Toronto nightlife just got a boost of adrenaline with the grand opening of Overpressure Club, the spirited sibling of the renowned Project Gigglewater.
But while the bar shares the same level of quality hospitality as its counterpart, what sets this Japanese-inspired spot apart is its revolutionary take on cocktails: on tap. The name itself, Overpressure, hints at the unconventional method of handling kegs.
Don’t expect the usual lineup of predictable tap cocktails, says owner Alfred Siu. At Overpressure, the cocktail and food menu are more like a passport to Japan. Sake, Japanese whiskey, and other distinctive elements take centre stage, creating an experience that goes beyond the traditional bar scene.
“We do different types of draft cocktails: one is with nitro and the other is with carbon dioxide. What we’re doing is a craft cocktail that you would get at a restaurant, but batching them and putting them in kegs then dispensing it,” says Siu.
Getting each cocktail into a keg can take up to three days and involves a meticulous process that includes shelf stabilization, clarification and carbonation. The outcome is an impressive menu featuring 20 cocktails, with 12 available on tap.
“We’re able to carbonate things, we can do nitro things with different textures, for consistency and in a sense, speed up the process so we can have more time connecting and talking with our guests,” says Siu.
The current cocktail menu features creative creations like the Queen of Hearts, a raspberry white chocolate clover club, and the Pandan-O-Rama, a rich and textured concoction with Japanese inspired ingredients like pandan, taro, miso, rice milk and sake.
However, recognizing the growing trend of sober curiosity, Overpressure Club also offers three non-alcoholic cocktails: the Standing Tall and Parallel Universe, or the Double Verde Colada, which can be made non-alcoholic.
“As more and more people become sober curious, some people don’t want to drink or some want to take a break, so having these options make sure we can cater to everyone,” says Siu. “And people are really enjoying it.”
The attention to detail even extends to the edible garnishes adorning each drink. As Siu mentions, some drinks come with a fried rice crisp, a white chocolate crisp, or even an edible leaf.
Overpressure also wows with its delicious hot and cold shared dishes.” Current fan favourites include the must-try Nori Honey Toast for dessert, as well as the vegetarian options like the Oyster Mushroom with nori glaze and Loaded Fries with a Japanese curry twist. The bar also offers other dishes like oysters, karaage, pork jowl and short rib.
Above all, what makes Overpressure Club stand out, according to Siu is the refinement and a perfectionist attitude.
“We have very innovative and well-balanced cocktails,” he says. “They’re amazing, arguably the best program in the city.”
While the restaurant has only been open for a short time, Siu is hopeful it is on track to make the Worlds 50 Best, a prestigious award.
Overpressure Club is located at 815 Boor Street W., and is open seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., with the kitchen taking last call at 1:45 a.m.