Bangkok's best new bartenders 2016
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Upcoming events in Bangkok this week
Check out this week's hottest events here.
Time Out Bangkok meets Jakkrit Yompayorm
With his dreadlocked hair and biting sense of humor, few would be able to guess that Jakkrit Yompayorm, or “Kru-Tom,” is actually an expert in Thai literature. A freelance teacher, TV host, and recently a bestselling author, Kru-Tom is working to change society’s perception of classic Thai literatures, as well as how they are taught to school children. Time Out catches up with the inspiring and probably the hippest Thai literature teacher you could ever meet. How did your passion in Thai literature begin? I spent my childhood in Phang-nga, I liked visiting the city library after playing with my friends at the temple grounds. At first, I started reading comic books and fairy tales like other children. Then, I discovered another section dedicated to thai folklore, myth and literature in prose and poetry. I became utterly absorbed by these exciting tales. That was where the real passion began. I didn’t feel forced into reading them at all. You have been invited to teach all over Thailand. How would you describe how literature is taught in schools? Thai students have a bad impression on literature in general mainly because they feel forced to learn something that is no longer relevant to their lives, both in vocabulary and ideas. Also, some teachers have bad teaching techniques and prioritize memorizing quotes from the books over critical discussions. I’m not saying that memorizing is not necessary, but teachers have to make them more relevant to today’s world and inte
You can now sip Mariage Frères tea at Dean & Deluca
Mariage Frères tea selections are now available at Dean & Deluca Mahanakhon Cube. Why is Mariage Frères so special? Founded in Paris in 1854, it is one of the world's finest tea brands, thanks to its reputation in first-class tea leaves and exclusive blends delivering unique flavors and aromas. Apart from the brand's famous blends such as Marco Polo, Thé Sur Le Nil, Rouge Metis, Wedding Imperial, Mariage Frères also curates special blends exclusively for Thai market: Paris-Bangkok (aromatic black tea with sweet notes of ripe fruits and freshly baked fruit cake) and King’s Tea (Thai blue tea mixed with aromatic herbs, kaffir lime peels as well as pink and yellow rose petals.
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Guss Damn Good
It all started in Baston. It was in this city, in Babson College to be precise, that Rarin Tumwattana and Natee Charussuriyong first met, became MBA schoolmates, and, despite coming from completely different backgrounds (being Thai is probably the only thing they really had in common) became BFFs. It was also in Boston, inspired by the American city’s widespread ice cream culture, that they conceived a startup. "One day, I asked my friend, 'Don't you feel colder eating ice cream?' And he said, ‘In fact, ice cream reminds me of summer,’" recounts Rarin, her eyes sparkling with fond remembrance. “And that was when I realized that ice cream has a feeling to it. It has a story. So we have the tagline: ‘Feeling crafted ice cream.’ We are not just homemade ice cream; we are crafted ice cream. We mind every detail and curate every ingredient: honey from my friend's farm, brownies I make myself. Every flavor has its own story." Starting as a small startup in Boston, Rarin who has a background in accounting and marketing, took responsibility for creating flavors, while Natee, whose background was in engineering, turned their imagination into tangible formulas using his skill in Excel. Once they returned home, however, Rarin and Natee discovered that things wouldn’t come so easy. "Our first flavor was Don't Give Up No.18. Natee and I went through all the milk and cream in the market to produce our own ice cream and it was with the 18th trial that we came closest to what w
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Latest bars review
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Room at Decanter
Since its onset at the The St. Regis Bangkok five years ago, Decanter has never failed to top the list of Bangkok’s best wine lounges, thanks to its luxurious décor, fancy lounge vibe, impressive wine list and sophisticated crowd. So expect great things when it decides to join hands with Diageo, the parent company of the Johnnie Walker family. One third of Decanter’s wining space has been transformed into the swanky Johnnie Walker Blue Label Room—Bangkok is the XXth city in Asia to host a room of its kind. The design tends to celebrate the long-running history of both Johnnie Walker and The St. Regis Hotel, presenting a lavish art-deco motif with the use of brass, glass and leather. Available at the Blue Label Room is a selection of upscale whisky from Johnnie Walker, starting from Platinum Label and Gold Label Reserves to the uber-luxurious John Walker & Sons whisky selections. You can also enjoy a range of whisky cocktails (from B380) created specially for the venue. Decanter, naturally, retains its extensive wine list, which includes rare labels from Spain. The drinking lounge also features Asia’s first Johnnie Walker Private Cabinet, available exclusively for House of Walker members. The price of membership? Packages starts from B60,000 for six months to B435,000 for three years. For more details, log on to timeout.com/bangkok.
