Seven Yi is the owner of Room by Le Kief in Taipei. He makes us two cocktails, one with Vodka sous vide with Sichuan Peppercorn and Lychee Syrup and the second with Matcha Tea Powder and Homemade Gin.
Seven introduce yourself
I’m Seven Yi, I used to work for Joel Robuchon in Taipei as the restaurant manager. Then I decided to open a speakeasy called Le Kief, where I made food and drink. A year and a half ago I decided I wanted to combine gastronomy with cocktails (food paired with a drink), so I opened Room by Le Kief. Room by Le Kief is built like a stage and everyone can sit around it and focus on what the bartenders do. Each season you have a new menu based on a new concept. For example, the first season was a candy box where you chose the sweet you wanted and your drink was inspired by it. Then the second one was about fragrances related to travel and different cities. Next was a menu with drinks based on traditional Taiwanese dishes like noodles, which are very popular here. And our next menu will be about local desserts and chocolate and will be a collaboration with a local chocolate maker. But whatever the concept, what is core to this bar is the food pairing with a cocktail.
The classic you want to show us
30g of Vodka sous vide with Sichuan Peppercorn
50g of Tomato Water
20g of Soda
5g of Lychee Syrup
10g of Lemon Juice
The bar you dream of
My dream bar would be in Tokyo. It would be the same concept as here in Room by Le Kief, but with a stage three times the size, so it’s like an amphitheatre.
What do you do in your time off
I sleep, watch series or go to visit art exhibitions with my girlfriend.
The spirit you like the most
I like gin because it’s easy to drink and use in cocktails.
What makes a good cocktail
A good cocktail needs to be intriguing. It’s not only about the flavour, but the whole concept and I prefer drinks that you don’t expect… that surprise you. For me, a good cocktail has something special and unique about it that wows you.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
Anything with an umami flavour, because it’s the bridge between drinks and food. Green tea and seaweed are interesting in drinks for that very reason.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
G l R
1g of Matcha Tea Powder
2g of Honey
30g of Homemade Gin
30g of Campari
20g of Sweet Vermouth
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
In Bangkok, you should definitely go and visit Asia Today.