In Japanese, Bura Bura translates to ‘hanging out, or the act of leisurely killing time’, and that’s exactly what the Japanese-influenced sports bar in Cilandak offers. But rather than the typical screening of live games one can expect from the type of establishment, Bura Bura plays into the concept differently; stationed within a sports compound, the bar gathers cocktails and sports enthusiasts for a pick of pre-slash-post game drinks, or an indulgent nightcap.
Depending on the choice of seating area, one can walk away from Bura Bura having enjoyed a completely different experience. For one, things are kept casual and lively outside, with a rentable soccer field in direct view from the outdoor terrace. Think courtside chatter, beers, and a live music station in the works.
Inside, the rowdiness fades away and the menu turns towards a more polished yet relaxed tone, where beers are swapped for crafted cocktails and conversations get hushed and intimate. Taking cues from Shinjuku Golden Gai—an area in Tokyo known for its small alleyways and narrow, private bars—Bura Bura has little space for more than anything but a tiny wooden bar and four stools within its dim-lit room.
Keeping the menu similarly concise, cocktails are thoughtfully designed to be enjoyed in order, from the refreshing and crisp Ichi (one) to the aromatic bloody mary rendition, Roku (six). With a focus on Japanese gin and whisky, the menu, though minimal, covers all the bases, each unveiling a different blend of personality and flavours that leave a distinct taste to the tongue.
To wit, San (three) mixes whisky, pandan, and chamomile for a fragrant and smoky kick, while the crowd favourite Roku is layered with a unique savoury and salty punch from the unexpected blend of curry leaves, clear tomato and dashi water.
Be it the drinks’ purposive sequence or the deliberate choice of garnish—like the addition of the homemade dehydrated pineapple wedge to Ichi, or the candied sugar alongside the lavender-hued Yon (four)—it’s clear that here, quality cocktails are the priority, and when enjoyed the Bura Bura way, it’s a recipe for a replayable night out.