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BARCODE, founded by Tell Camellia’s Gagan Gurung, sits high up on Central’s Glenealy, and it’s one to check out despite it being a bit out of the way. By day, the bright café serves delicious sandwiches and pastries complete with a wide coffee selection in its 70s-turned-modern interior. We love the palette of eye-popping colors and the curved ceiling arches.
However, the best time to be at BARCODE is at the end of the day as it transforms into a hidden, sleek speakeasy. To get on the reservation list, you’ll have to slide into their DMs on Instagram.
Signature cocktails ($110 each) are inspired by desserts without being crazy sweet, served alongside a curated list of classic cocktails ($120 each). The desserts ($98 each) from the daytime menu are also available and make for great drink-pairing options.
The best dessert and cocktail combinations are the ones with the most contrast. Take Rest of Time paired with the chocolate fondant. This tea-based cocktail is a refreshing all-star (with sister bar Tell Camellia lending its tea wisdom). Earthy rooibos pairs well with the indulgent chocolate fondant, bursting with raspberry and leaving a subtle coconut flavour lingering on the palate after each sip.
Another pairing we enjoyed was the chocolate cookie espresso martini matched with the lemon tart. The martini is an after-hours favourite amongst guests, filled with hints of cacao and espresso. Sweetened slightly with maple syrup and blended with Mr Black coffee liqueur and cookie-infused vodka (we still wonder how they do it!), this drink harmonises with and highlights the zesty punch of citrus from the kumquat jam and lightly whipped cream on top of the lemon tart.
You can’t leave without ordering the peanut butter whisky sour and tiramisu (not necessarily as a pair). The tiramisu, one of the most popular desserts at BARCODE, comes in a perfect cylindrical shape, with an intense, spiked mocha filling.
The PB whisky sour is citrusy and refreshing, with a light nutty flavor that isn’t overpowering. This tea-based drink contains chamomile, honey, lemon and egg white.
Boozy Break Night is one to have solo. Pear eau de vie and sherry are shaken with mint syrup. This drink is sweet throughout, and the clarified yoghurt adds a smooth, creamy touch.
A super-cool late-night dessert and cocktail spot, BARCODE is one I’ll be going to for both girls’ nights and date nights out. Gagan Gurung’s tea-based cocktail expertise thrives here. There’s a great range of creative drinks on offer, and I recommend ordering the desserts to contrast with the cocktails, highlighting the flavours of both. This spot definitely takes the cake!
1 Glenealy, Central (DM @bar_coffee_dessert on Instagram to be on the reservation list post-6pm)
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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