I must say finding Space Bar wasn’t as clear cut but then again I’m new in town so there are a lot of things that makes me go “hmmm..” The taxi stopped us at the right address but I did not see anything in the building that remotely resembles a bar. I refused to get out of the vehicle and was ready to yell at him in my broken Burmese language. Then I remembered it’s a rooftop bar. So I stuck my head out the window and voila!- the SPACE BAR signage. Thank goodness I kept my mouth shut.
WHAT IS IT
Started two years ago, Space Bar is the first rooftop bar in Yangon. They are also one of the pioneers to sell and serve shisha. It’s a chill out bar started by Arkar and Chris, two young Myanmar locals with entrepreneurial mind sets. The result is a cosy bar with minimalist décor with the option to stay outdoors.
WHERE IS IT
It is along Kabar Aye Pagoda road near the University Avenue end. It’s not obvious from the street as they share the building with a few other businesses. You need to look up and out for the Space Bar sign in bright lights. Once you’re there, just go up the 5 flight of step to the top. Ta-da!
WHY IT’S GOOD
The owners.These young folks are really down- to earth and genuinely nice people. They are naturals at socializing and entertaining. You get the feeling that you’re at their private party. The regulars have become firm-friends. It’s like your best friend throwing a party – you want to be there. By the time we left, we had exchanged too many funny stories and are now on their guest-list for their next party. Woohoo!
WHY ITS NOT
5 flight of steps with no elevator. Makes one tempted to do a U-turn and split. The veranda, although nicely set up, is pretty dark in the evening. You can’t read the menu, let alone see what you’re eating.
FOOD AND DRINKS
With an extensive cocktail menu it’s impossible to have a taste test beyond 4 drinks. After that your memory goes all fuzzy. Popular cocktails are the Frozen Margarita and Around the World. You need to down the margarita fast though. In this weather it won’t stay frozen for long. The other one has a mixture of spirits so please take your time. Be warned – they serve only Chinese and Thai food. No western or European menu here.
I wasn’t hungry and I wanted something light so I had the Fried Calamari. Can’t go wrong there, I thought. I was right. It’s crispy and tender. My partner had the Dry Spicy Sour Chicken, which is one of their more popular dishes. It is spicy alright but so worth the burn.
Shisha lovers keep coming back for their rare flavours – cappuccino, chocolate and lime. I was a virgin shisha smoker. We had the apple flavour. It makes you feel like you’ve just scrubbed your lungs with peppermint. I can see why people are hooked on them.
Arkar had created his own cocktail concoction on his 26th birthday recently and aptly named it My 26. It’s made of gin, vodka, triple sec and tasted like cranberry juice. That’s been another popular one. It’s not on the menu though so you need to ask for that.
They have different promotions every month so do check their Facebook page. Drinks are from 3,000 kyats. Currently Happy Hour promotions are 50% off for pitcher drinks. Food prices range from 2,000 kyats to 8,000 kyats.
Opening Hours: 5pm – onwards
No 126 Kabar Aye Pagoda Road
Tel: 01 430 344