A new wine bar has opened in Bangkok, and it is the brainchild of none other than the city’s culinary royalty, Chef Gaggan Anand. Wet is the maverick chef’s last and latest venture in Thailand, before he shifts base to Japan next year.
Located in a tranquil yet wildly trendy corner on Soi Langsuan – between Gaggan and Gaa, no less. Of course, the venture should come as no serious surprise, as anyone who has ever eaten at the endlessly award-winning restaurant will know that the carefully selected wines from in-house sommelier extraordinaire Vladimir Kojic have long been paramount to the Gaggan experience. For their special collab, expect an impressive wine list, unusual bar snacks, and an atmosphere that moodily and broodily brings it all together with great allure. As a natural wine revolution quietly begins to take over Bangkok’s bar scene, Wet is at its neon-lit forefront in a sexy and deeply sip-worthy style.
There are very few wine bars that can claim a make-belief bathroom as the entrance to their venue; and even if so, it is seldom that it’ll come across as so deeply Instagrammable as at Wet. Guests to the bar will enter past an Asian squat toilet and a few snazzy scribbles on the ceramic tiled walls around it, before being welcomed by the warm embrace of a cosy and dimly lit interior.
Exposed brick and neon signs up the ante for a sensuous ambience with cheeky phrases like ‘Grape Juice Only’ written above the bar, and ‘Don’t Get Wet’ hoisted above the upstairs seating area. Over two floors inside what appears to look like a homey hideout, the set-up at Wet is extremely comfortable, and entirely unpretentious. The music sets a tantalising tone, with a playlist that ranges from smooth hip hop to catchy chill-out classics, all of which pair intriguingly well with the wines. Crowd-wise, think a mix of local cool cats as well as pre- and post- Gaggan dinner guests, all of whom seek a great sip in seeming incognito.
The wine list at Wet is ever-changing, and features mostly natural wines from the European (and largely Eastern European) region. It is a lengthy and extremely well-assembled one, and prides itself in offering only raw, natural, organic, and biodynamic wines. A quote by Jules Chauvet on the first page of the menu reads, “A fair wine must look where it comes from, the year it comes from, and have the guts of the person who made it.” And indeed, on speaking to Bar Manager Milan on our visit, it is clear that each bottle here has a story – and the staff will be able to recount it to you with great passion, too.
Wet prides itself in knowing each of their winemakers, carefully selecting a great variety of wines from independent wineries. Don’t expect your average Sauvignon or Merlot here, but rather dabble in more unique and nuanced options, like a fine Austrian Meinklang or Glück, a bubbly Alsatian Domaine Christian Binner Extra Brut, or the sweetly-named Czech Miky-Mauz. Wet makes natural wines really fun to explore, really educational to talk about, and really fulfilling and easy to drink – something that also makes the slightly hefty price tags feel a bit more apt.
Whilst wine is definitely the shining star at Wet, it is highly advisable to sample a bite or two alongside your sips, even if just to experience a bar snack with a progressive Indian twist. The menu delivers in both freaky item names and freakishly good flavour, delivering many classic Gaggan favourites at unusually affordable levels. We love the ‘Prawnstar’ tamarind and black pepper prawns as well as the ‘Sexually Charged Crab Pasta’ for great alternatives to the classic cheese and charcuterie boards. For bigger appetites, definitely try one of the curries for a casual curry house bite that delivers in fine dining finesse without the fuss. Dessert-wise, the ‘Scream for Cream’ ice cream sandwich is also an extremely noteworthy signature.
Despite having a famous godfather, it is refreshing to see that Wet is truly holding its own as a home for top-quality wines in a tranquil environment. You need not be a connoisseur (though you’ll be in a sipping utopia if you are) to enjoy a glass or seven here, and you need not be intimidated or overwhelmed by the selection. Wet spells ‘vibes’ with a capital V, balancing high standards with teasing playfulness. Many of the smaller details are incredibly tongue-in-cheek, yet are executed so tastefully that it appears addictive to re-visit rather than aversive to check out. Not just a stop along the way to the Michelin-starred haunts nearby, but a destination entirely worth visiting on its own, Wet is definitely and deliciously deserving of its hot hype.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 4.30pm – 2am
Price: Wines at approx. Rs. 900/glass, Food at approx. Rs. 1,000/dish
Noise Level: Lively and alluring; a perfect balance between bobbing heads to the soundtrack and having intimate conversations between the bean bags
Service: Attentive and knowledgeable
Wet, 68/9 Soi Langsuan, Phloen Chit Rd., Bangkok, +66 62 117 2835