Words by Vina Cristobal
Photos by Raelyn Batacan and Vina Cristobal
I tend to overuse the phrase “hidden gems” — particularly because I love the mysterious context behind it — but 9Bar falls under that specific category. It’s tucked away in the far corner of the SALT complex in Kaka’ako, and as for gems, it’s truly a treasure.
Husband-and-wife team Tracey and Steve Seta opened 9Bar’s doors on August 8. Alongside lead barista Ryan Plaza, the 9Bar team serves delicious, freshly-made desserts; an assortment of coffee and breakfast all day (yes, you read that correctly).
When walking into 9Bar, it gives off the illusion of an outdoor cafe on a golf course. To help set the atmosphere of a “outdoor-meets-indoor” environment, the wooden tables and chairs stand flat above the grass-colored vinyl floors. But looking at the storefront as a whole, it becomes almost like a living room. Fronting the marble counter are a bookshelf and a wall lined up with sports memorabilia and artwork from photographer Nathan Hall. For the future, the 9Bar crew plans to have more signage and extend their space outdoors to create more visibility to their storefront.
Below are some of the many menu items that 9Bar offers:
The 7-Up Mini Pound Cakes: These fluffy, sugary bites are just one of the specialty pastries that the cafe offers. According to Tracey, the carbonation of the 7-Up gives each cake its thick, yet soft appearance.
Aloha Bowl: Formerly called the Local Bowl in its early stages, the Aloha Bowl is one of the breakfast items that you can order at 9Bar. While its counterpart, the Cali Bowl, includes bacon, eggs, potatoes and other classic breakfast essentials, the Aloha Bowl contrasts with kim chee, furikake rice, a sausage patty, and scrambled eggs.
Double chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter cream sandwiches: These dark-colored sandwiches are exactly what it is: creamy peanut butter pressed between two crunchy double chocolate chip cookies.
POG Tea: A mix of tea and the popular passion orange guava drink is the perfect balance of light sweetness. Upon taking that first sip, the sweetness of the POG juice is immediately mellowed out by the smooth, relaxing texture of the tea.
To see more of this cafe’s eclectic menu, visit 9Bar in Kaka’ako, which is next to Paiko (or, if you’ve parked in the SALT structure, you’ll find it on the left hand side of the elevators).