According to the GPS we were there, but I had to circle the block three times just to make sure. The first time to find the location, the second time to find the location. The third time to locate parking (still hadn’t found the location before I determined the exact spot of this discrete place, but I had seen a door that had some strange marking on it). I felt as if this were a game of hide-and-go-get-it (this generation may never know the games young boys and girls once played outside).
I parked the car around the corner in a random basement parking lot and cut through a small pathway just outside and reached the street where the bar should be located. I saw people smoking on the street, so I knew I was in the vicinity, and I approached the door that was barely visible from the car, intricately designed with the logo of the bar. A friend of mine questioned how I could spot that from the street – intuition.
Environment / Atmosphere –
We walked into the bar, where we were asked to wait by the door, and place our order – as usual, not having reservations, I thought that they might be trying to seat (stand us) at the door. There was a large wooden wedge protruding from the wall, where people were congregated at the entrance with their drinks.
Upon entering the venue, the bar is located immediately to the right, and a display case with several big circular transparent glass vases partitions the room into 1/2s (splitting the room, essentially from the middle of the bar forward). The area of the room which is easily seen has standard size tables that can seat 2-4 people and can also be arranged to seat more if need be.
On the opposite side of the partition there are also chairs that accommodate two to four people, in addition to barstool style high rise seats. There is a small room on that side of the venue as well (couldn’t figure out what purpose it served).
On the wall opposite the bar is a small pagoda – a traditionally styled roof, wooden beams, which appears to be silently making its presence known, notably the best feature of this establishment (however it appears that due to the fact that it accommodates multiple people, my assumption is that someone must make reservations prior to using it).
We were seated by our server Ann, an attractive young woman with a good ability to speak English. However, being that the bar was crowded and there must have been some mix up with the seating, were promptly asked to give up our seats for a larger party. Being that I like to talk shit, I asked Ann, “if I do this favor for you, what will you do for me?” and she took me up on the challenge, offering me and my friend some shots. Magic words, we promptly moved, (although I didn’t expect this to be true).
My friend (a U.S. citizen that studied in China with me that currently resides in Korea), ordered a standard Gin & Tonic. I, myself as is customary, went to ask for the signature cocktail from the head bar tender (not knowing what it is or who it is from), and was told that everyone makes the same drinks. What the fuck is that? I couldn’t understand this concept, so I had to explain what I meant by it in detail. I was basically told that the has its own set of drinks and that these are the signature cocktails – but that the bar itself has its own cocktails.
Slightly perplexed, I told Ann that this was the first time I had heard of something like this, and there were so many different sets that I wouldn’t know where to begin, nor could my wallet afford to taste all of the variations. I asked her to make the selections for me, she brought back the shots – I asked for her “line” and Facebook – instantaneously a new friend.
The first drink she brought back was a slight miss, although, i must admit for its style, it was rather good, however, for my pallet, I didn’t particularly care for it, but you know me, I drunk it anyways. I told her that it was a slight miss for me and why, the next two drinks that came were right on point. Having noticed that my friend kept ordering the same Gin & Tonic, she asked if he wanted to try their infused version. Being that he is the straight up type of person, of course he questioned it, but gave it the green light.
We met another group of foreigners while were there, they were a work team from the U.S. that had been assigned to work in Taiwan for about 10 days, thus they were visiting, similar to my friend. It seems that the nature of this bar is a pit-stop before hitting a final or next destination for the night. But, being that my friend and I hadn’t seen each other in several years, we opted to remain there the rest of the night. This isn’t necessarily the type of place one should go to meet look for new women, however it is possible to talk to new people if you’re bold enough to approach them. I would definitely recommend this place for friends that wish to meet up over a drink or even a place where couples can go for a date in a laid back environment.
King Block Dean (El.Sin.Say)