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Backstage Cocktails Bar
This cozy bar on the lobby level of Playhaus Thonglor Boutique Hotel was known as Behind the Scene Lounge & Bar before it was given a revamp by six of Bangkok’s leading bartenders—Anakin “Ton” Wongsala, Chennarong “Janz” Bhumichitr, Kitibordee “Gov” Chortubtim, Ronnaporn “Neung” Kanivichaporn, Supawit “Palm” Muttarattana and Watcharapong “Bank” Suriyaphan—earlier this year. The entire venue is decorated after four famous stage plays including Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the Rattanakosin-era epic See Pan Din. At the entrance, heavy, wine-colored, velvet curtains open up to Louise XIV sofas, lit-up mirrors and a chilled-out vibe. “There’s nothing serious behind the curtain except for cocktails,” quips one of Backstage’s celebrity mixologists. Grab a seat around the bar and try one of the many signature cocktails. The Dead Poet Martini (B340), for one, gives an elegant twist to the classic gin martini by mixing saffron-infused gin, Martini dry vermouth and Licor 43 vanilla liqueur, while negroni fans can go for Earthbeet (B390), a complex and earthy mix that combines beetroot-infused tequila with Alipus mezcal, Mancino Rosso vermouth, Campari and Cynar artichoke liqueur. For something refreshing, try Lucky 13 (B360), a bubbly drink with Ricola-infused Ketel One vodka, fernet branca, peach liqueur, lime, kaffir lime leaves, honey and soda. Or make your own signature drink by picking your favorite poison and letting the barman work his magic.
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Q&A with Kumamon
Kumamon is not the first city mascot we’ve met, but the black cuddly bear happens to be the funniest. The character was created in 2010 to represent a campaign that was aimed at drawing tourists to the Kyushu region following the opening of a high-speed train line. This black bear with cherry-red cheeks later became one of Japan’s most famous characters, subsequently attracting more tourists, particularly from overseas, to travel in Kumamoto prefecture. Following the devastating earthquake in Kumamoto a few months ago, Kumamon, actually a civil servantreporting directly to the governor, is now working hard to re-assure tourists that it’s now safe to return to Kumamoto and its neighboring cities. Time Out Bangkok had a chance to sit down for a quick chat with the playful bear. What do you eat to keep you so energized?Kumamoto is famous for fresh agricultural products: melon, strawberries, and so many other fruits. These are what I enjoy eating. What is Kumamoto cuisine famous for?Horse meat! Kumamoto horse meat is the best. What awesome things can we do in Kumamoto?Rent a car and drive around the prefecture to get different perspectives of Kumamoto. Fruit picking, for example, a fun activity. You shouldn’t miss the Yamaga Toro Matsuri dance and firework festival in August. It’s when thousands of dancers in yukata costumes perform traditional dances underneath amazing fireworks! There are so many onsen sites in Kumamoto. Which ones would you recommend visiting if w
Woody Milintachinda on the old Woody, the new Woody and what he's learned during the past few years
I’m really nervous because you’re Woody!Please don’t say that. Because once you say that, I feel so old. Once you reach thirty-something and people say they get excited around you, it’s both good and bad. It’s good because I feel like I mean something to them, which is great, and I love them for that. But it also feels like I’ve been here for a long time. I feel like an institution, which is really okay, but sometimes they compare me to wines of the eighties. (laughs) I feel honored, but at the same time, I can’t get over the fact that I feel a bit, you know, old. But you always look the sameBecause I have great doctors and great people taking care of my face. Don’t get me wrong now. I don’t like to do anything with my face, but I’m forced to by my three assistants. But isn’t it essential in this business? You looks do matter.It is. When I look in the mirror, I can tell whether I’m okay-looking or not-okay-looking. But I have so many things to do each day. I think my face is the last thing that I think of. I tried to do [medical treatment] every six months. To me, laser treatment is the best thing that’s ever happened. I never thought that I would be able to handle the pain, but once I realize that the pain is good, I started to smile. During an old interview you mentioned that you didn’t like looking at yourself in the mirror. Why?I gave that interview a few years back. At that time, I wasn’t okay with my skin. I wasn’t okay with who I was. I looked in the mirror and
Expats We Love
We sit and talk with expats we love about Thailand they love.
