On my recent trip to Taipei for a long spa weekend at the W Hotel, I spent a fair amount of time by day and by night in the groovy fabulousness that is WOOBAR.
Bar By Day
It was the perfect place to sit and relax during the day, with soft chillout sounds floating through the air. When I wasn’t in the spa or eating dim sum, I spent most of my time writing so I was either sat in the comfy high-back chairs next to the fireplace or on the sofa while I was having a casual lunch. The bar menu offers everything from samosas (TWD $300) and chicken satay (TWD $480) to calzones (TWD $450), quesadillas (TWD $480) and their million dollar burger famous for the seared foie, truffle and tallegio cheese that comes on it (TWD $2,200).
Then The Sun Goes Down
That’s when WOOBAR really heats up. The sounds change like they do at Buddha Bar in Paris. You know, from ‘dinner’ to ‘party’ with the snap of a finger. The music is a bouncy, groovy mix of world music that sets the tone for a fun evening…the lights dim and pink and purple hues radiate from the most interesting places…and the energy in the room takes on a whole new life!
There is a mix of seating at WooBar, with everything from round flat leather beds to bench sofas and even tables out by the pool. I liked their creative use of three kitchen beakers for their nibbles. When I was there they held dehydrated peas, dehydrated beans and baked peanuts with a sweet black coating.
Their Mixologists Are Gods
I asked to meet their resident mixologist (which I think they call part of the W’s ‘Liquid Lab‘ Team) and Alex didn’t disappoint!. I had heard that they make a Tanqueray oolong tea infused martini that is to die for so when I asked how it was mixed, Alex did one better. He showed me! It’s made with:
- 2 parts oolong infused gin
- 1 part honey
- 1 part fresh lemon juice
To make this, buy high quality oolong tea and mix 20 grams with a half bottle of Tanqueray, which they use for the lighter aroma of the gin. A lot of bars in Asia use pre-made infused alcohol but the W only uses fresh ingredients and only freshly infused gins, vodkas, tequilas, rums and whiskeys. Their ‘Lab’ is inventive, with ginger vodka, oolong tea Tanqueray … and the priciest infusion they’ve drummed up so far is their saffron Bacardi (which if you know how expensive just 10 little threads of saffron is then that makes perfect sense!).
My other fav was a MUST TRY rendition of the diablo, made with elderflower called simply El Diablo. It’s not on the menu but if you ask for it, they will shake it up for you on the spot. Made with Don Julio blanco, St. Germain (which is my favourite French liquor) and fresh pressed black cherries (basically, fresh cassis)…served in a steel martini glass that keeps it extra cold!
Ohhhh…and I’m not a fan of beer normally but they have ginger beer is amazing there. It’s made with fresh local ginger that’s been chopped and diced, sugar syrup, fresh lemon juice that is blended – double strained – and served from a soda gun. They shared that they add a bit of malic acid powder as their secret ingredient to balance the sweet and sour edge of the beer (that tastes nothing like beer so I loved it!).
Holy Water, Darling!
Their Champers menu hits just the right mark, too. Here’s a quick sample:
- Veuve Clicquot Brut TWD $4,800 or 1.5L magnum TWD $9,500 or by the glass for TWD $690
- Perrier Jouet, Belle Epoque 2004 TWD $13,000
- Louis Roederer, Cristal 2005/2006 TWD $24,000, 3L Brut magnum TWD $18,000
Don’t miss WOOBAR on your next night out in Taipei.
© 2015, Angela Carson and AngelasAsia.com. All rights reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.