Spontana means “spontaneous” in Esperanto. The universal language was created in the 19th century to help diverse groups of people communicate more easily and peacefully. And that’s just the idea at Bar Spontana, a backstreet bar serving a diverse range of wild-fermented drinks alongside punchy Thai fare.

It’s by bartending pair Josh Hodges and Caleb Baker (who also own Mr West). The duo are partial to a wild-fermented brew, from the saisons, lambics, organic lagers and rustic farmhouse ales on tap to their natty-leaning wine list. Here, you might find a lambic beer made with aglianico grapes by cult Italian winery Cantina Giardino, a saison macerated on plums, or a puckering sour by pioneers of local wild fermentation like Two Metre Tall, Wildflower and La Sirene. Plus, there’s a formidable list of low-intervention wines and wild-fermented sakes, mezcals and rums.

To pair your drinks, dishes have included charcoal-grilled skewers of baby octopus, pork jowl or ox tongue. While other standouts have included house-fermented Isan-style pork sausages and glass noodles, spicy spatchcock with turmeric and galangal, Northern-style raw beef with toasted sticky rice, and a fried banana blossom salad.

The cocktail menu calls in some help from a rotary evaporator (high-tech equipment used in labs and high-end bars). Think textural cocktails like the C&T (fig and apple brandy, salted celery and quinine) or the Spro Tini (gentian, cinnamon, lacto-fermented nectarine and coffee from neighbouring roastery Disciple), plus a non-alc whey soda made from cheese waste.

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Updated: May 29th, 2024

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