Stepping into Pao Pao Liquor Bar & Dimsum, visitors are greeted by the bar’s garish red neon lighting. Naked bulbs hang from the bare ceiling and flicker ominously, while bright yellow lighting runs along the underside of the bar counter. The dim lighting casts scant illumination onto the interior and the walls, bathing them in a pervasive red and yellowish hue. The décor speaks of the long bygone era of Chinese gambling dens and watering holes – cosy with an edge of unpredictability.
The floor area hosts an eclectic mix of rattan chairs, floral-print sofas, petite ottomans, high stools and varnished wooden table tops. Behind the comfy sofas, traditional window sills adorn the whitewashed pock-marked walls, the translucent glass panes filtering greyish daylight into the space. Simple wooden beams curve over the bar area, neatly partitioned into squares. Analogue wall clocks, wooden framed old-style illustrations and wax-paper calendars hang on the walls.
An L-shaped slab of dazzling marble serves as the bar top, while a dapper assembly of bar stools seats regular patrons, patiently waiting for their fix. Floral lamps glow overhead; illumination is generous here – marking the heart of the establishment. Lengths of liquor cabinets stretch from one end of the bar to the other, brimming full of exotic spirits and artisan wines. An ancient medicine cabinet neatly splits the liquor racks – uniform rows of handsome drawers, simply adorned with an ornate ring-handle.
Regulars at Pao Pao Liquor Bar & Dimsum will be pleased to know that a variety of delicious culinary creations has been added to the menu. For a light bite to share, try the scrumptious crispy prawn cheung fun – a crisply fried fritter and prawn filling is folded in a blanket of velvety handmade rice noodle and served with lightly sweetened soy sauce, chilli sauce and spicy chilli oil. Another delightful sharing dish is the beautiful chicken mantao tartlets. Pao Pao Liquor Bar & Dimsum’s rendition of this classic dish features tartlets made from mantao and fried to golden perfection, topped with savoury sweet-and-sour chicken cubes. Accompany your light bites with new cocktails such as the Kinky Yuzu (a light and floral tequila-based cocktail featuring rhubarb liqueur, peach syrup and yuzu jam, finished with a lovely flourish of chili flakes and szechuan pepper) or the XXL Joy Punch (a heady mix of aged rum, fresh berries and green grape soju, served in a sharing jug catering three to four individuals).
A new addition that diners should definitely not miss out on is the seafood char kway teow – rice noodles stir-fried with a mix of succulent seafood, silky beaten-egg, fresh vegetables in a tantalising sauce of soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and oyster sauce, topped with slices of vibrant chilli. End your meal on a perfect note with black sticky rice with vanilla ice cream – a nutty and sweet, treacle-like, black sticky rice pudding topped with heavenly vanilla ice cream, a twist on the more conventional coconut milk finish.
Pao Pao Liquor Bar & Dimsum Parlour
Jalan Senopati No. 16, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta 12110, Indonesia
T: (+62) 21 2751 0698