RUNNER UP - "Best New Venue" - CHENGDOO citylife Magazine Annual Readers' Poll 2010
British bar and restaurant between 1855 and Babi II with wide range of world beers.
May 4, 2011
7 reviews2 stars: 1
3 stars: 1
4 stars: 4
Firstly, I must mention that I have only visited this place once for a early dinner around 5 o'clock- on the day of the Royal Wedding- which the venue was showing, but apparently not live for some reason?
As you might expect for that time of day it was a bit quiet, but this was the royal wedding so a little disappointing. So when it came to it, I ditched the place for somewhere with a bit more of an atmosphere, and that was showing the wedding live.
The decor is quite interesting, a mixture of traditional 'oaky' English pub and colourful modern bar with all the retro 70s London trimmings. Think, black cabs, Big Ben, red buses and telephone boxes.
I ordered one of the burgers after reading all the recommendations on this page. It was decent enough, but I wouldn't go as far as the other comments. I liked the ciabatta bread but the actual burger wasn't any better than others I have had in Chengdu. In my experience though, the chunky chips were undercooked so didn't rate them at all.
The service was good, quick and friendly enough and the place looks clean. A good range of beer, but a bit pricey.
Bit disappointing on first visit, will have to go again to get a feel for the place in the evening.
November 20, 2010
2 reviews1 star: 1
5 stars: 1
If you like good honest fayre at a fair price, especially traditional homemade pies (Chicken & Mushroom / Shepherds Pies) with
chunky chips, and a beer, at either lunchtime or in the evening this is well worth a taxi ride.
However, if The Underground Bar becomes too popular, and runs out of pies, I reserve the right to recant.
November 9, 2010
3 reviews4 stars: 1
I had various business meetings in Chengdu and simply googled; Bars in Chengdu. I noted that several bars/pubs have foreign owners rather than being Chinglish. We went to one bar first which features in many comments online but it was grubby and shabby. We left it in a hurry. I have since heard it has now been sold to some Chinese people.
We drove to the Underground and were bemused to find it was not in a cellar. My first impression was it looked clean and cared for. That is far more important than prices or how many 'beautiful people' frequent it.
Choosing a drink was simple. Most bars are supplied by the same company in Chengdu so have much the same choice. Cold is important so 5 points out of 5. A genuine Budvar rather that the cat's pee from US of A via Chongqing: several if I remember correctly.
I did wander around and there were about 25 in downstairs and all Chinese bar one and about 50:50 guys and girls. Not bad for a Tuesday and there were more on the mezzanine.
I went into a newish room and the kitchen door was open. It impressed with it's s/s and gadgets and gizmos. Someone has invested properly in the future. No-one was sitting in that room but it was lit a trifle brightly. I had already eaten... at Bookworm.
It is actually hard to decorate a foreign style bar/pub here in Sichuan. It takes time to collect all those nick-knacks and bits'nbobs which make a pub feel older. How to find 'English' bar chairs and such-like? How long has Underground been open? 9 months? It will morph into a different place as more months pass. Pictures? The owner says he has nearly 40 posters and prints coming from the UK. That will change the walls somewhat: more investment,
( which is what that dismal other bar needs pretty damn quick if it is to survive). Stools were uncomfortable with no cushions and the red sofas incongruous but that's easily remedied; China's cheap for covers etc.
Music was right for chit-chattering away and got changed rather than looped forever and a day. Some might complain they hear no Lady Gaga or Britney though.
So the owner/partner has a PhD. Blimey... that's a no no? Been a university professor or what? Mean he can't talk about footie or cricket? Knows nothing of the real world like the Yanquis do? Can't hold his beer or even his glass? Perhaps if I were his age and with his temperament I should sail to far-off Cathay and review my life as Grasshopper did in days of yore. Doctor of Philosophy ( or is it sociology? Same thing to most drinkers) I believe and surely those characters think about such things. Perhaps an Ashram or Tibetan mountain peak is more suitable that a raucus bar? Bamen, taxi drivers and barbers all fall into the same bracket.Wistful romantics; Philosophers; Cogs in wheels: we all are.
I made friends there ! I spent a couple of banterous hours with Garry and a Scot. We drank Lao beers and Harbins. The staff smiled and attended. A couple of shots of scotch too. We discussed life of course and complained our bums were sore from unpadded stools. Promises were made; mostly about the cushions but also about pictures and lighting. And no snide remarks nor complaints about the harshness of living in a wilderness. 11pm and Irish broth free on Tuesdays. I suggested adding potatoes and barley and calling it stew. But thanks for the freebie.
