The Owl Society Whiskey Saloon
When talking about whiskey, most people would picture a gentleman in a suit holding a cigar by the fire. But are whiskies really only for men? The answer lies within the The Owl Society Whiskey Saloon located at Sukhumvit 61.
The whiskey saloon has an industrial vintage charm, with beautifully crafted copper structures and an underground vibe, resembling to the hidden speakeasy clubs during the Prohibition Era. From the wooden tables to the leather bar chairs, the restaurant uses real vintage furniture from the United Kingdom for the traditional look and feel. To make the premises more welcoming, wood and warmer lights are incorporated into the interior.
Hoping to bring together people of different backgrounds and convey the message of “whisky in a tea cup” to women of all ages, this unique whiskey society offers up to a hundred whiskey labels from all over the world, ranging from top-shelf to local favourites. While avid whiskey drinkers indulge in whiskey on the rocks, explorers new to the whiskey world can start with the light whiskey-base cocktails.
For adept whiskey drinkers, the Great Grey (360 THB), a Johnnie Walker Black Label-based whiskey with Cynar, Port Cherry and patron XO Café tequila, is easy to drink with just a hint of caramel flavour. Try the Barn (360 THB), a combination of passion fruit, Johnnie Walker Gold reserve, dessert wine infused sage, passion fruit, honey syrup, lemon and egg white for something more playful.
The food at The Owl Society Whiskey Saloon, a mix of comfort food and fine dining, are designed to complement your night’s tipple. The Crispy Squid Ink Calamari (250 THB) comes deep fried in bitesize pieces and accompanied with a pitch-black dip made from boiled squid ink and seafood sauce. The spicy aftertaste from the paprika in the Prawn Chorizo (400 THB) helped to intensify the flavours of the palate. The crispy prawns and bits of chorizo also give different textures that smooth out the whisky drinks.
The Chocolate lava cake (250 baht), a hot cake pudding and lava chocolate sauce is not overly sweet, with hints of nuttiness and bitterness of real chocolate. The accompanying vanilla ice cream and mixed fresh fruits not only make the plate more beautiful but also add acidity and tart flavours to the dessert.
Still not sure where to start? Suchada “Fahbeer” Sopajaree, the woman manning the saloon and one of 2016’s 12 finalists at Diageo World Class Thailand Competition, suggests starting with blended malt for beginners and going for a timeless classic like a Manhattan.
The Owl Society Whiskey Saloon, Soi Sukhumvit 61, Wattana, Bangkok 10110; tel: 02-046-3798; www.facebook.com/theowlsobkk/
Mana Unleashes The Hidden Dragon
CHI Ultralounge, in partnership with global Thai cuisine legend Blue Elephant, introduces a fresh dining experience that combines exotic influences with contemporary culinary techniques. Mana, which also means divine nourishment, presents unique course selections interchangeable between three elemental themes—Fire (meat), Water (seafood) and Earth (vegetarian)—with the menu changing every three months.
The vibe at Mana is (tastefully) theatrical, embracing the same modern Asian appeal as the Funk Shui themed supperclub CHI. With a giant dragon overhead, Diageo Moet Hennessy’s WorldClass bar crafts signature drinks designed to complement the meal. Try Golden Dragon, a zesty kick of Johnie Walker Gold Label Reserve with passion fruit puree, basil leaves and lemon juice, or Chi Spiced Cosmopolitan, a ladies’ favourite featuring Cointreau, cranberry juice, vanilla syrup and black pepper.
Forget traditional Thai flavours and presentations. At Mana, Blue Elephant attempts a different, more vibrant approach on the cuisine. Courses consist of amuse bouche, starter, soup, entremets, main dish and dessert. Our pick for the visit is Water, a vibrant seafood range. The meal kick-starts with an impressive dish of plump scallop, pan-seared with aromatic lemongrass butter. An interesting, yet flavourful play on textures shines through with a drizzle of juicy fruit coulis, savoury prawn dust as well as crunchy macadamia nuts and pomegranate bites. Instead of a tom yum bowl, the next serving is an elevated tom khlong soup. With heated flavours from arrays of local spices, the spicy broth is toned down with a generous piece of tiger prawn, holy basil infused tapioca and young chayote leaves. For the main, beautifully pan-fried Indian Halibut is served over smooth, mashed sweet potato and alongside thinly sliced cucumber tossed in a spicy, yet refreshing vinaigrette. The combination goes perfectly with crisp orange candy, white sesame and charred fennel. Dessert highlights a moist lemon sponge cake over raw carrot cake jus, complemented by velvety meringue and caramelised pecans.
The very first collaborative project by Blue Elephant, Mana’s kitchen is led by executive chef Tony Bish. While a la carte small plates and desserts are available, recommended are the set courses, priced at 1,800++ baht per person.
Mana is located on Sukhumvit Soi 13 at CHI supperclub and is opened for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday at 7.00 – 10.00 PM. For reservations, call 0-2102-0013
A Liquid List
In the wake of the continued success of Bangkok eateries in the Asia’s 50 Best event, the capital’s drinking dens are also holding their own, thank you very much. The inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Bars list featured six places in Krung Thep, with Vesper leading the pack at 17. Also in the running were Q&A, Teens of Thailand (pictured), Bamboo Bar, Maggie Choo’s and Hyde & Seek. Congratulations and cheers!