Charoenkrung’s most-anticipated new bar serves rum cocktails with a dose of under-the-radar edge.
The buzz: Two guys formerly from UNCLE and Lady Brett (swanky Sathorn cocktail joints, for the uninitiated) hope to make a splash among the best cocktail bars in town with rum and tropical flavors. To do it, they’ve broken away from the maddening downtown crowds and headed to Charoenkrung.
The decor: With its flower motifs, white-washed bricks, mid-century furniture and colorful Portuguese tiles, the bar is a lesson in “now”—a medley of tasteful trends pulled together with plenty of neon signs and the odd slab of roughly hewn wood. Tucked down an up-and-coming Chaorenkrung back alley, it’s mirrored by the bright strobes of a tailoring facility that lends drinking on Tropic City’s terrace the kind of under-the-radar edge that all the faux-secret bars in town would pay for.
The drinks: “We’re a rum bar,” they’ll tell you, though we spied one gin, one whiskey and one mescal number on the menu as well. “Tropical” here isn’t limited to “tiki,” with drinks taking influence from the Caribbean, Bahamas and Southeast Asia as well. This largely means stuff that’s heavy on the pineapple, like their KL to BKK (price yet to be determined but think around B350), which is made from fermenting pineapple and clove into an ungodly delicious syrup then mixing it with dark rum and Campari. Equally spicy but lighter and less likely to result in a sugar coma, the Jamaican Spice Bowl (B320) hits you with a whack of vanilla before the five-spice infused Appleton Estate VX rum kicks in. There’s more rum in there too, in the form of Plantation 3 Stars. If all this is sounding too shaken not stirred, then go with the Jungle Letter 23 (B370), which is like an old fashioned but with a shot of Plantation Pineapple rum and something that makes the whole thing taste like banana.
The crowd: The cool clique has gotten wind. Propping up the bar you’ll find kids who wouldn’t look out of place past midnight at Blaq Lyte, while the occasional social page darling lets her hair down on the smoking terrace. That’s not to say the place doesn’t feel down to earth. This is still Charoenkrung.
The music: The Weeknd and stuff that sounds like the Weeknd—French Montana, ASAP’s softer stuff and noughties-to-now smooth hip-hop hits. Oliver Irvine