This hidden Thonglor bar gets creative with Thai kitchen-inspired cocktails.
The buzz: With a track record that includes Sugar Ray, Q&A and Dim Dim, the team behind Thonglor’s latest opening definitely know the winning formula of a great cocktail bar. Slip down a Sukhumvit side street far from the hustle and bustle, pass through an unmarked heavy wooden door and ease away the stresses of the day in stylish yet low-key Thaipioka.
The decor: A jungle of potted plants and warm orangey lighting cushion the bar’s minimalist interior. Grab a seat at the 15-meter-long teak table that doubles up as the bar to watch the mixologists work their magic. Or settle into the seating nook, away from the action, with low benches and even lower lighting. Everything here is bespoke, from the delicately engraved porcelain cups to the handcrafted coasters, and is the epitome of modern Asian style.
The drinks: Heavily influenced by Thai flavors (the clue’s in the name), Thaipioka’s creations play with ingredients that, at first glance, seem to have no place in a cocktail—turmeric vodka; black sesame whiskey; even reduced cow fat (ask for the secret cocktail if you’re feeling adventurous). But in the capable hands of Boyd Chanchai Rodbamrung, the 2013 winner of the World Class Cocktail Competition Thailand, they work so well you’ll wonder why they don't feature on more drink menus. Served in a rimmed glass of half-plum, half-chili powder, each sip of the Pineapple Spicy Plum (B350) is a Russian roulette of sweet or spice. The Turmeric Thai Tea (B350) is thick, foamy and fragrant, but packs a hearty punch of vodka and absinthe. For the perfect aperitif, order the homemade O. Leans liquorice liqueur (B250).
The food: Asian-style tapas is coming soon; ideal for snacking on to stave off any hunger pains before dinner.
The music: Expect a mish-mash of jazz and hip hop, with resident DJs playing their favorite tunes on the weekend.
The crowd: Thonglor’s usual mix of trendy locals and in-the-know expats.
Why we’d go back: Live DJs every Friday and Saturday, top-notch drinks and a charmingly clandestine setting mean Thaipioka is sure to become a hot spot in no time. Rowan Usher