The buzz: Eric Chan, a co-owner of Singaporean/Aussie cafe Sarnies Group, is making his first foray into the bar world with Funkytown (stylized as F*nkytown). In a soft opening phase since mid-November, the old-school disco-inspired bar sits atop Sarnies Sukhumvit 37.
The vibe: Past the cafe, up four flights of stairs, and you’ll find a spacious, dimly illuminated drinking room dotted with round tables, leather booths, couches, and vibrant orange bar stools, all surrounded by round hanging lamps. Deep, warm tones like magenta, orange, and brown create a vibe reminiscent of a New York underground speakeasy. Unsurprisingly, the soundtrack pumps old-school funk and disco-inspired tunes from the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire, Whitney Houston, and Stevie Wonder. With people grooving and singing along, everything about this place makes you want to put your phone away and enjoy real-life human interaction.
The drinks: Head bartender Pae Ketumarn (former bartender at The SG Club, 36th on World’s 50 Best Bars 2023, and the Sober Company, 39th on the World's 50 Best Bars 2021) brings his expertise to Funkytown. For a savory cocktail, the “Caesar Salad” (yes, this is a drink, B400) takes center stage. “Even though [caesar] dressing is cheesy and rich, I reimagined [the flavors] into a drink that can be refreshing but also savory and luscious at the same time,” said Pae. Infused with olive oil and fresh romaine lettuce syrup, the base is similar to a gin and tonic, while the parmigiano foam dolloped on top is made fresh in their central kitchen. The drink is then topped off with dehydrated prosciutto, giving it a crispy, earthy, and meaty tang. Similarly, the "Pain Au Matcha" (B420) blends flavors you’re not used to seeing in a cocktail. Tasting similar to a matcha latte, it includes sourdough croissant orgeat (syrup) that's made from the off-cuts of Sarnies’ sourdough croissants, caramelized and cooked in a sous vide, along with butter-infused dark rum, a touch of Portuguese port wine, matcha, and egg yolk. The dark rum cuts through, leaving a pure, smooth, and earthy matcha taste. The “Tokyo Banana” (B400) is a play on sweet and savory. Local bananas are meticulously cooked with amylase enzymes, resulting in sweet and concentrated banana juice. It gets shaken up with white chocolate, miso butter, and haku vodka to create a creamy, buttery blend.
The food: Bringing a wealth of culinary expertise to the forefront are chef Theo Tomasa, who has worked in establishments such as The Connaught (1st on the World’s Best Bars 2021) and Annabels in London, and Luqman Hakim Hamzah who was the head chef at Sarnies Singapore. Their expertise shines through in the “feed me menu” (B980), consisting of three small bites, three plates, and one dessert. They know good food can be simple. Smoked tomato butter and Sarnies’ olive sourdough bring a depth of flavor to what would normally be basic loafs placed tableside at other restaurants. The light bites play a delicate balancing act between familiar and novel flavors, like the hamachi crudo tarts sprinkled with zesty pickled melon and marinated cucumber. Similarly, a fun take on a corndog using sai oua from Chiang Mai, paired with fermented chili mayo and kimchi powder, juxtaposes crispy and chewy textures in one bite. Even the desserts play with expectations, like the chocolate ice cream sandwiches with makhwarn pepper and cacao nib praline—adding a subtle numbing and popping mouth feel.
Why we’d come back: With Funkytown’s infectious vibe giving off an all-encompassing good time, this feels like a one-stop shop for a night out—whether you feel like a night out, after-work drinks, or a fun group dinner. We also hear a second menu is in the works, so keep an eye out for that.
39, Soi Sukhumvit Alley 37, 093-814-1594. Open daily 5pm-12am
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Duck and Snail Skewer