The Speakeasy Bar at Muse Hotel is attempting to conjure up the folklore surrounding the history and culture of the illegal bars that operated during 1920′s prohibition in America.
There may not be any gangsters brandishing tommy guns, Al Capone aka Scarface or bootlegging babes at Speakeasy, but there is an extensive list of American whiskeys, secret doors, swing and jazz music on the radio and private cigar lounges that summon a certain nostalgia of a bygone era. The point is that Speakeasies are cool as boobs and that says a lot since boobs are pretty cool, so the question remains, can an the modern day Speakeasy in Bangkok live up to the iconic history it is attempting to emulate? Let’s find out.
The drinks: “There are numerous things I have done in Bangkok that I’m proud of“, says Johan Per Simon Davidson, the mixologist and marketing director of Speakeasy. If we had a million dollars every time we have muttered those words we would be homeless. In the case of Johan, he is proud of his accomplishments behind the bar and for being at the forefront of the progressive cocktail scene in BKK, including the resurrection of Nest. The Speakeasy Bar acts as both inspiration and canvas for Johan and he has tackled the drink list with fever and passion. Case in point, the classics are done right here with our Manhattan (whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters) having a nice blend of potency and drink-ability. The only complaint is that it was served in a cocktailglass rather than an old fashioned lowball glass. If you are going for the Speakeasy vibe then presentation is everything – perhaps others won’t be as picky. Other classic winners are the Old Fashion (bourbon whisky,dissolved sugar, bitters and a twist of citrus) and the Sazerac (Jack Daniels, absinthe and bitters), which was angelic in its simple execution. Johan wanted to keep the next drink a surprise, but we typical ignore any advice, laws or requests. Speakeasy will be releasing a serious of ‘Party Drinks’ that come in sizes small, medium and large. We were fortunate to sample the medium Mojito (white rum, mint leaves, sugar, lime juice and soda) all served in a 2-litter ‘sh*t, Im going to hate my life tomorrow morning’ vase (pictured). We found it fun and awkward to consume such drink and hope that this goofy trend of oversized booze bombs becomes as popular as wine bars in BKK.
The food: Internationals nibbles that are meant for sharing. We sampled the seared tuna with sesame seeds drizzled with a light cream sauce and the tuna tartar with avocado in sesame dressing. Both were delicious. Other solid offerings are grilled lamb kabobs, pan-fried scallops and wage beef burgers. All were enjoyable and tasty, but not exactly remarkable. If you are looking for a more substantial meal then visit Medici, located in the basement of the hotel before coming to the bar.
The vibe: Perched on the 24th floor of Hotel Muse, the Speakeasy bar is classy and laid back, but a little cramped for our tastes. Management understands this and that is why they recently opened up the rooftop portion of the bar (access hidden behind a painting left of hostess stand), which is a more refined version of Nest. Open air, plush couches resting on artificial grass, candle light and DJs spinning low-key house music create an air of sophistication and relaxation. We are hoping the rooftop portion catches on as it could make for an enjoyable pre-party spot once there is a decent crowd. There is also several intimate cigar rooms that offer a nice alternative to the scams one will find at Club Perdomo or hotel smoking rooms.
The people: When we visited there were two insanely hot Thai girls playing with their iPhones and therefore the rest of the crowd was a blurry haze of inanimate objects.
Speakeasy at Hotel Muse is still finding its identity, but we think they are on the right track.
The Speakeasy at Hotel Muse
Location: The Speakeasy, 24-25/F, Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan, 55/555 Lang Suan, Bangkok, Thailand
Mass Transit: BTS Chit Lom
Hours: 18:00- 1:00 Daily