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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  1. Barcode-review
    Photograph: Ann Chiu
  2. barcode
    Photograph: Courtesy Barcode
  3. barcode
    Photograph: Courtesy Barcode
  4. Barcode-review
    Photograph: Ann Chiu
  5. Barcode-review
    Photograph: Ann Chiu
  6. Barcode-review
    Photograph: Ann Chiu

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Coffee by day, hand-crafted cocktails by night

Cafe-bar Barcode is back! After a short absence, the bar has relocated from its previous home on Glenealy Street to a brand-new location on Cochrane Street underneath the Mid-Levels Escalator. The new cafe space offers ample indoor seating, doing away with the small outdoor porch compared to the old venue. Inside, Barcode maintains its signature colour scheme of white, complemented by blue accents on their sofas, and sheer cream-coloured curtains. Their large windows allow plenty of natural sunlight to flood in, creating a relaxed atmosphere that transports you away from the bustling city.

The brains behind the cafe-bar is tea-cocktail connoisseur and Tell Camellia’s co-founder Gagan Gurung. Barcode still adheres to their previous philosophy of merging bar, coffee, and dessert cultures. However, unlike their previous location where the bar was concealed, the new venue integrates the cafe and bar areas into a single space.

Barcode’s food menu offers a modest variety of options. In the morning, diners can enjoy a small selection of pastries, while during the day they can choose from entrees such as sandwiches, pastas, and burgers. As for the cafe’s coffee selection, their specialty lies in espressos and offer a medium-dark roasted espresso blend that combines Colombian, Latin American, and Ethiopian coffee beans. We ordered a New Black ($55), which sees a thick layer of cream dusted with cocoa powder, placed over brewed coffee. We recommend not stirring the drink initially to fully appreciate the delicate texture of the cream, before savouring the smooth chocolate-flavoured coffee underneath with a touch of floral acidity. Once you stir the two layers, the contrasting flavours harmonise and complement each other perfectly. We were particularly pleased with the friendly and knowledgeable barista, who shared insights into the origins of coffee beans, and was sure to engage in a delightful conversation with any coffee aficionado.

As for our entrees, we ordered the furikake french fries ($55) which looked like it was inspired by the Japanese savoury pancake, okonomiyaki. The fries were crispy and covered in shredded seaweed and bonito flakes. They were  accompanied by thin slices of Taiwanese sausage served alongside a homemade sauce, which paired surprisingly well with all the components. Moving on, we opted for the penne with king prawn ($88). The prawn on top had a bouncy texture, while the pasta was cooked al dente and coated in a lightly spicy sauce that whetted our appetites. We also tried out the Japanese Hot Dog ($78), which consisted of a Taiwanese sausage with lettuce and tomatoes sandwiched between a hotdog bun, and topped generously with seaweed and bonito flakes; which hit the spot like a satisfying comfort food. 

Before we finished, we had to sample Barcode’s dessert options. Unfortunately, their signature Tiramisu was not available on the menu yet, so we ordered a slice of classic citrus opera cake ($70) as well as a mango & chestnut log ($75). The addition of citrus gave a refreshing twist to the classic opera cake, however the log cake was slightly dry and lacked mango flavour. To accompany our desserts, we ordered an espresso tonic. Despite being made with Barcode's house blend, the coffee had a stronger nutty flavour with hints of caramel, which complemented quite well with our desserts.

Overall, Barcode’s reopening is a breath of fresh air, and the new venue makes for a great spot to unwind in the middle of the city. Their hot dishes are made with care and won’t bust your budget, and their coffees are up to par. However, it would enhance the overall experience if there were more food choices on the menu. Currently, Barcode is only open until 6pm. The bar would be operational within the coming month and the staff said that the cocktail menu would undergo a huge overhaul. We’ll definitely come back to see what they offer in the future so watch this space for updates! – translated by Cherry Chan

Ann Chiu
Written by
Ann Chiu


UF/F, 45 Cochrane St, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Opening hours:
Mon-Sun 8.30am-6pm for cafe
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