My regards about Underground? I genuinely liked my hours there and our 'discussions'. I was aware it is a trifle goldfish-bowlish with so much uncovered glass. Did I mention the cushions which were not there? I am a bit spoiled as the prices were not important. It is known that price come far down the list desires for a good watering hole. Landlord is usually first: "should I give that man my money?". Meeting with new or old friends comes high as does cleanliness. A choice of good beers amongst the widdle (Ed: widdle means p*ss in Americanish) helps. Noise can be most important; especially lack of it. Decor has been discussed. Girls didn't figure, what with Mrs Lucky upstairs awaiting.
Did I make friends? Yes. I met Mark while he was on his days off from his job in the wilds. Big bloke if one needs a description. Girls might add 'fit'. He'd be pleased with that. He can hold his drinks too (so he claims). I'd be happy to do it again with Garry and his clan. I shall and soon.
I'll bet 100 quai he's still there when some are gone and the place will looks cosier and cluttered with those bits'nbobs. I shall take an inflatable cushion just in case he gets dementia.
October 29, 2010
1 reviews4 stars: 1
I have been to the Underground several times and really like it.
It is a nice, quiet bar with excellent burgers and good foreign beer selection.
Their menu is much more reasonably priced then similar places that I have been in Shanghai.
Also, the staff is very friendly and helpful.
September 26, 2010
9 reviews2 stars: 1
3 stars: 1
4 stars: 2
5 stars: 2
Ate there yesterday. The burger was great (MUCH MUCH better than in most of the expat bars) and the British style thick chips went down well. Very good attentive service, and Gary the owner is indeed a very affable guy. The bar is not totally my cup of tea in terms of decor but plays great retro British music and I will definitely go here to eat regularly. Chengdu needs more places like this with good, fresh-tasting western food.
August 28, 2010
1 reviews5 stars: 1
This Is a great bar with great service and a very warm and friendly atmosphere... The owners Gary and Bernard are warm,welcoming and genuin people who fully understand about service and customer needs.
I have been to many different bars in my time so far in Chengdu and this is by far the best.A great mix of people from all walks of life where one can relax unwind and meet some really fun characters.
The beer is ice cold and the cheep prices for both local and imported beers is a great overall package with a very wide selection.
I see from another review that they will be serving pub food soon I hope it will be some of the British classics which I have come to miss from my time I spent there. I am really looking forward to it....... Keep up the good work....
- fun 69
August 27, 2010
5 reviews0 stars: 1
2 stars: 2
4 stars: 1
5 stars: 1
Just an update on my last review. I've been back about 6 times since I last wrote and I can only say it just gets better and better. The crowd in the underground is well mixed and very friendly. I never cease to have a great time. Not sure what the last reviewer meant but perhaps s/he doesn't like the, pluralistic, easy-going
and welcoming-to-all values that this great little bar embodies. By the way, I have just heard they are going to start serving pub grub - it just gets better and better!
June 15, 2010
1 reviews5 stars: 1
Although I have lived in Chengdu for almost a year, I had never heard of this bar. My girlfriend found out about it on a Chinese website. I thought I would give it a whirl and went there the first night of the world cup. I just don’t understand why this bar is not more well-known. It is a great place. When I went it was pretty busy and I got a seat upstairs with a great view of both the LCD TV and the big screen. Actually I only intended going in for the first game, but ended up staying till 5am. It is a genuinely mixed bar and I agree with one of the other reviewers (there is no sleaze and a real warmth).
The atmosphere was very friendly and I could not have asked for more for the football in terms of comfort and good, inexpensive (and very cold) beer. Later that night I spoke to one of the owners, Gary. He is a sound bloke. I asked him why his bar is not more well-known in the city. He told me it has only been open 6 months and they are still getting to grips with the marketing but the bar is building-up very well. I hope so as this, for me, is a treasure in Chengdu and I for one will be making it my regular haunt from now on.
March 16, 2010
1 reviews5 stars: 1
I went to the Underground Bar last night and I completely agree with the previous review. This is a great British bar and the owners are incredibly friendly. I am on holiday in Chengdu. This is my last week but I will be certainly returning to this bar before my departure. In fact, I am going again on Wednesday for St Patrick's night - the bonus being they are giving away a free Irish stew. I will wash it down with some cheap Guinness they also have on offer. A brilliant bar - the best, in my opinion, I have found in Chengdu.
February 22, 2010
I found this to be a very nice little bar. They have a relatively decent (for a Chengdu bar) beer menu, which I found to be particularly nice because of the discount you get if you buy a whole six pack. Also the owner of the bar is incredibly nice and greeted me nearly as soon as I sat down and had a drink. They had a nice jazz band playing to set the atmosphere and on the night I went were hosting a fundraiser for earthquake victims. Nice little bar hidden between some clubs.
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