The crowd-pleasing, wallet-friendly, laid-back rooftop you’ve been missing
The ever revolving door of new Bangkok bars turns yet again, this time revealing the type of bar locals have been pining for—an affordable rooftop bar. Aire Bar is situated on the 28th floor of the new Hyatt Place Sukhumvit Bangkok, and the hotel is hoping to carve out a market share catering to both locals and the self-reliant traveller.
“Self-reliant”, it turns out, is industry speak for budget travellers who crave creature comforts and style, and this open-air, dual terrace watering hole is just that. Speedy elevators whisk libation seekers to the breezy, industrial-style rooftop space where wicker chairs belly up to a bar with ace views of Benjasiri Park. The laid-back décor feels more like lounging at a friend’s condo rooftop than an ostentatious sky bar, and the easy-going attitude means no dress code or picky door attendant to impress. The pièce de résistance, however, is that none of the six signature cocktails cost more than B280.
Aussie transplant Nick Braun, who most recently added Chinatown’s Asia Today to his well-known resume, crafted the multi-step cocktails and trained the staff as well. His take on a Moscow mule is the Suffering Bastard (B280), which combines locally produced Grandma Jinn’s gin and Rebel Yell bourbon with ginger beer, lime, and aromatic bitters. It is equal parts sweet and balanced and, naturally, served in a copper mug.
The cheekily named Rye on Time (B280) is the most spirit-forward choice on the menu and combines Rebel Yell rye, Bianco vermouth, grapefruit, honey, thyme, and orange bitters. Together the ingredients hit the perfect notes of citrus and smooth-drinking liquor with artful (aka: Instagrammable) presentation to boot. For something on the fresher side, the raspberry-based Sazzle (B280) mixes Broker’s Gin and JJ Whitley vodka with lime, sugar, and soda water, while kaffir lime leaf offsets the sweetness.
Dozens of wines on Aire Bar’s list start at B1,000, and craft beer imports like Little Creatures (B280) round out the drinks menu. Those bang-for-your-baht deals and bar’s über-chilled vibe should pique your interest and lure you to Phrom Phong, but if you need a bit more goading then swing by on Sunday afternoon when the bar opens at 3pm—making it the perfect post-brunch spot to sober up or keep the devilment going.
To sop up the booze, order some of the bar’s generously portioned Western small plates, like the towering bowl of black and green olives (B320) combined with semi-sundried tomatoes, large hunks of feta, and slices of fresh rye bread. During our visit a few kitchen specialties were unfortunately unavailable, but the rest of the newly-opened operation ran without hiccups and the service was smooth. And we’ll be back soon for the promise of menu additions like the insanely addictive cheeses from Vivin, and pizza pies delivered from neighbouring La Piazza.
By Ashley Niedringhaus
28F, Hyatt Place Sukhumvit Bangkok
22/5, Sukhumvit Soi 24
Open: Mon-Thu, 5pm-midnight; Fri-Sat,
5pm-1am; Sun, 3pm-11pm