You probably don’t need us to tell you this, but before we do the intro into February and engage in the talk of the town that surrounds PM 2.5, Coronavirus, and Love (not really a health hazard but you get the gist), we’d like to highlight one fabulous feat: alcohol kills bacteria. 

And whilst we don’t want to be buzzkills to love birds, we’re revelling in the fact that it’s all the more reason to check out the amazing new bars and hot openings we have lined up for February, between a Chinese medicine-inspired speakeasy and a snazzy new wine bar. The list is short this month, given that Bangkokians and travellers alike are staying in rather than going out, but that does not make it any less sweet. Stay safe out there, order only the best drinks, and see you at the bars. 

[Featured credit: Mia Restaurant; Hero image credit: KONKORD]

Where to drink Bangkok February: KONKORD

KONKORD

Granted, we first reported on this one back in December, when rumours surrounding its opening were taking up the bar-hoppers-sphere. Now we can self attest that KONKORD is open, and just as vibey as it promised to be. Founder of Sugarray You’ve Just Been Poisoned, Q&A, Thaipioka, Sugarray Apartment, and Alone Together Turk Sa-Nguankun joins forces with Tropic City’s beloved Sebastian De La Cruz and Philip Stefanescu to present a modern retro bar. KONKORD puts equal focus on both cocktails and music, with the latter showcasing a variety of international, regional, and local influences. We love the seductive, intimate club feel, and the cocktails that may seem unsuspecting (and are also charmingly named after songs), but can really get you into a trance. Go for the Poetic Justice (THB 390), a spirit-forward cocktail made with pear-infused whisky, absinthe, raspberry cordial, and chocolate bitters. You can drop us a line and a tune of thanks later.

KONKORD, 18 Soi Sukhumvit 11, Watthana, Bangkok, +66 64 709 9817; Open daily 7pm-2am. 

Where to drink Bangkok February: Philtration

Philtration

Who said cocktails couldn’t make you smarter, skinnier, and more sophisticated? Not Philtration. The hottest speakeasy about town this month, Philtration opened in the secret basement of a century-old Chinese medicine house, and brings a beautiful tribute to its heritage in an inspired cocktail list. Behind the bar is none other than Bangkok’s infamous Shavinraj ‘The Fairy Godfather’ Gopinath, who serves up an array of cocktails each influenced by the medicinal herb history of the house. Go for the rum-based Sam Kok (THB 380), said to relax your mind, help with digestion, and reduce chances of Alzheimer’s disease; or karate-chop yourself in the feels with the Moh Meetini (THB 400), a fragrant gin-based cocktail that packs a real kick and punch. An oriental apothecary bar in the heart of Siam: just what the doctor prescribed this month. 

Philtration, 2 Kasemsan 3 Alley, Pathum Wan, Bangkok, +66 92 282 9005; Open Tues-Sun 7pm-2am. 

May Rai

There is something about May Rai that has a real throwback vibe to when Gaggan’s Wet opened, except not entirely. The brainchild of Le Du’s notorious Chef Thitid ‘Ton’ and his brother Chaisiri ‘Tam’ Tassanakajohn, May Rai opens as a cross between a pad thai restaurant and a natural wine bar. We love the highly ‘grammable sign that reads ‘ONLY KIDS DRINK MILK’, along with an overall cheeky vibe. The bar bites are a modern twist on Thai street food favourites, perfectly complemented by a varied wine selection, and our personal favourite of homemade medicinal ya dong. As for the name? It stems from the classic Thai and translates loosely to ‘liquor’, which is very apt given the bar’s location in the historic Rattanakosin area. Rumour has it, Chef Ton will soon open another restaurant just above May Rai. Looks like it’s time to head to the Old Town. 

Mayrai Pad Thai & Wine Bar, 22 Maha Rat Rd., Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, +66 81 432 4050; Open Wed-Mon 12pm-12am. 

Guest Shifts

Legacy to Legacy at Vesper

When: Wednesday 5 February 2020, 8pm-12.30am

Not that you really needed an excuse to head to Vesper on a casual Wednesday night. But we’ll give you one reason — nay, three — anyway. Gathering all Bacardi Legacy Thailand Finalists, three noted bartenders from three noted Bangkok bars will be serving up their signature Bacardi Legacy cocktail. It’s Kenny from Vesper from 8pm-9.30pm, then Ann from Cielo Sky Bar from 9.30pm-11pm, and Pok from #FindTheLockerRoom from 11pm-12am. In addition, for every drink ordered, THB 30 will be donated to the Thai Red Cross Society. Say ‘cheers’ for a good cause, then, really. 

Vesper, 10/15 Convent Rd., Silom, Bangkok, +66 90 512 4111. 

Hektor at Smalls

When: Friday 7 February 2020, 9pm-12am

Born in Cuba and raised in the Dominican Republic, there could hardly be anyone more fitting for a guest shift to celebrate rum. For one night only, Smalls is inviting connoisseurs and amateurs alike for a guest shift by Hektor Monroy, Regional Director of Matusalem Rum. Latin passion and award-winning mixology packed into one night: you know it’s always a good night when it’s a night out at Smalls. 

Smalls, 186/3 Suan Phlu Soi 1, Bangkok, +66 95 736 2804. 

Mia Restaurant

Francesco Moretti at Mia

When: Thursday 13 February 2020, 7pm-12am

Francesco Moretti is getting behind the bar at Mia Restaurant this month. The Perrier Asia Brand Ambassador and former bar manager at Shanghai’s Bar Rouge, Bangkok’s J.Boroski, Revolucion Cocktail, Paste, and Vogue Lounge, will be bringing flavourful creations to the cosy and intimate ambience we know and love Mia for. A wonderful Thursday evening tipple pre- or post- dinner. 

Mia Restaurant, 30 Soi Attakavee, Sukhhumvit 26 Alley, Khlong Toei, Bangkok, +66 89 892 4345.

Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.