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Wine and dine in Xiamen: city offers varied cuisine and many nightspots

Visitors can enjoy a selection of venues offering great food, premium drinks and live music in the cosmopolitan city

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 July, 2016, 10:45am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 July, 2016, 12:00pm

Times have never been better in Xiamen for anyone who loves great food, premium drinks and live music. The city’s once-sleepy culinary and nightlife scene is now far more varied and cosmopolitan.

Xiamen offers music lovers a surprising array of live music. JJ Bar and Grill in Haiwan Park features a six-person band coupled with Texan barbecue and a VIP lounge. The city’s most talented musician, Peng Fei, performs an eclectic and captivating mix of Chinese and Western songs at Latitude 24 in Le Meridien Xiamen.

One of the best neighbourhoods for fine dining is the area around the Marco Polo Hotel, where the city’s so-called Coffee Street is a stone’s throw from its Bar Street. Dozens of international restaurants and cafés dot the streets and alleys.

For Italian food, Unico Restaurant on 31 Jianye Road serves some of the city’s best pizzas and imported meats. While the restaurant’s centrepiece is its stone oven, its success comes from chef Danny Tan’s meticulous sourcing of ingredients from Italy and Australia as well as his attention to detail. Strada Restaurant at 8 Jianye Road also offers top-flight Italian fare. Literally next door, the Coyote Café offers the best Mexican food in town, thanks to the fresh ingredients of both the food and the margaritas.

One of the city’s best-known restaurants for seafood is Hai Ding Hui, which has dozens of varieties of live fish and aquatic animals on display, including a live crocodile for the adventurous diner.

While steaks may not be the forte for Chinese restaurants, the Jacky Angela Steakhouse at 102 Dongguan Road is one of the city’s top eateries, serving up choice cuts of meat as good as any steakhouse in New York or Chicago. The restaurant also offers a lovely view of Gulangyu. Another popular place is the Marble Steakhouse at Pan Pacific Xiamen, which is known for its selection of grain-fed and wagyu beef.

For French cuisine, F Bistro on 1 Yundang Road is a fusion restaurant that offers a lovely Sunday jazz brunch and al fresco dining. Great Indian food is always on hand at Indiano John’s Samrat, which is located at 69 North Jiangtou Road. In the northern portion of the city, a series of four restaurants opened recently at the Smart Hero Club on 625 Xianyue Road. The restaurants feature generous outdoor seating around a central courtyard featuring a stunning pool and frangipani trees. Taiwan’s Niu Sushi is a standout, offering some of Xiamen’s
best sushi.

For a drink after dinner, try Muse on Guanren Road. The bartenders make wonderful cocktails in an atmosphere that ranges from intimate to romantic. Just down the street is Revolucion Cocktail, which offers strong cocktails and a more raucous atmosphere, especially at weekends.

For visitors in the mood for a nightclub, a trio of clubs beckon at the intersection of Hubinnan Road and Hubinxi Road. Club Louis One, 1801, and La Bomba all offer lively dance floors and pulsing music for the adventurous traveller.