Poor, dear, sweet, long-suffering Jonty – more about him later this week, now it’s time for another fix of food porn:

Before our clubbing fun we went to the best Japenese restaurant I have ever eaten at. In fact, it’s a close contender for best restaurant ever (all categories). The tables were little semi-octagons with seating one side and a hot plate the other, so that the chefs cook in front of you as in a more rough and ready sushi bar.

We had little appetisers of smoked salmon and mooli, then amazing melt in the mouth beef sashimi (heavily marbled, Kobe style), fish sashimi and finished off with a mouthful of stunning foie gras (what? the geese love it!) served with little morsels of fruit. I don’t think I have such a well balanced and beautifully presented meal in a long while.

Today we just wolfed down fried dumplings from some roadside guy, but they were pretty bloody good too, in their own way. Think I’d get pretty fat if I lived here!


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