Mellow lighting, sinking armchairs, chill-out vibes playing seductively across the background; 498 is a relaxed affair. Located off Yongjia Lu, the bar houses a Mediterranean vibe, thanks to its arched doorways and dash of Modern Art. Just avoid the winding staircase at the back, lest you require a tramp stamp from the in-house tattoo artist, Scorpion.

A prospect for the summer months, there is a spacious patio which, despite being encased in glass, is al fresco at heart and trees burst through the wooden floorboards around you. It’s all very civilized and possesses the charm of a well-kept secret. A status that has been preserved a little too well, it was deserted on a Saturday night. 


As for the drinks, beers linger around the RMB35 mark and half-price happy hour from 5-8pm brings the appeal of RMB25 cocktails. Unfortunately, the bar’s laid-back attitude extends to its cocktail-making. Despite their generous helpings, the signature 498 Cassis cocktail (RMB 50) tastes like a dressed-up Vimto and the Long Island Ice Tea (RMB 50) is suffering from an overdose of alcohol.

498’s peaceful surroundings offers a lazy evening drink away from buzz of the city but if you’re looking for more, go elsewhere.// Daily 11am-1am.No cards.498 Yongjia Lu, French Concession, near Yueyang Lu, (6431-08070) 永嘉路498号 近岳阳路.

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