Review: The Roadhouse Bar
45 Rua De Madrid, Wan Yu Villas, Macau. Tel: (853) 2875 2945
The vibe: the last place in Macau to find a Chanel bag or someone hoping to buy one. This is a smoky, locals' pub with dartboards and rock memorabilia on the faux brick walls. Talking of faux, perhaps Keith Richards and Chuck Berry really did sign the framed guitars that are hanging up. Not surprisingly, there is a rock and blues soundtrack with videos. Other televisions show sports channels and the bar also hosts events around the Macau Grand Prix.
The drinks: it would be a nice touch if the soundtrack included the John Lee Hooker song One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer. Despite a short wine list that includes the excellent Portuguese red Esporao Reserva 2006, redolent of forest fruits and spices (HK$90 but two for one in happy hour), the list here is heavy on beers and whiskies. My Chinese-Welsh guest went Irish for the night, starting off with several pints of "well-maintained" Guinness (HK$62 a pint; happy hour: buy two get one free; other beers are on a buy one, get one free deal) before moving on to the Bushmills whiskey. I enjoyed the Wild Turkey (HK$43 in happy hour) and was impressed by our waiter's patience with our fussiness over ice cubes. There are long lists of beers and whiskies but the most remarkable aspect of the spirits menu is the pricing. Whole bottles cost HK$500 or HK$600 only, including Johnnie Walker Black and Red labels and Chivas Regal 12 Year Old as well as single malts Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet.
The verdict: cheap and cheerful this may be but service is excellent. This is a great pub to spend an entire evening in but also a spot in which to kick off the night before hitting a fancy restaurant or to unwind after hitting the malls and casino tables. Relax on the high, leather-backed stools and order another drink - this purchase won't break the bank. Mischa Moselle