Wareewan ‘Oil’ Yodkamol is the new star bartender at Bunker, where she calls–and pours–the shots
Since its opening, now over one year ago, Bunker has been a respected fixture on the Sathorn Soi 12 social scene. And while this three-storey resto is known to many for it’s fine dining flair and fare—contemporary American cuisine with innovative gourmet twists—an equal emphasis is put on the beverages. In fact, the cool concrete confines of the ground floor of Bunker is a very inviting spot in which to sit yourself down on any given evening and sample the curated cocktail list put together by Wareewan ‘Oil’ Yodkamol, the new resident barkeep.
Khun Oil has been calling—and pouring—the shots here since about mid-July, and her straightforward approach is reflected in a cocktail list that leans heavily towards the classics, but still finds room to include a few of Oil’s original creations. Her previous stints at Zuma, Vesper, and most recently Freebird, make for an impressive resume, and so one dark and stormy night in August I spent an evening zig-zagging through her menu, discovering some wonderful gems along the way.
I start with a classic Texas Mule (B320), a mix of Tito’s brand vodka, Fentiman’s ginger beer, mint, and lime. Served with plenty of ice, in a copper-coloured Tito’s metal mug, the soft-spoken bartendress informs me that it’s actually the only drink that survived from the old cocktail menu (proving she knows a good thing when she sees it). My companion, meanwhile, opts for the Bamboo (B300), which combines Amaro, an Italian herbal liqueur, with two types of vermouth—Carpano Dry, and Blanco. Served with a lemon twist it’s somewhat akin to a mild Negroni (Oil is a huge Negroni fan).
Next up I ask to try one of Oil’s more “signature” concoctions, and am rewarded with a Sail Away (B340), one of her ‘Rum & Tiki’ creations. It’s a refreshing mix of Plantation 3-star rum, spiced rum, citrus, and rice syrup, and the glass comes rimmed with crushed roasted rice—a nod to Thailand’s biggest export. My companion, meanwhile, is rewarded with an elegant R&R (B300), a frothy pink mix of gin, rosella and raisin, citrus, and egg white.
Finally, we explore the more “Americana” style offerings on Oil’s hit list. Her tart and tasty Tennessee Lemonade (B340) contains just a hint of Ole Smokey Moonshine—together with vodka, lemon drop and pandan syrup—and certainly packs a punch. The same can be said of her smooth but sturdy Matador (B320), which combines reposado tequila, pineapple, and agave syrup. Served with a flame-torched slice of candied lime, it was both my finale and my favourite.
DINNER WITH DRINKS
No trip to Bunker would be complete without ordering some of Chef Arnie Marcella’s amazing modern American specialties. And although the 2nd and 3rd floors here are where many guests choose to dine, full menu service is available for dining at the ground floor bar or the surrounding booths.
The flavours in Chef Arnie’s dishes draw upon many sources—American, European, Latin American and Asian—while the ingredients themselves are as local and sustainable as possible. Menu highlights include: Cured Foie Gras Torchon (B550), served on a small circular brioche with pistachio and lychee; Locally Grown (B375), a mix of seasonal vegetables that come to the restaurant courtesy of a specially hired “forager”; and Wagyu Beef and Beet Tartare (B450), a sumptuous starter served with tofu cream, shaved Parmesan, and bagel crisps. As for mains, the selections are as varied as they are colourful and beautifully plated. Finally, from the dessert menu don’t miss the Banana Rum Baba (B325), with spiced rum, puffed barley, and banana toffee ice cream.
Diners unable to decide can order one of Chef Arnie’s multi-course tasting menus, or opt for some of the gourmet bar snacks on offer, such as Eagle Rock oysters, confit duck croquettes, or customizable cheese plates. And don’t be shy about asking beverage consultant and sommelier Andreas Pergher for wine pairing suggestions.