Liquid luxury taken to another level
Last year, we witnessed what might have been the dawn of a surreal new trend, when two bars backed by single champagne brands opened on the rooftops of upscale hotels—luxury taken to new heights, if you will. Who knows if more ever were on the way? There aren’t many spots available 60 floors up, and the concept was sort of teetering on the brink of faddishness anyway. One of the two, CRU Champagne Bar, confronted the latter dilemma, though, finding creative ways to be something more than a champagne or rooftop bar alone.
CRU, a G.H. Mumm Bar, stands at the summit of Centara Grand at CentralWorld hotel. This open platform clearly had a lot of unrealized potential before it was renovated to fit a private deck, dozens of tables, and a circle-shaped showpiece bar. The whole space can seat 70, and when the weather is pleasant or party season is upon us, it’s easy to picture CRU packed. To be fair, every rooftop bar gets crowds for sundowners, not unlike street stalls at lunch hour. But CRU’s almost beach club-like vibe gives it a more enduring appeal.
The soundtrack tilts toward the style of house music often associated with lapping waves and starry skies. Never mind that stars never appear above Bangkok—the music has a sedative effect. Enhancing this feat are the cocktails. Many incorporate G.H. Mumm champagne, like the easy-drinking, beach-worthy Grand Jardin 59 (B899), a blend of Havana 7 rum, pink guava juice, sugarcane juice, and bubbly. It’s served in a basket with a bouquet of lavender, lending it a floral aroma (over-the-top presentation is the standard here). The Matador (B550) also features champagne, which leavens what is otherwise a margarita—Olmeca tequila, Cointreau, lime, and fresh pineapple juice—but let the ice melt a bit to cut the tartness. For a more overtly tropical taste, there’s the Alchemist Punch (B899), a mojito-like concoction (sans champagne) served in a fierce-faced little tiki cup hand-carved from Balinese wood.
Tapas provide a nice foil to the cocktails. It’s hard to beat an order of fresh Kumamoto Oysters (B799), or smoked Balik Salmon (B265), but the excellent Wagyu and Foie Gras (B1,150) steals the show.
Champagne isn’t limited to mixed drinks, either (…obviously). CRU stocks a great selection of bubbles, including G.H. Mumm No1 Pink, a pleasant rosé with a sweet, dry finish made from a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. This champagne, exclusive to CRU, makes for a special treat at sunset—at B899 a glass and B5,400 a bottle, make that very special—or even after that. The hotel’s trademark arches slowly shift colours long into the night, the light display kind of like its own self-perpetuating sunset, so there’s never any reason to rush.
By Craig Sauers
59F, Centara Grand at CentralWorld | 999/99 Rama 1 Rd.
Tel: 02 100 1234
Open daily: 5pm-1am