What: Every so often, a bar opens that gets people talking. The first I heard of Jing’an’s new pirate-themed rum house was from my flat-mate who rolled home at 3am last week, mistook my room for the bathroom and, when questioned, hiccupped a single word “Bounty” before lurching back down the hallway. Pirates are part of the zeitgeist these days, occupying the same cult podium that Chuck Norris and the Hoff have inhabited. Hell, you can even change your Facebook language to ‘Pirate’. The Bounty Rhumerie taps into this, but luckily rises above a simple gimmick thanks to its array of quality rums and laid-back atmosphere.
Look: You really feel like you’ve entered the bowels of a galleon. Wood-panelled walls, upturned barrels for tables, amazing port-holed toilets, and plenty of ye olde knick-knacks and portraits.
Music: You don’t go to the Bounty for music. Whatever they play, it’s strictly background. We made our own music with choruses of ‘Arrrrhhh’ and ersatz sea shanties. The manager, on noticing our enthusiasm, lent us a pirate hat which added a certain je ne sais quoi to proceedings.
People: Saturday night pre-party crew, weekday afterwork folk, tourists. Pirate fans.
Drinks: Rhumerie’s the name, so rum is the game, as you’d expect. Pick from a selection of flavoured rums by the bottle (250ml for ¥125, 30ml shots for ¥15 each – it’s worth getting the bottle if you’re with a lot of friends) – we tried the blackberry, strawberry and lychee vanilla which were all delicious. The rum is 50% proof, so take it slow… You get bowls of crushed ice to accompany the shots. If you tire of rum, there’s beer on tap for ¥40.