Text by Sean Cooper Translated by Ann Lee
Photos by Colin Brown
130-1, SihWei 3rd Rd., Lingya District
Hours: Sun-Thu 8 pm-3 am, Fri-Sat 9 pm-4 am
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
English and Chinese menu.
I was recently asked what would be a great place to go for a group of girls about to see the premiere of the movie "Sex and the City". I immediately thought of Barcode. Opened in January of this year, Barcode is one of the most chic little places in town. Though the well-designed interior and stylish clientele is one reason to go, it's the stunningly great cocktails that make this night club really stand out.
Barcode Kaohsiung is the second incarnation of the well-known Barcode Taipei. While in London, the owner met Pete Kendall, a famous international bartender whom he then asked to concept design a cocktail menu that would stand out.
Let's get this out of the way: Each cocktail costs around NT$300. That's expensive for Kaohsiung, but what you get is truly a world-class drink. Cocktails are divided into nine categories--Barcode Originals, Classics, Champagne, Twisted Classics, Synthesis, Long & Short, Hot Drinks, and Temperance. And, yes, you can still buy some nice imported beers and spirits by the bottle or glass.
I was treated to many of these cocktails and I have to say they were all fantastic. One of their originals, the Kaka, is a customer favourite; with Bombay gin shaken with fresh lemon, apple, and grape, and complimented by Murasaki liqueur and Dita, it's now one of mine, too. Instead of syrup, fresh fruit is used for some authentic and energizing tastes. I can also heartily recommend their Mojito (try the twisted Turbo Mojito, too) as well as the Dashing Daiquiri, a mix of fresh raspberries and blueberries, lime juice, sugar, a squirt of raspberry puree, and a big helping of Havana Club rum. Sounds good, doesn't it?
Just last month Barcode also opened up their B1 lounge with a great sound system and second full DJ booth. Since they're also associated with Room 18 in Taipei, each month they invite a special guest DJ and bartender to liven up our nights.
If you can't decide on a cocktail, just take Pete's cocktail challenge: "Pick a spirit, pick a flavour, pick a style, and let our bar staff run wild with their imagination.