Q&A with Jamie Bissionnette
Why Spanish?My partner, Ken, and I are American- born and we started cooking classic French food. And we both were traveling independently to different parts of the world, when we were in Spain, working with Spanish chef we fell in love with the culture, we fell in love with that style of food and that style of eating. So it’s just natural progression for us to start cooking Spanish food. What the main differences between Spanish and other kind of food?Spanish food is packed with flavors. And they do small portion, the whole model is eat a little bit often. So American is about getting appetizer and a big entrée, but in Spain, it’s about a little of this, a little of that, so you get to try more variety. And what’s awesome about Spanish food is indicative of the culture that it’s around. Spanish chef coming to America isn’t going to look for just Spanish ingredients, they;re going to cook with all fresh ingredients around them. So it makes it lean itself really well to adding any kinds of flavors together, which is why we’re really excited tobe in Bangkok. I’ve heard a story that before becoming a chef, you were a vegetarian?I was a vegetarian, and vegan, for a long time. And that’s probably why I was a chef because in the early 1990s in the States, being a vegetarian was difficult. My mother would not cook for me. School lunches are not vegetarian. I loved food, so it was only natural that I started cooking at home and me watched Jacques Pépin and cooking show on PBS. I
Where to stay in Bangkok
One of the franchise of the well-known W Hotel, W Bangkok integrated Thai Culture with Western style beautifully throughout the hotel and its facilities. A Boxing ring is used to separate the VIP zone at Woobar. The elevator is decorated colorfully inspired by the light of Tuk Tuk. Hanuman, from Thai myth, welcomes all the guest in front of SWEAT fitness. Not to mention their exquisite service, W retains their concept of Whatever/Whenever to keep all customer pleased.
Sala Arun is hiding in a corner of the old community of Ta Tien. This small boutique hotel offers the stunning view right across the beautiful Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn. You can also make the most of the view by enjoying their custom cocktails from the sun rise to the sunset.
The restaurant has everything from familiar menus such as Nam Prik Long Rua serving together with vegetables, Thai omlette and bitter melon soup with minced pork. The others are quite rare to see in normal Thai restaurant. The best bet would be Pla Haeng Tangmo, diced watermelon with crispy little fish is perfect for summer while Kanom Pa Pai, the rare Thai dessert making of green beans is so yummy that 5 pieces are barely enough. Here also serves monthly special menu as Khao Chae in April. We’re still waiting for the new menu in May but we are so ready for this mysterious dish.
Silom Art Hostel
Silom Art Hostel changes your mind about all hostels being “risky, too public and dissatisfying.” Giving off the vibe of a boutique hotel, this colorful, unique four-story building was decorated by an experienced architect who plays a big role in designing many of the city’s upscale hotels. Here, the desire and imagination inspired by Bangkok is reflected in every little detail. The mezzanine features a cozy TV room and a small sized business center, as well as a comfy-looking hammock. Different types of rooms are available: shared rooms and bathrooms, ensuite rooms with twin beds or king-sized beds. The fourth floor houses the women’s dormitory, which requires a keycard to enter. Ladies don’t have to worry about security anymore.