They’ve closed the taps at your favorite watering hole. The food stalls at W District have gone dark. But you’re still in the mood for more.
There’s a new spot for unquenchable thirsts on Sukhumvit Road in the very happening Phra Khanong neighborhood just a few hundred meters from its BTS station.
Sitting opposite the entrance to W District, Stryke Bangkok opened a few weeks ago inside the shophouses which had housed kitschy after-hours bar Romancest. Now under a new owner, the venue offers live music, pub grub and exciting-looking cocktails.
“Phra Khanong is picking up a new wave,” said co-owner Tukai Mukherjee, a businessman from India who’s been in Thailand over a decade.
Stryke fills two floors. Revelers can find seats that matches their speed, either at a ground-floor table to enjoy a drink and live music, or upstairs to get lost in boozy conversation with friends. The third option is to pull a stool up to the chatty bartender and witness his fire-singed, cocktail-making process.
By 10pm on Friday night, customers filled most tables in front of the downstairs stage, jiggling to bluesy funky rock played by a band called Mr. Haze. Upstairs, two girlfriends checked out the bar for the first time and ordered a drink called Porn Star.
Leading the bar team is Twisook “Billy” Tunktonk, who said he could “talk all day and night about cocktails” (and then proceeded to prove this). Saying that he applies what he studied from molecular gastronomy to his cocktails, Billy’s drinks “break down” conventional cocktail construction by separating the components and adding everything from “layers, colors and new flavors.”
“You don’t only get drunk, but you’d know how you got drunk as well,” Billy said while gently placing a drink onto a white neon-lit disc, which is totally for Drinkstagramming.
It’s not quite a dive bar, as the upmarket cocktail prices attest to. But don’t worry: Those preferring a parade of basic beers will find them on the menu in the THB130-150 range.
From its long cocktail menu, Billy recommended his proud creations Stryke Out!!! (Sailor Jerry spiced rum, passion fruit, Red Bull, ginger ale and La Fee Bohemian absinth for THB380). Making the drink, Billy put on a set of goggles before warning his customers to “watch out” for the dramatic flair to unfold. He soon had flames and smoke rising from the sliced passion fruit atop the glass.
Other drinks to choose from are Happiness, (Roku the Japanese Craft Gin, elderflower syrup, fresh lemonade and cherry blossom for THB400), which comes in a tall glass over which Billy pours an overwhelming amount of dry ice to great dramatic effect. It certainly calls attentions from drinkers hungry for IG likes.
G&T drinkers can get their usual order or consider the Zodiac. Basically a mix of Hendrick’s Gin and tonic water, its hefty price of THB400 owes to its photogenic bubbling presentation in a glass tube that looks ripped from the mad scientist’s laboratory. The dancing red- and blue-colored edible beads are definitely a thing.
Stomachs in need of solid food to keep the party going are not out of luck as the bar has a kitchen serving Asian and Italian-style tapas such as Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese, Seafood Phad Thai and Massaman Lasagna. On the evening of this reporter’s hosted visit, we snapped a plate heavy with burger and fries being carried downstairs by head chef Kanitcha “Nam” Boonkhun as she walked past.
While music aficionados may be more likely to hit up Black Cabin just down Rama IV Road or even underground bar F Orange just around the corner, Stryke does offer live music most nights. The lineup includes in-house DJ Sadayu Jarernbundichai, soulful rock quartet Mr. Haze, singer Pissanu Chairoj (aka Nepal The Voice) and The Feel Good Band.
Stryke Bangkok is open every night until quite late near Soi Sukhumvit Plus 1 and can be reached by foot from BTS Phra Khanong.