Find The Photo Booth
A hidden speakeasy from the people behind The Locker Room.
The buzz: The team that brought us The Locker Room are back with another hard-to-find speakeasy. This time Ronnaporn “Neung” Kanivichaporn of Thonglor’s Backstage joins cohorts Hidetsugo Ueno from Bar High Five in Tokyo, Colin Chia from Nutmeg & Clove in Singapore and Nick Wu (third in the World Class Cocktail Competition 2016) in bringing a touch of class to the ailing Sukhumvit Soi 11 party strip.
The decor: Finding the bar is half the fun. As you head down the right-hand side of soi 11 coming from Sukhumvit Road, keep an eye out for a restaurant-slash-bar with a second floor accessible by a flight of stairs. Up there is a sports bar where you'll also find a regular photo booth just like you see in the mall. That’s your entrance. While you figure out how to open the door you might want to snap a few photos (we prefer coming back once a bit tipsy). After a period of scrambling around in a darkroom (really), you’ll eventually find yourself in a beautifully-lit space that’s a gentlemanly mix of black, browns and grays. Yes, you can take up a stool at the bar or find a cushy spot on one of the sofas, but there’s also plenty of room to stand up and dance.
The drinks: The menu lists cocktails in pairs—play it safe with a classic (B360) or risk it all on its Thai-twisted companion (B390). Of the former, the 20th Century cocktail takes its name from its origins aboard the Twentieth Century Limited Rail, a train service that ran between New York and Chicago, and combines Gordon’s gin, bianco vermouth, creme de cacao and fresh lemon juice. The modern spin-off, dubbed Sorry, Only BTS this Century, plays with the cacao taste by rimming the glass with dried coconut covered in chocolate, and mixing coconut-infused Botanist gin with white sesame vermouth, hazelnut liqueur and fresh lemon juice. Another old favorite, the rye-forward, Manhattan-like Red Hook, gets localized through the Got Hooked in Sukhumvit, whose infusion of Thai herbs gives the impression of tom yum.
The music: In a welcome change from the grownup jazz at most serious cocktail bars, the deep-house soundtrack encourages you to show some moves while you sip.
The crowd: Serious cocktail drinkers and adventurous types up for a challenge.
Why you should care: This place has done an impressive job of getting all the small details right, whether it’s the inventively Thai cocktails, the suave setting or the thrill of the find. Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj
Take a peek inside The Photo Booth with our video below: