Words by Theodora Sutcliffe on 15-Jun-2015

Address: 51 Fenyang Lu, (near Fuxing Zhong Lu), Shanghai, China
Tel: +86 138 1713 1574
Website: view Barules’ website
Door: Open door/walk-ins
Style: Speakeasy
Food: Bar Snacks


Entered through a retro, scarlet London phone box, Barules is a temple to the bartender's art. The slick, stylish interior features portraits of luminaries from Dick Bradsell to Antonio Lai, by way of Salvatore Calabrese and Tony Conigliaro, while cabinets display cocktail kit and accessories.

Bucking the classical trend, Barules' menu leads solidly with fresh fruit flavours. (On our visit, in April 2016, a special menu featured Dick Bradsell's signature creations, from Treacle to Bramble and beyond.) A Green Toxic, based on absinthe with grape, kiwi, peach lime and honey, brought out the anise freshness of the absinthe and worked brilliantly in its Tiki mug.

The rules referenced in this bar's name may irritate - the first is that the bartender is always right - but the service is exceptional and the drinks creative, accessible and well-thought out. The mirrored toilet is on the terrifying side.