What’s New: Bar and Restaurant Openings in Suzhou

What’s New: Bar and Restaurant Openings in Suzhou
By Steve Allison , eChinacities.com

Suzhou is host to a robust foreign restaurant and bar scene that gets larger and more diverse every year. With cuisines ranging from Indian to Spanish to Mexican, there's already a lot to choose from, and increasing competition means the quality of the food is slowly improving as well. Newer restaurants tend to be better, and establishments with substandard fare don't last as long. Suzhou has seen a spate of new restaurant and bar openings recently by already successful restaurateurs, and their experience shows in the innovative designs of many of their locations. Here's what's new in Suzhou's bar and restaurant scene.

1)  Goodfellas
1912 Bar Street is quickly becoming the place to go for a night out in Suzhou, but a lot of those nights can end up disappointing in this new and still developing entertainment district. More often than not, you'll show up to a venue only to be bombarded by techno at full blast or a Philippine band covering 70's hits and confused waitresses who bring the wrong food. Goodfellas will provide a respite from the earsplitting and overpriced clubs that proliferate in the area. It's the newest venture from the Southern Cross group, and its mission is clear: professional, quality and a reasonable volume.

The dark wood and brass interior is a classier version of one of the places the real good fellas might have frequented. The stage in the corner promises to host the best in entertainment, from music to comedy to dancing. Unlike other places in 1912, these might actually be shows you go to on purpose: owner Lu Wen will invite only groups that are well known in the area, from as far away as Shanghai and Nanjing. Best of all, the price of a ticket (for those shows that are ticketed) will go towards a drink. When there's no one performing it's a nice place to relax, chat and enjoy some of their signature snacks and sandwiches. Happy hour is from 18:30-21:00.

The bar began limited service in March and will have its grand opening on April 14th, 2012.

Goodfellas 菲拉酒吧 View In Map
Add: A-9, 1912 Bar Street District, Xingzhou Jie, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 6296 2789

2)  Tacos
With locations all over Shanghai and Jiangsu Province, Tacos is quickly becoming a name in upmarket foreign food restaurant chains for Chinese patrons. It features cuisines from around the world: China, America, France, Italy, India, Japan and more. Unfortunately, for people who've eaten Western food before, it's not very good. InCity Plaza already has two Italian places, one Spanish restaurant and a Burger King, so Tacos probably isn't going to see many foreign customers.

The interior is a little too closely inspired by Pizza Hut, with the same attempt at giving a feeling of quality despite the fact that everything's plastic. The pasta dishes are almost unrecognisable as anything Italian (or even American), the steak is sure to come out well done, and the tacos are probably the worst thing at Tacos. Basically it's not oriented at all towards Western tastes, and the only reason to go is to enjoy it ironically.

Tacos opened in March, 2012.

Tacos塔可View In Map
Add: 3044, Incity Mall, 1699 Modern Avenue, Suzhou
Tel: 051262627481

3)  The Big Bagel
There's been a lot of anticipation leading to the opening of Suzhou's answer to disappointing Western food, the 24 hour, two story restaurant/deli/bakery, known as the Big Bagel. Uncompromising owner TM has long been on the warpath against anything subpar, uninspired, and misrepresenting Western food. What he can't buy, he makes, and what's not available, he imports. Big Bagel's flour is from Canada, the dairy from New Zealand, even the spices are shipped from England. While his purview is bagels (he claims to make an impressive 37 varieties of bagels), the restaurant will have soups, sandwiches, salads and special dishes from around the world.

This "nouvelle" comfort food promises to provide the warm feeling of a correctly executed classic dish from home and the quality that can only come from a restaurant. Their Caesar salad is made fresh to order using the original recipe handed down from the 1920s. Breakfast is made with clarified butter and can include pancakes with real maple syrup. The corned beef is homemade, as well as the humus (yes, TM makes his own tahini), and cream cheese. He even hired local sausage maker, Sharif, to craft his famous sausages for their breakfasts, sandwiches and specials. Even with all the frills, the prices are comparable to other restaurants in SIP.

Oh, also, the Big Bagel will have free 24 hour delivery in SIP. The restaurant is a bit far, in the building of old Chairman Mao's Chinese restaurant in Linglong Wan across from the Culture and Arts Center. It's worth a look, though, as the LED-lit interior is a relaxing place to enjoy some Wi-Fi and service is excellent. You can also get a free meal on your birthday if you register beforehand.

The soft opening was April 8th, and the restaurant will begin full service at the end of April, 2012.

The Big Bagel大贝果 View In Map
Add: 299 Shenhu Lu, Linglongwan, Suzhou
Tel: please check listings when the number is posted

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Keywords: New restaurants Suzhou new bars Suzhou foreign restaurants Suzhou bar and restaurant openings Suzhou


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