Kohaku in Tainan – You can taste sound and hear flavours
Kohaku recently celebrated its first birthday while bravely operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. The establishment offers a relaxing ambiance with a unique color scheme and minimalist decor. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by an open view of the square bar counter adorned with Japanese-inspired furnishings. Kohaku refrains from product placements, ensuring the focus remains on the art of bartending.
As you make your way to the bar, you’ll notice small cozy seating areas on both the right and left. Personally, I prefer to sit at the bar, and I’ve mentioned in previous adventures that I appreciate when bars have chairs of standard height. It provides a sense of grounding and safety, especially after a few drinks.
What immediately catches the eye is the well-defined color concept. “Kohaku” in Japanese translates to “amber” in English, and this theme is expertly woven throughout the establishment, from the interior decor to even the smallest details like the water cups. Simple, but with a strong focus.
Kohaku’s menu is a unique experience, resembling a compilation album with a lyrics booklet and four album CDs, each corresponding to a different sound concept – the sounds of coffee, tea, herbs, and flowers. The menu is divided into sections, including classic cocktails, mocktails, food, wines, beer, spirits, and 12 signature cocktails inspired by nature sounds. By pressing the corner of each CD, you can listen to sounds associated with the categories. It’s a delightful gimmick that keeps you engaged while you’re making your beverage selection.
Sound is not just a gimmick; it’s integrated as a central theme that enhances the entire consumer experience. The space incorporates the transparency of amber with translucent dyed silk cloth, gradient colors, and brown glass, creating an extended and immersive atmosphere. This not only pays homage to traditional Japanese aesthetics but also allows the soundscape to flow through the space, fostering better communication.
You can definitely count on enjoying crystal-clear ice and perfectly chilled cocktails. I was in the mood for the sound of coffee and the sound of tea. The Coffee and Soil, a clever twist on the classic Corn’n’Oil, combines Taiwanese bananas and espresso with a homemade grape cinnamon espuma topping. This enhances the complexity of the flavor, making the cocktail both strong and sweet, ensuring an enjoyable drinking experience. Another favorite from their menu is the Oolong Highland. It’s consistently the best-seller, and for a good reason. This tea cocktail offers a sparkling, refreshing, sweet, and sour taste. By blending plum wine and Taitung Black Oolong Tea with ingredients like Scotch whisky, Benedictine, honey and verjus. The addition of carbonation makes it a truly refreshing choice.
During my visit, I sat next to a fellow cocktail enthusiast. Why do I know he is a cocktail enthusiast? He reminded me of myself – eagerly exploring the menu, examining the drinks, and snapping countless pictures. And why else? Read the next adventure.