Malt & Salt
Ekkamai’s new whiskey bar takes over from an old burger favorite.
The buzz: The four partners behind Ekamai Mall’s comfort-food institution, Burger Factory, have transformed their venue into a whiskey bar, with a new name and look to match. The fresh concept looks to take advantage of Thais’ growing interest in whiskey labels that go beyond the ubiquitous Johnnie Walker Black, while the food menu remains impressive.
The decor: Walking into this wood-dominated space almost feels like stepping inside a giant whiskey barrel, though the large windows and neon lights out front contribute to a retro diner-like vibe. You can get an obscured view of the kitchen through a dark glass partition, but really it’s all eyes on the bar lined with whiskey bottles and photos of old jazz and soul performers.
The drinks: This is a Scotch whiskey bar that’s not just limited to enthusiasts. Best-sellers include the Glenfiddich 12 year old (B280/35ml glass) and the owner-recommended Ardbeg 10 year old (B250). For the uninitiated there are several tasting flights to try, like Value for Money (Monkey Shoulder, Black Label, Gentleman Jack, Chivas 12 year old, B790), Royal Flight (Glenfiddich 21 year old, Singleton 18 year old, Glenlivet 21 year old, 1,490) and Malt Experience (Glenfiddich 12 year old, Singleton 12 year old, Macallan 12 year old, Glenlivet 12 year old, B1,090). There are rare bottles, too, like Johnnie Walker King George V. (B1,750/35ml glass). Classic cocktails are B260 each—try the Jack Daniel’s Old Fashioned (B260), which goes down all too easily.
The food: To appease the old clientele, a solid burger selection remains (try the satisfyingly crunchy bacon and cheese burger, B280), but the menu now also packs more dressed-up fare like grilled lamb chops, marinated with rosemary and served with grilled pineapple in anchovy sauce (B880). There are a few Thai touches, too, as in the grilled Australian beef served with spicy jaew dipping sauce (B200).
The music: Live bands perform mostly ‘90s Thai and international covers Tue-Sun from 8:45pm. As it was originally envisioned to be a soul bar, the stage welcomes a saxophonist every Saturday night.