Bar in Town: ‘It may become the place to spill into after a boozy night’

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I would like to start with the big caveat that Bar in Town is definitely not the sort of “joint” this gourmand would usually frequent and I did not enjoy my visit. I can see, however, that the newly-bustling Pansodan Street dining stretch could do with a venue like this: Bar in Town offers strong and sweet novelty cocktails, beers, wine, shisha, unhealthy yet cheap and sating bar snacks all in a typical dark environment with the soundtrack of heavy drum and bass/edm/dubstep. I can see that the venue may become the place to spill into after a boozy night at Rangoon Tea House, Sofaer & Co, Gekko, Sharky’s or any of the other eateries nearby.

I, however, visited just after work to take advantage of their buy two get one free happy hour deal on signature cocktails, working out as 4,000 kyats a cocktail, 6,000 kyats usually. Bottles of beer hover around the 3,000 kyats mark and a glass of wine for 5,000 kyats. The shisha menu is extensive with close to 100 flavours and costs around 30,000-40,000 kyats.

I ordered three of the bar’s signature cocktails and three plates of food. The signature cocktails all have rather cryptic names such as “Pyrat’s,” “Sylvius Jenever,” “Angry Guard,” and “Formula 9” with no description of what liquors, or flavours they contain. This doesn’t actually make much difference, however, as the three I ordered all tasted fairly similar—a sickly sweet boozy mixture of alcohol and synthetic fruit flavours.

The first to come was the “Samurai,” served in a lurid green glass with a Japanese-warrior face. It was pretty sweet and strong but sort of refreshing. I liked the strong lime notes and kiwi syrup. The different liquors—rum, tequila, vodka—were well balanced. “Tiki Skull,” predictably, came in a glass shaped as an Aztec skull and had an intoxicating blend of dark rum, light rum, grapefruit juice and grenadine. There was an almondy flavour from somewhere and it was very synthetic tasting. The “Forbidden Island” was served in a glass with “Forbidden Island” written on it, which I think is a cocktail first for me. The waiter told me it had rum, lychee, peach, grenadine, lime, and grape juice in it. I could taste the lychee.

The food, on the other hand, lived up to expectations, and would definitely sate the appetite of a late-night Yangon reveller. The “mini” chicken wings (2,500 kyats) were crispy, meaty and tasted like chicken wings. The dipping sauce was too spicy and fishy for me, but would appeal to some people. The “mini” part of the dish meant it was actually two or three wings chopped into smaller pieces. I suppose such a technique gives more surface to get crispy and fried and improve flavour but the sharp bone edges would be off-putting to many. The mozzarella sticks (5,000 kyats) were the first I’ve eaten in Yangon and they hit the spotL creamy, cheesy, crispy, crunchy fatty, deep-friedy. There just was not enough tomato sauce for dipping. The dry mutton salad (4,000 kyats) was equally standard and had chili, coriander, cured meat flavours.

My advice: If you want to spill into somewhere with some heavy music, shisha, strong and vaguely palatable cocktails along with snacks to sate the drunken palate, by all means head into Bar in Town. In all other cases, avoid at all costs.

MYANMORE restaurant reviews are done independently and published anonymously. Meals and drinks are paid for by the publication.

Opening Hours: 3pm to 1am
Address: No. 642, Merchant Road, Kyauktada Township
Phone Number: 09 783 888818

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