Last weekend of 11 and 12th August, we were lucky enough to secure a few seats at the bar when husband and wife team from Bar Orchard Ginza came to Jakarta for their guest shifts at Cork&Screw Plaza Indonesia and UNION Plaza Senayan.
Bar Orchard Ginza first opened in 2007 by Sumire and Takuo Miyanohara, the dynamic Miyanoharas serve classical twists and experimental cocktails that employ fresh seasonal fruits as the main ingredient in their little but world-famous bar. It is in here patrons can expect playful presentation, unique garnishes and ingredients. In September 2017 they have made it to World’s 100 Best Bars at number 93.
It’s a pleasant relaxing evening at Senayan, clear skies, just the right amount of crowd at UNION that day. I was impressed at how they transformed the entrance to UNION – noren curtains were installed – great start to get the Japanese mood going.
The pop up bar only seats 8 guests per session and each session lasts 2 hours and 4 cocktails. Once all the participants are seated on their designated spot over the bar, Takuo-San and Sumire-San greeted all of us and presented each of us with a cute toolbox.
Inside the toolbox are various items that corresponds to each cocktail and that item is supposed to help you complete and drink the cocktail! it is such an engaging and novel way of drinking in a bar. I won’t go into details of what each items are otherwise i will ruin the joy, you must find out for yourself.
Then we get started and you can see from the guests’ faces that the event is really fun!
One drink that I absolutely love is the Smokey Kiwi. Great presentation, but what blew my mind was the first sip I took, my brain could not register the flavour as anything I’ve ever tasted before. It has such a great texture and unique flavour. I’d say it’s worth flying to Tokyo for the sole purpose of drinking this.
The Bathtime cocktail was another interesting one, vodka and gin with watermelon and as is the norm in Japan to eat watermelon with salt, the bubbles on this cocktail are actually salt bubbles, which unlike salt rims, creates a soft texture and just the right amount of saltiness.
I’d like to note that prior to meeting Takuo-San and Sumire-San, i’ve always regarded Japanese bars as a solemn place, something like a Japanese tea ceremony where the master does his thing and the guest watch the process. Bar Orchard managed to break that divide and invites the guest to get involved and lend a hand to complete the cocktails.
Over the course of the session, we talked quite a lot with Sumire-San, the whole event was very cordial, and the couple are more than happy to explain all the ingredients and the process involved in making them.
Overall it was a fantastic experience we had that night, the cheekiness and playfulness of the drinks are not of wanton freedom, it is a playful mastery of the art of bartending – Bar Orchard have mastered and challenged the core tenets of flavour and mixology – then masterfully presented their own interpretation of cocktails to us.
The drinks have so much character and I can feel the joy in them, coupled with Sumire-San’s infectious smile, I can’t help but feel very happy that day – I feel like a little kid playing in the playground.
Once again, thank you Takuo-San and Sumire-San for coming over to Jakarta and for sharing with us such delights. Great job Union Group for once again hosting such great event. Keep it up.
I apologise for the bad picture quality, but the fact that I managed to take an OK picture after so many drinks is a good enough feat.
If you are visiting Tokyo, Bar Orchard Ginza is located in Ginza, very near to the Imperial Hotel. They are open from Monday to Saturday 6pm to 3am, closed on Sundays. Nearest station is Yurakucho Station. Great food around the area too!
Bar Orchard Ginza
6-5-16 Ginza, Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo Prefecture (Ginza / Tokyo Nihonbashi)
Phone +81 3-3575-0333