Cnr Commerce & Galway Street
(09) 309 5529
Monday - Tuesday
4pm - late
Wednesday - Friday
12pm - late
5pm - late
If you’re familiar with the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, it’ll spring to mind when you walk into Xuxu. Xuxu (pronounced zoo-zoo) is the Vietnamese-style bar opposite its big brother, celebrated Britomart eatery Cafe Hanoi, and its design is an intricate weave of Western and Asian influences. Both Xuxu and Hanoi were designed by Cheshire Architects, a studio that’s largely responsible for the dynamic urban space that’s taken shape in Britomart in recent years.
The interior at Xuxu is a highlight. You’ll notice the luxurious ceiling-to-floor curtains that drape the walls, and the beautiful tapestry of the chairs and banquets. Little porcelain soldier figurines stand at the bar which add to the post-Colonial vibe of the place. Romantic cherry blossoms, peacocks and cages make their appearances too, and you’ll notice the bamboo design of the wallpaper, or the turquoise mosaic on the back wall – it’s quite fun looking around to see what the designers have done.
When we arrived for an after-work drink, it was already humming away…guests at every table, lots of chatter, but no sense of rush. We were seated by our host and handed the wine and cocktails list. It’s table service, which means you can get comfy for a while without having to queue at the bar for your G&T. We started with a Walk in the Garden, a floral cocktail with sweet, leafy flavours. It was excellent. And then, as usual, our minds turned to food, and we started with a bowl of the salty cassava chips, and a plate of the liver parfait – both completely moreish.
Xuxu is a dapper sort of place. If Xuxu was a man, he’d wear a three-piece suit, complete with silver pocket watch. His drink of choice would be the Old Fashioned. His conversation would be intelligent, his intentions daring, he’d be a bit of a wild card but a social magnet. Xuxu is not the kind of place you’ll visit when you’re simply after a drink. It’s a destination bar, and it offers an experience, and that’s why you’ll go. Plus, it’s the perfect place to stop in for dessert and a nightcap. We loved it here, and we’ll definitely be back.