Dongguan is full of surprises. Tucked away between several imposing buildings on Nancheng’s Hongyuan Avenue, the last place in the world you’d expect it to be, LF Bar entices you in with its winking fairy lights donning its little wooden patio roof and totally makes you forget about everything outside—a diamond in the rough with a siren call of sorts.
It doesn’t disappoint at all, especially with its classy leather sofas and chairs—this is always the first thing I look for; where to crash. Up on settling and being handed a cocktail, a scent suddenly caught my attention as I recognized the fragrance but somehow just couldn’t put my finger on it. This set the tone for the rest of the evening, as everything else that followed was as unconventionally good as it was mysterious.
The boss is a young and humble entrepreneurial type with a flair for that which fascinates. Not only did he impress me with his story, but he even made the cocktails we had on the night himself. Obviously, he said, they can make anything a customer may wish for, but he prefers to make more out of the ordinary drinks. That he did. Upon asking me what bases I’d prefer, I suggested three: rum, Jägermeister and whiskey. So, he whipped up three cocktails, each priced around 50 to 60 RMB. Now between the burdock root infusions, I finally uncovered the mystery of the familiar scent as well—pine cone. The boss had burnt some earlier to create a “forest vibe” within the bar as he explained, and he even used the smoke to prepare one of the glasses for a Jägermeister concoction mixed with intense coffee extract, topped with ice and dried orange. I expected a disaster at first, to be honest, but loved the end result. The rum cocktail was mixed with thinly sliced burdock and also an energy drink as well as their special “sweet ‘n’ secret juice.” That remains my favorite one of them all. The whiskey cocktail was also elegantly presented, mixed with three different liquors and some local fancy fruit juice mix.
Something notable about this place was the heart in the art. Of course, the cocktails tasted great, but it’s the artful mixing that brings out something splendid. It is certainly worth the trip and every yuan spent. Recommended for friends or associates, business or pleasure.