When friends who showed me around Singapore, where I kicked it drinking all kinds of cool things at places like Creatory, showed up in Bangkok I knew I had an obligation to show them a good time. Meaning, we had to hit the bars for cocktails and revelry and I thought one of the best places to do just that is Silom!
Besides Thonglor/Ekkamai areas which receive a lot of attention from publications, Silom is probably the next best area to do a fun cocktail crawl at trendy bars in Bangkok. After dinner and aperitifs we made our first stop to the exclusive feeling bar hidden above Lady Brett restaurant, called U.N.C.L.E. (United Nations of Cocktail Lovers Everywhere, Sathorn Soi 12, Wednesday – Friday, 7pm-Late, 02-635-0406).
Meeting the Tiki Master at UNCLE
By accident we arrived at UNCLE early which turned out to be a clutch decision. The atmosphere in the secluded bar feels intimate and I really had a good chance to talk to the bartender, Sebastian de la Cruz, a Swedish import passionate about rum and Tiki cocktail culture. I began with super smooth Venezuelan Diplomatico on the rocks (in this case a smooth block of hand chiseled ice), and afterwards it was a night of rum cocktails ranging from daiquiri made with local Lamai white rum, to the Test Pilot cocktail which calls for two rums and a barrage of other syrups and spirits, including absinthe and falernum, a great start to the night!
Giant Cocktails and Late Night Burgers at Junker and Bar
The next stop would be Junker & Bar (Tue-Sat, 2pm-Late, 085-100-3608), a low key, cafe sized bar with a loyal following. The bar is located on the early stretch of Silom’s Soi Suan Phlu near a few other spots, but has a unique feel.
That’s probably because it’s cozy, has a Thai cocktail nerd for bartender, and gets good live music acts to play. They do a few giant sized cocktails and I recommend telling the bartender what you like for a chance to taste his Thai variations on classics like the Negroni. Also not to miss are the bar snacks and don’t forget Junker and Bar does one of the best burgers in the area!
Mysteriously Brothel-Esque at Maggie Choo’s
Finally, I had a plan to have them end the night with a stop below Novotel Silom for the notorious Maggie Choo’s (7:30pm – 2am, 091-772-2144). This turned out to be a fail. I had forgotten they had a dress code and didn’t warn my pet Singaporeans to come out in their post-office attire. Maggie Choo’s is a great place to take people in town for the first time who may be longing for the 1920’s era Chinese brothel feel. LOL. Otherwise if you want to kick it somewhere casual and open late I recommend Smalls which is just a few meters from Junker & Bar on Soi Suan Phlu and often has live music.
Silom Bars of Honorable Mention:
Soi Suan Phlu, open 8:30pm – Late, 095-585-1398
Not so much for cocktails as just a cool as spot to chill and enjoy your buzz. They have drinks and random weekend nights where they serve pho. Come for a cushy spot to hangout and enjoy live music and chatter with friends.
Vesper Bar & Restaurant
Soi Convent, 11:30am-2:30pm and 5pm-12am M-Th, Weekends 5pm-12am, 02-235-2777
Vesper alludes me again. They were intended to be a stop but had a private event on. That’s ok, means I didn’t have to rush hanging out with the Sebastian who showed us a good time at UNCLE. The other thing is from their marketing the cocktails are a lot of flash and pomp, so I wanted to see how they actually compared to the way they’re being marketed. Until next time!
Namsaah Bottling Trust
Silom Soi 7, 5pm-Late, 02-636-6622
Namsaah is a bar and restaurant with a party vibe too it. Even more than Vesper, it’s a place where people want to be seen and rush there to try dishes from a menu designed by celebrity chef Ian Kittichai. To me, however, the cocktail menu is more interesting than the prospect of haphazard asian fusion food. Furthering that suspicion is that former GM of Bed Supperclub (now defunct, but a place I have also done some work for) and cocktail champ Justin Dunne is behind the bar-party feel.