Citizen Bar & Cafe
Everything at Citizen ticks along smoothly, from the bebop tracks to the simple but seamless decor – and as soon as you walk through the door, you might wonder why it took us so long to get a little place like this. Citizen sits on quiet Jinxian Lu, and its first floor bar is a peaceful space that exudes a certain gentrified charm with claret velvet couches and hardwood panelling. And if you head upstairs to the second floor, you’ll find one of the most tastefully unadorned dining rooms in this city. With a space like this, and a clean, uncluttered menu whose handsome fonts describe clever combinations of flavours (with a few concessions to comfort like nachos and ham and cheese) you may expect a lot from this upstart. Wines are classified by style rather than taste, with a spare but well-represented list of Old and New World varietals; you’ll find a wine you like here. And while the overall experience is pleasant, occasionally they fumbled with the food. There was a tasty caesar salad done right, with plenty of anchovy and garlic, followed by a limp minestrone. Crunchy bite-sized samosas preceeded an unsatisfying grilled ham with processed cheese. An alfredo was rich and tasty, and a steal at ¥45, but New Zealand lamb chops were well done on one side and nearly raw on another. Citizen is already perfect for a cup of coffee and great for a cocktail, and with a few minor changes could become a sought-after destination for a dinnertime table.