Twenty years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Qu decided to share the culinary delights of their culture with the people of Prague by opening a Chinese restaurant. After enjoying great success in the Czech Republic, the couple has returned to share the delights of their new home’s culture with the people of Hangzhou – beer!
Located in Xihu Tiandi, the restaurant and bar is a roomy venue with a different vibe for every purpose. The bar area is quirky and comfortable with leather sofas, white high-back nest chairs and large silver beer tanks, while in the next room more standing room is available to watch the live band (which plays Wednesday to Sunday). Upstairs offers a more formal setting with a tank full of lobsters at the top of the stairs and a spacious balcony, perfect for enjoying beer during this kind of weather.
Ellen, a friendly and stylish woman who is fluent in English, greeted me upon arrival. She has been tasked with promoting the restaurant and bar to the expat community and prefers to tend to the customers herself, while the staff finish proper training and working out the kinks. The beer menu, to be released next month, will include six craft beers of different types. I sampled a half litre of the pilsner (48RMB), which was light flavored and foamy and had an exquisite transparent golden color. Often overlooked by beer drinkers for Germany and Belgium, the Czech Republic boasts a long history of brewing, beginning in monasteries, and it has the highest beer consumption rate per capita in the world. It’s no wonder the Qus brought back with them a 70-year-old Czech brewer named Vladamir to oversee the creation and onsite brewing of their beers.
The food menu has pictures and descriptions in English and Chinese and covers any western craving you can think of: from pizza (78-98RMB) to Boston Lobster Pasta (198RMB). In the end I went for Ellen’s recommendation of the Grilled Beef Tenderloin String (108RMB), which was juicy and lightly seasoned for flavor and came with a side of thinly sliced potato wedges with tarragon garnish. For dessert, I sampled a light and flakey Napoleon Cake (45RMB) with cream and fresh fruit topping.
Pilsner is located on Nanshan Road in Xihu Tiandi. For the month of October, the bar will have by one get one Happy Hour from 5-9pm nightly. Street parking is available. Smoking permitted on the balcony.