This venue has closed.
Hidden just next to the Ritan Park Jenny Lou’s, in a location you might expect a lonely fruit stand or two-bit Russian restaurant, The Foxhole’s inconspicuous façade is easy to overlook. A back-lit sign in a causal script and a soft-yellow marquee threw us off the track on our first visit; we walked straight on by.
At first glance, The Foxhole appears to have followed the standard recipe for a whisky bar: dark enough to make it hard to read the menu; leather upholstery; wood panelling – you get the picture.
On closer inspection, however, the stuffy first impression unravels. The unique charm of The Foxhole emerges as you realise that the place has a sense of humour about itself. Where, in a country club, the faces in the portraits would be of gout-plagued aristocrats, at The Foxhole there’s birds, lemurs and hares. The bar’s soundtrack may feature the same obligatory standards, but there’s also the odd snazzy modern number in the mix.
So The Foxhole may take the leather-bound whisky bar concept with tongue partially in cheek, but the menu is all business. Several pages, arranged by county of origin, lay out a virtually exhaustive list of the brown stuff. From Japanese makers Yamazaki 18 (340RMB) and Nikka Yoichi 20 (280RMB) to Speyside Aberlour 12 (80MB) and Balvenie 17 (250RMB), the menu is certainly extensive. The Foxhole clearly isn’t pouring on the cheap, but the generous servings and, if you take it, hand-cut clear ice are as good as you can fnd in the city. The two-for-one happy hour deal (6-8pm daily) helps things go down more smoothly, but let’s face it – if you’re looking for a budget 15-year-old Scotch, you’ve got bigger problems.
The service is attentive and accommodating, but don’t expect any lengthy run-throughs or personalised recommendations – our bartender admitted to us that she doesn’t even drink whisky. Nor is it the place for a whisky cocktail (the menu fat-out ignores their existence) or a bite to eat, but, when you have as many choices for whisky as you do at The Foxhole, who really cares?