Voice Over – A Hidden Gem of Nostalgic Elegance and Creative Cocktails in Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung, a vibrant port city nestled in the south of Taiwan, is a true gem known for its breathtaking harbor and rich maritime heritage. As Taiwan’s third-largest city, it gracefully harmonizes modern and traditional elements, creating a captivating skyline with towering skyscrapers and a bustling street food scene.
The bar Voice Over comes highly recommended by Moonrock and the photographer from Hong Kong I met, and it’s not hard to see why. Nestled near Kaohsiung City Council Station, this hidden gem takes you on a delightful bar adventure. What was once a humble otolaryngology clinic has now blossomed into a captivating retro Japanese-style bar.
As you step inside, you’re immersed in an atmosphere drenched in nostalgia. The carefully curated lighting sets the mood just right, creating a perfect blend of charm and tranquility. So, if you’re in the mood for a unique and charming experience, Voice Over is the place to be. Let the creative concoctions and inviting ambiance take you on a journey inspired by the beauty of quotes, the rhythm of songs, and the magic of films. It’s more than just a bar; it’s an adventure for your senses.The bartender, with exceptional mixology skills, turns each drink into a work of art, making Voice Over a sought-after spot for those in the know. The following is based on my personal understanding and impressions. The menu, predominantly in Chinese, led to a delightful exchange of gestures and expressions. Despite the language barrier, it quickly became apparent that the menu was a well-balanced masterpiece. The bar team, characterised by their super-friendly, caring, and supportive behaviour, excels in helping you discover the perfect drink for your taste.
A glance at the spirits shelf, the array of glasses, and the crystal-clear ice is proof to the team’s passion and craftsmanship. Trust your bartender; you’re in good hands. A top tip is to engage in a conversation with your bartender about your preferences and let them guide you through the experience.
One cocktail that truly stands out is the “Chungking Express”, a homage to Wong Kar-Wai’s film and the ontological significance of canned pineapples. This unique concoction features anaerobically fermented pineapples, drawing inspiration from a memorable scene where the protagonist indulges in canned pineapple. Paired with peach, the drink offers a delightful sweetness that transcends the ordinary. The inclusion of unground green peppercorns and eucalyptus leaves adds a fresh aroma to the mix. The slow anaerobic fermentation of pineapples results in varying levels of fruit flavours. The wine-perfumed peach enhances the sweetness, while unground green pepper and eucalyptus leaves contribute a clear and crisp fragrance. The layered extract of black leaf tea, maple leaves, and orange peel on the surface adds another dimension of aroma and refreshing taste when sipped. Accompanying the drink is a specially canned pineapple that resonates with the theme.
My next drink was “The Last Rock n’ Roll,” a delightful blend of Tequila Reposado, muscat grapes, Cinnamon, Sage, Wild Honey Fermentation, and Cedar Wood Smoke. As the final chords played on stage, the air filled with the aroma of withered tobacco leather intermingled with the musky scent of cologne. The abundance of tequila provided solace to the broken heart, while the lingering scents of sage and honey continued to dance in the air, creating a decadent and beautiful experience. Moving on to the “Abyss,” inspired by Nietzsche’s profound quote, “When you look at the abyss, the abyss looks at you too.” This powerful concoction features Black Garlic, Coffee, Uba Black Tea, Campari, Peat and Rose. The charming aromas of peat and coffee captivate the senses, complemented by Campari’s bitter notes and sweetness. The wild and unyielding flavours of black and Uba black tea add depth, and the final hint of roses feels like a deep, enticing breath from the abyss. To accentuate its mystique, a huge ice cube adorned with an eye graphic underscores the drink’s theme. What a journey for the brain and the taste buds!
If you’re feeling hungry now, you must also try the tasty bites here. Consider the Heavy Smoky Pea Skin and Nausea Egg with secret spicy oil and special pepper salt. The smoky heart egg, with its large size and rich flavour, follows an ancient method of warming with cane sugar, tea leaves, and Chinese spices. The seasoning involves flavoured oil made from large red robe pepper, chicken heart pepper, cold-pressed sesame oil, and special pepper salt. Finally, a touch of walnut smoke elevates the aroma to another level.
In the trendy landscape of Kaohsiung, where the hip joints tend to adopt a more laid-back and low-key vibe compared to their Taipei counterparts, this hidden bar stands out as a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique and delightful adventure in the world of fine drinking.