It’s the Holy Grail of the hospitality industry: the upmarket gastrobar where people are just as likely to come for the cocktails as for a three-course meal. The appeal is obvious – Gossip taps into the twin markets of diners and drinkers; when the pitch works and outlets like this stick around, the spend-per-head skyrockets accordingly.
Often, though, one of the elements isn’t quite there. Either the food is right and the cocktails lacking, or vice versa, i.e. bar-driven without sufficient attention paid to the food. With that in mind, it should be said that Gossip does an admirable job of walking the tightrope. The cocktails are excellent, tapping into a broad base of ingredients and using them to riff effectively on familiar staples. The food, which could broadly be described as modern Mediterranean, is also top-drawer.
With a big, inviting bar on the ground floor and an attractive, warmly lit dining room upstairs, there’s definitely room for both but, at the moment, Gossip probably undersells its excellent food in favour of promoting a lounge bar atmosphere.
Among the drinks, The West Cobbler (B280) combines Jamaican rum, grapefruit liqueur, Campari and agave syrup to refreshing effect. It’s like a tarter, punchier Mojito and an impressive statement of intent. Also try a Speech Club (B300), which takes a gin base and adds apricot brandy and Martini Blanco before finishing with honey and bitters. It’s good stuff and ensures that Gossip is at home among the upper echelon of Thong Lor’s cocktail bars.
But it’s the food that suggests real potential. The shift to Mediterranean cuisine – Italian, mostly – is relatively recent and the execution is excellent; the slightly bland-looking menu really doesn’t do it justice and needs a design tweak. For example, the crab and quinoa salad (B310) is deliciously fresh with lighter notes of citrus and would not be out of place as a starter at a fine dining restaurant.
Equally, the spicy sausage penne (B320) sounds straightforward but it combines a home-cooked heartiness with an exquisite peppery aftertaste and herbal hints. In the same vein, the rosemary lamb (B750) presents a grilled Australian saddle in a red wine sauce seasoned to perfection.
Allowing for a slight adjustment of emphasis, the elements are certainly in place for Gossip to be one of the city’s more appealing gastrobars.
Gossip Gastro Bar
313 Thong Lor Soi 15 | 02-185-3093
gossip-bangkok.com | 4pm-1am