Just when you were about to give up searching for the perfect cocktail, high school chemistry finally pays off. Etched into the facade of the building in front of you on Yanji Street is the molecular structure of ethanol (AKA the alcohol found in all liquids worth a damn drinking). With your heart full of promise, you open the door…and all your previous cocktail disappointments fade away. Welcome to R&D.
Popular among locals and the transient international crowd alike, this bar has no cocktail menu. Rather, the bartenders cheerfully engage you in a friendly challenge of “What do you like to drink?” Initially, landing on a single choice beverage seems like an impossible task given their seemingly limitless selection of spirits and in-house brewed infusions (only made with produce locally grown on the island), but somehow they coax out your personal tastes and deliver exactly what will satisfy your thirst. As the night wears on, the process becomes even more fluid and you surrender your complete trust to these magical mixologists to enjoyably expand your horizons with new combinations and flavors. By design, this cocktail theme park has no rules. Just let it happen.
Tip: come hungry as well, as they have a small but thoughtfully prepared menu, with locally sourced ingredients, which reflects the multicultural minds behind R&D. Try the LAULAU PLATTER and PORK BELLY GUABAO to start and make sure you ask for the Black Buddha special if you need an excuse to have just one more drink.