Psychedelic bar at Liangmaqiao with a great rooftop terrace
Xiaoyun Lu’s food street evokes a phalanx of smouldering skewer and raucous hot pot joints. Enter Stream, a new cocktail bar that stands out from the street’s typical offerings thanks to its Instagram-friendly interiors and rooftop terrace. Perfect for the warm summer, then.
Its spacious main bar consists on one side of a counter that seats seven and on the opposite side some rather mediocre-looking black cafe tables, rather than lounge sofas typical of such an establishment. It’s a boring setup made interesting however, by the glow of neon lights reflecting off its mostly red surfaces.
Not that you’d want to lounge around here. Head to its back and you’ll chance on its mini ball pit and slide that you’d want to have a go at. Sadly, it’s just for show, though we’re sure a few guests will pretend they’re drunk and try it while no one’s looking. Wrapped around the slide is a narrow spiral staircase that brings you to Stream’s main attraction: its rooftop terrace.
Tremendous effort was clearly applied on a schizophrenic mix of loud pop-art aesthetics and generous potted greenery. Its theme is apparent. Balls. Lots of it. This includes transparent bio-domes (with a minimum spend of 600RMB) that seats six comfortably, and is fitted with a Bluetooth speaker and air-conditioning – a crucial feature for the summer. Adjacent to the outdoor terrace is a room akin to a discount store version of Andy Warhol’s photo booth, filled with toy props and lit up in a psychedelic neon glow.
The bar’s signature cocktails feature mostly saccharine sweet tropical flavours. Already a hit on social media, signature drink Take a Bath (98RMB) is a fun and foamy concoction naturally served in a miniature bathtub. Fun presentation aside, the earthy flavours of Earl Grey tea is mixed with apple brandy for a sweet and too-easy-to-drink combination. Su (98RMB) is a rum based, tea-inspired concoction mixed with osmanthus scented longjing tea, smothered with overpowering citrusy lychee and pineapple, served in a theatrical Chinese tea pot set no less. Can’t make it to that tropical vacation you have been thinking of? Coconut (98RMB) may help. Mixed with fresh coconut water, rum, tangy passion fruit and pineapple, the pleasant and refreshing drink is served in a hollowed whole coconut itself and somehow appropriately fits the theme of the tropical terrace.
There really isn’t quite a bar like Stream in Beijing. We’re not sure if its décor screams over-the-top or is an inspired art form. Its prices are also just slightly over the average in the city. However, its terrace is a great way to spend many summer nights so we still recommend you head down and make up your own mind about the place. And let us know if they ever open up the slide at the ball pit. There are stars we’ll add for that attraction.
By Joni Taylor