Gaggan’s new wine bar is also the affordable curry house he once promised
The buzz: The new wine bar from Gaggan Anand’s long-term sommelier, Vladimir Kojic, is your ticket to an education on the wine world’s most exciting, passionate, inventive and just plain challenging creations. As “natural” wine bars make a hit around the world, this is downtown Bangkok’s boldest attempt yet to remove wine from stuffy restaurants and place it into the hands of the fun-loving party crowd more readily found in craft cocktail bars.
The drinks: Reds, whites and stuff somewhere in between that’s all been made with wild yeasts and spontaneous fermentation—just don’t call it “natural.” "We prefer low intervention,” says Kojic, meaning these fluids taste only of what they’ve taken from the soil. By-the-glass wines go from around B360 upwards and are chalked up on a board that changes frequently. Even at these lowest prices, you’re getting the good stuff—the light Atanasius label from Austria’s game-changing Gut Oggau winery, to be precise, praised for pioneering biodynamic blends that don’t get hung up on grape varietals. You won’t find anything here without a similar back-story: Jacques Lassaigne Champagne (“Oh my god, the most creative people working in Champagne,” B760/glass); Sebastian Riffault Sancerre (“The only guy doing it his own way in the Loire Valley,” B520/glass). Yes, some of these wines can be funky (see Sebastian Riffault, above), but they can also be light, smooth, fragrant and even classic. Talking to the staff is a must if you’re going to get the most of your visit.
The food: While it might say “Wet” above the door, this is also secretly the curry house Gaggan never built. Head here on an empty stomach to enjoy the unctuously unpretentious chicken masala with beautiful long-grain Basmati rice at just B390 a portion. Other snacks like the XO noodles start at B190. Make sure you save room for the glorious mess of yogurt, potato and spices that is the “Seductively Indian” papdi chaat (B390). Some of the greatest hits from Gaggan restaurant's past even make the grade, like his duo of sinfully meaty “Year of the Pig” pork cutlets (B420).
The decor: Taking cues from new-wave speakeasies, Wet hides behind a row of rickety toilet doors that could’ve come from the bathrooms at Chatuchak. Inside, low-slung, movable sofas from France’s Roche Bobois design house are like vibrant, high-society bean bags, while aging rafters criss-cross with newly installed glass walkways across two levels. If the vintage prints of glamour models look familiar, it’s because Wet is the work of Teens of Thailand/Asia Today designer Gunn Lee.
The music: Loud, fun and never boring. Early Marvin Gaye morphs into Talking Heads then Nena as the night gets going. Stuffy lounge music, this ain’t, which means the crowd is likely to be up and dancing—just be careful with the stemware. Oliver Irvine