Amping up the excitement of Locavore’s brick-and-mortar debut in the city, just up the stairs from Peggy’s Brass Knuckles in Shophaus Mahakam, one will also find the neon-lit home of their concept bar from Canggu, Club Soda.
As the first outlet from the gastronomy-forward team that branched out of its Ubud enclave, for the past two years, the Canggu-based bar has piqued the interest of the discerning, albeit younger crowd keen on the craftsmanship of cocktail-making and quality audio system of their sibling brand, DUB Soda.
Bringing the enthusiasm over, the bar resembles an alchemist’s laboratory, where 242 glass jars gently illuminate the room with sunset shades of in-house infusions and probiotic-laced concoctions—a clue to the flavours and ingredients patrons can expect on the menu. Moving away from imported liquors and spirits, Club Soda sets its rhythm by focusing on tropical, seemingly banal local fruits and ingredients and finding different ways to indulge them through in-house infusions and syrups, distilling or fermentation.
Crafted in a way that jolts a sense of discovery to familiar flavours, there’s the breezily tart Almost There, where tamarillo (Dutch Eggplant) and kemangi or basil are ground into a paste, then combined with whisky, honey, lime juice and rum that gives the tipple its naturally maroon hue; while the Banana from their ‘Cultural Ferments’ series features a triple banana mix fermented for 2 weeks, its smoky yet sour kick achieved by the blend of whisky, malic acid and caramel syrup.
Mirroring the same appreciation for local flavours and explorative spunk that have long defined Locavore’s identity, their canned drink, Mead unveils a taste of fermented Sulawesi honey with a crisp fizz akin to sparkling wine, which pairs easily with their izakaya-inspired dishes, like the yakitori and mala noodles with juicy braised beef tripes and tendon.
A hideout fit for casual after-work meet-ups or a laidback night out after dining at Peggy’s, one might just stumble on a new go-to cocktail from their fermentation lineup or uncover a secret menu as they fiddle around with the snakefruit or mangosteen prop on the table. It’s safe to say that at Club Soda, curiosity does not go unrewarded.