Somewhere behind the walls of a newly completed community mall Velaa Sindhorn Village sits the Crimson Room, the latest establishment by the same folks that brought Bangkok award-winning bars like Rabbit Hole and Liberation, as well as the one-Michelin starred restaurant Canvas. This time, they’ve left their Thonglor comfort zone for the upscale neighbourhood of Lang Suan, and gone all out with an Art Deco-styled cocktail theatre dedicated to the celebratory lifestyle of the 1920s.
It’s the same, post-WWI era in which The Great Gatsby is set, and Crimson Room is an attempt to recapture the giddy optimism in a period when no one knows what will happen the next day, but are revelling hard anyway. It comes as no surprise then, that the first pages of its elegant menu (so new we can smell the leather) is devoted to bubbles from artisanal French vineyards – champagne is the liquid of celebrations – and the lushly decorated interiors play host to a variety of musicians of the jazz and easy listening variety. DJs continue the party going past midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.
We took our seats at one of the best tables in the house, which are tiered for a better view of the stage and are excellent vantage points of the comings and goings of the bar. Comfortably seating six (eight will fit snugly), these marble tops come at a minimum spent of THB8,000 baht on weekdays and THB10,000 baht on weekends.
That’s not to say that the drinks are pricy; bottles of bubbles start from THB3,500 and glasses of wine are available from THB350 while their signature cocktails fall into the THB320 to THB380 range. Guests will find the spirits selection heavy on the gins and whiskies.
The cocktails are split into four sections relating to life on stage. Under the first – ‘Dim the Light’ – you’ll find Bee Pollen (THB380), served in a highly Instagrammable glass vessel shaped like a bird. A cocktail of Hendrick’s gin and yellow chartreuse with caramelised bee pollen and thyme syrup, the initial sip is sharply sour but it mellows out into a floral mid palate and bears a lovely hint of caramel in the tart finish. For example, Plum Crazy (THB 380) reuses the longan-infused with local plum cordial and falernum (a syrup liqueur not unlike a spicier version of orgeat). Shaken and pours over crushed ice in a highball glass, it’s refreshing without skimping on the complexity of the flavours that work incredibly well together.
Drinks on the menu page of ‘Raise the Curtain’ are more flamboyant and often sport more garnishes than cocktails in the other sections. Served in a transparent vessel shaped like a milk carton, it’s not surprise that the gin-based Orange Jasmine (THB380) is a twist on the clarified milk punch. What makes it worth trying is the addition of white malt, which adds tasty shades of toasted nuts and a creamier mouthfeel to balance the aroma of the orange blossom and date syrup.
The colourless Midnight Rose (THB380) certainly fits into the criteria of ‘Strike the Band’, where the cocktails are meant to be shocking, or at the very least, surprising. Served with no garnish in an elegant tall coupe glass, the robustness of the rose flavour in this take on the Vesper martini was certainly stunning. It might be too heavy and perfume-like for slow drinkers as the flavours get thicker when the cocktail gains in temperature.
There’s not much in the way of food here (plenty of dinner options in the community mall) but the table snacks of cheese, crackers, and cashew nuts are substantial enough for the peckish. They wash down well with Crimson Room’s selection of Aperitivo cocktails that are designed to kick your night off with a bang. Available 6pm-8pm, try the hair raising Absinth Highball (THB320) with Patron XO and soda or a classic Ramozz Gin Fizz (THB350).
Crimson Room is located at Velaa Sindhorn Village, 87 Langsuan Road, Bangkok, Thailand, p. +66 62 259 2525. Open Mon-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri-Sat 6pm-2am, Sun 6pm-1am.