For those curious to know what The Golden Tooth, a hideaway bar in Adityawarman, looks like, a scroll down its social media account won’t help much. Instead, they’d likely be lured by the quirky one-liners or drinking culture references expressed through viral memes sprawled across its Instagram feed—an early introduction to the kind of personality one would find behind the bar and the people that have come by.
Indeed, the ‘no-nonsense but can still give you a good time’ persona is the embodiment of co-founder and head bartender Kenny Soetomo, who, along with co-founders Andra Satar and Ali Pasha, never wants to dictate on decorum when it comes to enjoying one’s drinks and time. Heeding from the ‘cocktail and chats’ concept, it’s the kind of experience that is welcomed and thrives naturally here.
Set on the third floor of the building across Lucy Curated Compound, the door opens to a living room-like space set with a long, sturdy bar that forces everyone’s attention. Touches of the Brooklyn loft inspiration reveal through the exposed concrete with an unfinished look and open skylight, emitting a different kind of mood between day and night: the formally-dressed group that exchanges drinks over work meetings fuse seamlessly with the t-shirt and jeans solos enjoying the drink they know by heart while snacking on the unusual bar snack of fried crickets. There’s even a stow of cup noodles for the famished.
Whether by the bar or sitting on one of the bulbous sofas, customers would instinctively look at Kenny’s deft way of preparing the drinks, swiftly mixing and pouring its lineup of classics and signatures to off-the-menu drinks that he would suggest according to one’s request.
For beginners, Kenny recommends the very light Siesta, an Aperol spritz twist that mixes dry gin with watermelon soda and chrysanthemum. Ideas for drink creations also come from regulars; like the Hillary’s, the namesake mezcal-based cocktail with pineapple, agave, citrus and mint that roots from her thirst for tequila, and the Kenny G, a Tiki cocktail made of various rums, another namesake drink by a regular who requested something sweet yet strong.
Stripped off garnish, cocktails here emphasise flavours more than presentation. This simple approach to drinks also flows to its equally random name, letting the experience speak for itself. “There’s no meaning behind our name because we don’t want people coming here to have expectations. We want them to come and experience it first,” said Kenny. “When you know, you know.”