Samui Wining & Dining
Cocktail Oasis

Imbibing becomes a work of art at Drink gallery

 

10-11A long sliver of sliced cucumber snaking up the inside of a tall glass, and suspended beads of jelly-like kiwi pieces are just the start of what you can find in the artfully constructed drinks at Drink Gallery. Dhasan Prabhananda, known as Golffy, is the man responsible. He’s the resident 'mixultant', a term that takes the art of mixology one step further to echo flexible creativity and an interactive element.

    The menu is divided up into evocatively named sections like, “The Crush – Smashed and Muddled”, and “The Serenade”, and each cocktail listing comes complete with a colourful photograph. There’s The Scarlet Note, a take on Sangria that incorporates Shiraz red wine, Appleton Estate V/X Rum, raspberries, pink grapefruit, home-made sultana syrup, citrus and a dash of Angostura Bitters. Or there’s Jarhead, a refreshing mojito-like concoction that brings together Stolichnaya Vodka, mint, lime, Granny Smith apples and New Zealand kiwi fruit.

    Every drink on the menu has been especially designed for Drink Gallery by Golffy, much like uniquely commissioned art. He got very creative with the ingredients too, so you’ll find elements that you might not expect to see in a cocktail, like elderflower and rosemary, for example. And some drinks have a story behind them too, Golffy explains. “I got the idea for my Ambrosial cocktail while eating lamb that was seasoned with rosemary, and served with a baked pear along with a glass of white wine. I thought to myself, these flavours go so well together, how can I transform them into a drink?” And so the Ambrosial was born. It uses many similar components to that fantastic meal, but comes in a delicious beverage form instead. The novel cocktail is made from vodka, home-made pear and rosemary purée, Granny Smith apples and citrus, topped with an elderflower and white apple wine espuma (espuma is a wonderfully moreish thick foam).

      So now you know about the drinks, but what about the bar itself? Well you’ll be happy to learn that it’s just as impressive. From the outside Drink Gallery looks like a giant glass box glowing orange from within. It really stands out from the rest of busy Chaweng Beach Road, like a calm and sophisticated oasis. The interior is thoroughly modern, but with classic touches here and there for a dose of luxury. Alongside exposed concrete walls and modern art are ornate crystal chandeliers. None of the tables and chairs match, which means each is unique and every seating area has a different feel to it.

       Whilst the cube-like structure comprises the indoor bar space, there is also a large open-air decked area, complete with boutique outlets including a specialist wine shop. On each of the tables are little orbs of warm light created by candles in tinted glass holders, and subtle lighting features are dotted around to further enhance the inviting effect. There are bar stools on a high table, dining tables and chairs, as well as cushioned loungers all alongside each other, which create a relaxed and comfortable ambience.

       But Drink Gallery is not just a bar – it serves some top-notch food too. The starters are all finger foods and perfect for sharing, like the Samui Rangoon, made from local seafood and cream cheese served with lemon-grass dipping sauce. And there are the cheddar and green onion biscuits with truffle clotted cream. It’s finger food, sure, but gourmet finger food.

      The cuisine is predominantly Western but with some Asian elements dotted about too. For a main course, the sea bass is a real winner – a juicy fillet of sea bass served with tiny mushrooms, squiggles of pasta and a rich lemon, dill and butter sauce. Or there’s the chicken dish – succulent chicken breast served with broccoli and supremely tasty mash, all drizzled in a flavoursome stock sauce.

      And then there are the desserts. The decadent chocolate tart stands out – it’s rich and gooey like all good desserts should be. And the thick toast drizzled in honey served with a ball of ice cream.

      Drink Gallery is part of suave ‘Design Hotel’, The Library. This hotel has been turning heads for all the right reasons with its unique concept and ultra-modern décor – it’s even rumoured to be a popular with celebrities. Drink Gallery is an extension of the aesthetic that The Library has become so renowned for.

      If you’re on Samui on the 16th of October then you’re in for a treat, because there’s going to be a concert at Drink Gallery on that day, when the acclaimed Karen Devroop Quartet Band will play. Drink Gallery’s Marketing Manager, Francis Gan, tells us about the band. “The Quartet's repertoire spans a very broad spectrum of styles and genres ranging from Bebop to Latin and contemporary Jazz to Mbaqanga. The group is comprised of Karen Devroop (Saxophone), Roland Moses (Piano), Graeme Currie (Bass) and Rob Watson (Drums).”

      But every night’s a great night to come down to Drink Gallery, not just special occasions. With exquisite cocktails and a fantastic ambience, this new venue is just what discerning drinkers in Chaweng have been looking for.

 

Christina Wylie


 


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