Two Thai actresses sit at a corner table. Soft citrine light illuminates their pale faces. They’re slim, made-up, beautiful, and famous, the kind of girls you might expect to find at a place like this. They share a plate of charcuterie, the cold, spiced meat matched with short pours of a Rhone Valley red. When dry, a waiter comes around with two glasses of a sweet white wine siphoned from a bottle that stands tall and regal inside a temperature-controlled chamber. The Glass: wine on tap — wine when you want it, how you want it, and where you want it.
When the wine bug bit Bangkok, speciality venues came into the fold, offering well-priced glasses and bottles, pairing them with urbane foreign food. The Glass, a sleek new establishment in Ekamai, fits into this preconfigured niche as a barbistro, where the city’s nouveau riche and cosmopolites mingle over good food and drink. The experience, however, is modified. The menu of French classics includes suggested pairings — wines in 3cl, 6cl, and 12cl measures, decanted from one of 36 bottles on a special tap constructed in the centre of the room — letting amateurs and connoisseurs travel as far into French territory as they wish.
The aforementioned cold cut platter (B690/B990 with two glasses of wine) is a standard partner for wine. Here, it offers a soft landing for novices and a palate perk for oenophiles. Most will move on to a starter, like foie gras terrine (B490), which is made in-house, and pair it with a Riesling, contrasting the rich, off-pink pâté while gradually turning up the intensity of the spirit. Frog legs sautéed with garlic, parsley, and butter (B590) is an adventure for some, a fond memory for others. In any case, the legs are done right. Though the size of a ring finger, each contains a wave of juices that releases when bitten; cracked black pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt marry the flavours. The taupe chicken wing-sized legs come with a circle of warm tomato compote that unites the plate. It’s a partner-in-waiting for dry red wine. Duck confit salardaise (B490) achieves the same effect, reinforcing the flavours of Gascony with succulent fried fowl and wafer-thin potatoes cooked in duck fact and garlic.
But, like the young actresses, not everyone is a wine expert or familiar with French cuisine. That’s where The Glass shines. Guests can pick from a collection of wines they may have thought they would never taste. Owner Luc Busin has plans to provide a member card that, like the ever-present Rabbit Card, can be topped up and used at leisure. Those who have never tried a Corton-Charlemagne, for example, can revel in an exquisite 3cl pour with the mere swipe of a card, no doubt bragging to friends about the experience later. The kitchen coheres to the manifesto, as well. Even at dessert, a glass of Busin’s own rosé champagne pairs with thin, folded crêpes covered in Cointreau and orange sauce (B250), the combination itself a selfselected education of France.
The Glass Bangkok
8/8 Civic Horizon, Sukhumvit Soi 63 | 0 2108 8982 | theglassbangkok.co.th| Sun-Thurs 11.30am-10.30pm, Fri-Sat 11.30am-11pm
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