Right before you go out on a Saturday night to indulge in some drinks and dancing, the first question posed is always; PRE DRINKING? It’s not a matter of alcoholism but mostly a way of saving money in this horrendous economy. Thankfully, Soma Bar is here to save the day!
Similarly, before a night of philandering instead of being perched outside a KK Mart, I decided to take my prep-partying shenanigans to Somar Bar in TTDI. This bar has been making its rounds recently for its creativity in alcohol-infused traditional Chinese desserts. What caught my attention was their alcoholic tau foo fah, would it be an abomination or an intriguing fusion?
What I tried at Soma Bar
When I arrived at Soma Bar around 9pm on a Saturday, the crowd consisted of the youngins catching up with their friends. Hold up, before that, the bar is relatively obscure and you could simply walk past it without even noticing.
Soma Bar is located right upstairs at a local mamak and if you’re nice enough, the anneh there would guide you to the elusive stairway heading to Soma. If you’re a fan of artisanal bars, Somar Bar is the place for you, considering the mixologists there are professionally trained. They also offer recommendations for beverage and dessert pairings tailored to your alcohol preferences.
Having already made my reservations prior, I made my way to the outdoor seating zone and perused the menu. To much astonishment, the items fell within the mid-range price bracket, despite the appealing aesthetics and the upscale location.
I then ordered the Tau Foo Fah (RM15) which, for the unversed, is a homemade soy bean curd usually served with brown sugar or ginger syrup. A twist to the classic tau foo fah at Soma Bar, however, is the addition of a mischievous dark rum.
Next, I got the Guilinggao (Tortoise Jelly) (RM15) which thankfully did not involve harming any sea creatures. This traditional herbal dessert gained prominence during the Chi dynasty for its healing properties and its ability to restore a glowing skin complexion. Like its name, it was made by scraping the bottom shell of the Cuora trifasciata turtle. Thankfully, in this economy and due to humanitarian reasons, turtle-based desserts are not the norm. At Soma Bar, the tortoise jelly is a genius combination of herbs and chrysanthemum tea gin.
Here, you also get to enjoy their signature house-infused gin consisting of a wide range of flavours like Rosemary, Thyme, French Rose, Lemongrass, Early Grey and Sour Plum. In the spirit of Malaysia Boleh, I got the Pandan Gin (RM23). A quick tip— these gins only cost about RM15 if you visit from 5pm to 8pm!
First to arrive at my table was the tau foo fah which at first glance, looked similar to the tau foo fah you’d get at the market. As someone who’s not a fan of alcohol-infused desserts, I was slightly apprehensive about this dessert. Thankfully, the fusion of flavours in this dessert was truly outstanding and at no point, you feel the taste of overwhelming bitter alcohol. The syrup, tofu and rum paired well with each other without an odd, coagulated texture.
Since I opted for the brown sugar syrup, I was still in shock at how this dessert managed to taste too sweet or too “alcoholic” while still maintaining the warm, wholesomeness every tau foo fah has.
Next, the tortoise jelly arrived and my fear of alcohol-infused desserts came true with this tiny bowl. Provided this was my first time trying guilinggao, I wasn’t sure if the was supposed to be that…. perplexing?
The dessert’s texture resembled that of cincau with its fragile, jelly-like structure. As I tasted the dessert, I was hit by a strong wave of sweetness followed by a bitter aftertaste. For someone with an untrained palate, it tasted as if the bitter dessert was infused with bitter alcohol which was then counterbalanced with an excess amount of sugar.
The pandan-infused gin was the perfect ending to the night of intoxication and sweetness. It was yummy and refreshing with the right notes of pandan from its taste to garnish. If you’re a fan of strong pandan flavours, you’ll definitely love the gin and their other innovative gin fusions.
+10 points to Soma Bar for creativity! After only being familiar with alcoholic chocolates and Western desserts, alcohol-infused traditional Chinese desserts were a welcome addition. Though there were some missteps (looking at you guilinggao), as a whole, the fusion experimental desserts are a resounding success, I’d say!
Visit Soma Bar for its immaculate vibes, creative desserts and most importantly, a wonderful time with your friends!
Expected damage: RM15 – RM30 per pax
The post Soma Bar: Get wasted, but traditionally, with liquor-infused Chinese desserts appeared first on SETHLUI.com.