Roar in the New Year, tigers, at these very Chinese joints

Hey all you cool cats and kittens,

Chinatown may be quieter than usual for a second year in a row, but that’s no excuse not to slip on some vermillion and celebrate the Year of the Tiger.

Though the usual festivities have been canceled once again due to the pandemic, Bangkok has many bars and restaurants to soak up that vintage Chinoise style. Here are a few.

Ba Hao

Photo: Ba Hao

Hear traditional Chinese music tonight at Soi Nana bar Ba Hao, which is also serving Heng Heng Heng Pudding, a special dessert made from oranges “as a tribute to the fruit’s auspicious reverence in Chinese culture.” The dish is soft and sweet with a hint of sourness. A Guzheng (plucked zither) performance will run from 5pm to 6pm followed by jazz duo Donny & Faii from 7pm to 8:30pm.

Double Dogs Tea Room

Tea culture remains big for the Chinese diaspora, and some of the finest are poured in its historical epicenter on Yaowarat Road at Double Dogs Tea Room. It’s open 1pm to 10pm.

Opium Bar
Opium Bar. Photos: Coconuts Bangkok

Gold foil orchids dance across the black lacquer walls of Opium Bar, where a deep menu of cocktails are served in smoking-den chic. The bar is located on the fourth floor of a century-old building that once operated as a Thai-Chinese pharmacy. The same location is also run as chef Pitchaya “Pam” Utarntham’s fine-diner Potong.

Honest Mistake
Photo: Honest Mistake Bar

This watering hole inside the Ari neighborhood is hidden in plain sight. Honest Mistake hearkens back to 1930s-1940s Shanghai. Its red neon-lit bar is surrounded by plush chairs with a vintage mahjong table anchoring the room. The cocktail bar is inside the Aqua lifestyle shopping mall on Phahonyothin Road and can be reached by foot from either BTS Saphan Kwai or Ari.

Ninetails Bar & Booster
Photo: Ninetails Bar & Booster

Red lanterns, neon and patterned tile await in the Lat Phrao area at Ninetails Bar & Booster. This two-story shophouse sits opposite Union Mall and serves cocktails laden with plum, tea and chrysanthemum alongside Chinese-inspired bar snacks. Live music is offered with some Chinese stylings.

Yao Restaurant & Rooftop Bar
Photo: Yao Restaurant & Rooftop Bar

Situated on the 32nd floor of Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse, this rooftop bar offers impressive panoramic views of the Chao Phraya River and the city’s old town. Go there for some Chinese bites and Chinese-influenced cocktails.

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