Barcodes’s premises are very cosy, covering a single room and with seating for around thirty-five. With the majority of its patrons being female, an environment has been created that aims to be entirely non-threatening and can serve as a place for one to wind down after a long week. Generous amounts of leather seating and wooden surfaces, low music and similarly low lighting give a resulting space which, after your initial entering, could be difficult to leave.
Leading the drinks menus is a long cocktails list comprised of cocktails you may not have seen or heard of before, and not a Margarita or Mojito in sight. The bar’s manager, and menu’s mastermind, Huang, has used his years of experience of working in bars and clubs in Taiwan and China’s mainland to create a list of drinks that will satisfy all tastes, while remaining original.
Although an entirely foreign cocktail list can be a baffling experience, fear not, as Barcode’s bar staff are there to help. Looking perplexed, I was asked by Huang what kind of cocktail or flavour I have a partiality towards. After confessing my love for all things sweet, he recommended Balcony of the Stars (75RMB), a drink containing an array of fruit juices and red wine. After tinkering slightly with the ingredients, the resulting mixture more than satisfied my sweet tooth.
Another concoction, Cicada Fort, (75RMB) contained a variety of elements including tequila, cucumber and yellow mustard and was refreshing with a sweet tinge, while the Vespa (75RMB), as seen in James Bond’s Casino Royale, is available for those with a more sophisticated taste. For relative rookies, be sure to sit at the bar. There, Huang, very much a people-person, likes to know exactly what his patrons need, sometimes even venturing off the menu to find it.
As an alternative to cocktails, a decent selection of Tequilas (Patron Silver 60RMB) and Whiskeys (Laphroaig 10yr 50RMB) are available for purchase by the bottle or the glass, plus wines (from 195RMB) and Fruit-flavoured bottled beers (50RMB). Also, there’s a handful of cigars (from 110RMB) to accompany your glass of whiskey.
Barcode holds weekly free dance nights on Wednesdays featuring the music of Bachata and Kizomba and will be offering drinks deals in the future. It is located near the intersection of Wener road and Wantang road. Menus in Chinese. Smoking allowed. Parking available.