After exploring some of the favorite bars and late night bites of Raka Ambarawan — head barkeep at Ubud’s coolest bar, Night Rooster — we’ve turned to another buzzed-about bartender in Bali for inspo on where to hit up for a night out on the town (or rather, the island).
We thought it fitting for our next night out to be with the chief mixologist at one of Ambarawan’s favorite island haunts: Bikini. The bar at Seminyak’s Bikini restaurant has built a pretty sizable fan base since its opening, earning itself a spot on Bali’s hot list with distinctive cocktails formulated by head mixologist Arey Barker.
Since the bar’s opening in early 2017, Barker’s creative concoctions have become some of the most sought-after on the island — the bar made our roundup of top cocktails in Bali, too.
The Bali native also dishes out drinks in style; before getting his current gig at Bikini, he scored himself several winning titles in local competitions for flair bartending and mixology while getting experience at the W Hotel.
With out-there mixes that Bikini’s menu breaks down into “fruity, floral and vibrant,” “bitter, sweet, and spiced, and “bold, big and packed with a punch,” Barker has shown that he’s not afraid of experimentation and putting a twist on an old favorite.
His go-to things to order at Bikini aren’t the traditional types. He likes one-of-a-kind things.
“My favorite is the foie gras cigars. It’s served on a golden ashtray, including butter ash inside, so it’s unique,” Barker told Coconuts Bali.
“And for drinks, of course, I love the single-origin black coffee Negroni. Love this drink because it’s unique as well. Combination of gin that we drip on the coffee powder and mix with vegetables, charcoal, blending together with sweet vermouth and bitter Campari. Sooo tasty.”
But while drinking Negronis and smoking cigars with foie gras certainly has him living his best life, Barker does like a good night out every now and then when he’s not punched in. Naturally, we had to know where these nights are spent.
— DRINK —
“If I want to go out with my friends to have drinks, I go to cocktail bars in Bali like 40 Thieves or Frestro. Good ambiance and drinks there.”
“But, sometimes I love a crowd and music. Then I go to La Favela or Jenja.”
“And mostly in the clubs, I get gin and soda. Easy.”
— EAT —
“I definitely go for local food! So close from my house there is local food open only at night, starting from 11pm til 3am. They are selling Balinese food called nasi lawar.”
“But sometimes in the night time close to Seminyak, I love Mad Ronin Ramen.” (This one also happens to be one of our top picks for Japanese food in Bali.)
Editor’s Note: our editorial staff have edited Barker’s written responses for clarity.