For first-timers, the experience of discovering this hidden gem in the Old Town can be quite spine-tingling. In a small alley by Brown Sugar jazz bar is an abandoned-looking building that sits behind a spirit house (it’s an ideal setting for a Thai horror film). A heavy gate leads to a spooky stairway that climbs up to a third floor. Slide open the wood-paneled door and the chilling journey immediately ends. The room beyond is as relaxing and as welcoming as it gets.
Ku is the brainchild of Anupas “Kong” Premanuwat (an alum of famous NYC speakeasy Angel’s Share and a pupil of the barmaster Shingo Gokan) and Elaine Sun, a former barista and a wine enthusiast. This hidden den strikes a charming balance between comfort and mystery. The bar is topped with a clean white marble surface and is decorated with only a few bottles on display. Dim lighting emitting from the corners complement the eerie glow cast by a light installation.
The concoctions are simply named after local ingredients, some of which are found at the nearby old markets. Kunchai/Melon (B350) manifests an interplay between savory, tart and sweet notes with a mix of tequila, juice from Chinese celery and honeydew, Tabasco sauce and absinthe spray. The classic Adonis cocktail is given an elegant touch and transformed into Rose (Fino sherry, rose-infused vermouth and rose water, B360). A decadent chocolate drink is upgraded into a libation with the combination of banana-infused liquor, Fernet Branca, sweet vermouth and Abbott’s Bitters (B380). The drink is served in a glass rimmed with nutmeg, cinnamon and cocoa powders.
The bar also offers a selection of natural wine (starting from B320/glass). It is worth noting that the bar strictly follows a no-standing policy. Advanced reservations are recommended.