Sot Soju Bar
This grown-up Korean gastrobar focuses on high-end soju brand Hwayo.
The buzz: Just when the arrival of Sulbkk drew our attention to Bangkok’s lack of Korean gastrobars, along comes another one. Sot, however, brings a far more grown-up vibe with its focus on high-end soju brand Hwayo.
The decor: The old F45 gym at Novotel Hotel Sukhumvit has undergone a complete transformation—the front door alone will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Korea. Once you’re inside, the whole space somehow feels warm and welcoming yet masculine all at once, largely thanks to leather furniture. This is the first time that we’ve seen a bar sunken into the floor in Bangkok, so sitting at the counter brings such a new drinking experience. There’s a secret room hidden away somewhere and we are not allowed to tell you how to find it (offer them B20,000 and they might just tell you).
The drinks: Over here, they prioritize the high-end soju brand Hwayo, which comes in four labels differentiated by their alcohol level—25%; 41%; 53%; and the 41% rice whiskey aged in an oak barrel. If you’ve had a bad experience with soju in the past, forget everything you think you know because Hwayo is very smooth. On top of their signature cocktails like the super refreshing-you-won’t-feel-any-alcohol Essences of Life (Hwayo 25, pineapple juice, cucumber, lime juice, cucumber syrup and cucumber bitters, B350), you can also order reinterpretations of classic favorites, like the soju negroni (B420), that replaces gin with soju, or the Hwayo Sour (B470), a twist on a New York Sour that replaces bourbon with soju. There will soon be Korean bar food available, too— think vegetables wrapped in sliced wagyu beef with a Korean-style sauce.
The crowd: Working professionals catching up with friends over a drink after work. The place has also recently been booked for a bachelorette party.
Why we’d come back: The bartender knows what he’s doing with his drinks, plus we got to sample some of the bar food and we’ll definitely be back for more of that. Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj