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Som Chai Bar & Restaurant

September 21, 2017 Dining No Comments Email Email

Located in the heart of Jalan Raya Kerobokan, at the northern edge of Seminyak, the latest destination from the Sarong Group offers sophisticated and artfully themed dining and drinking with a Thai influence. Meet SOM CHAI, with fine dining in a ‘secret’ cavern of ballroom proportions and a bar that hosts nocturnal adventures set to the awesome beats of live DJ’s.

Som Chai Eat presents Thai cuisine interpreted through the imaginative use of locally sourced ingredients not often used in Indonesian cooking, leading to a botanic reimagining of the regional cooking culture of Thailand. With a menu derived from a diverse range of regional cooking styles, Som Chai Eat encompasses the very essence of excellent Thai food. Som Chai’s restaurant pays homage to an ancient, forgotten era: the era of the first Kings of Siam.

Entering through a magnificent golden door, diners find themselves immersed in “Steam Punk Siam” inspired interiors that echo the era of slow travel and the discovery of new and exotic worlds, heady with temptations.

Representing a journey through time – a conversation between the old and new worlds, with the high ceiling and large open space immediately imparting a sense of opulence.

The sweet melancholy of the past is reflected in the artwork and materials within the space. The use of traditional forms and shapes, translated with modern materials with minimalistic finishes, elevates them into a contemporary style. The combination of classical elements and a modernistic approach is consummated using materials that evoke elegant, understated luxury and just a hint of decadence. Brown marble, dark wood, brass, black lace, smoked glass and strong upholstery creates a deep, exquisite atmosphere. Saturated colours and tones evoke royalty and combine with dark hues and splashes of gold to form a dramatic palette that sets a memorable tableau.

A line of large arched mirrors reflects the soft fern wall of the outdoor area, infusing the space with a fresh and vibrant feel, whilst in contrast, intimacy is increased by smoked glass mirrors that impart upon the room the essence of a grand, yet reinvigorated, old ballroom. Full-height dividers with an enlarged rattan weaved pattern separate the dining booths, providing guests with intimate dining areas.

The full dining area is divided centrally by a runner leading to a large, traditional Victorian marble back bar. Above the bar is a wine room with an impressive illuminated window display of wine bottles. The use of Victorian bar trolleys gives a further nod to the steamer-era style, as do the striking historical photographs, featuring portraits of the first Kings of Siam subtly enhanced with gold leaf.

The interiors were created by Sarong Team of designers, whose blend of masterful techniques creates the harmonious infusion of warmth achieved by blending antique, rustic and industrial glazes and tones with modern textures and surfaces. Fragrant with aromas from the kitchen and gardens, Som Chai Eat accommodates 80 guests per seating in an ambience of both comfort and timeless opulence.

Will Meyrick has drawn on his vast experience to create a menu that not only uses authentic ingredients but the cooking methods intrinsic to their taste. A resident of Indonesia, he has established a produce farm and built relationships with local farmers to learn first hand about the rich diversity of seasonal ingredients. Fascinated by the cultural and culinary diversity of the region, Will has spent over fifteen years travelling and learning about the cuisines of Asia and his most recent sortie was a three month research excursion to discover the intricacies of traditional and Thai cuisine, where wood fire stoves, charcoal fire grills and clay cooking pots impart specific flavors to the food and the inclusion of home made ferments add a wonderful and unique quality. The intensive preparation of these home-made ferments, fish sauces and shrimp pastes is at the heart of Thai style flavours – at once sharp, sour, sweet, spicy and sometimes pungent. The attention to each step of the preparation, both in the kitchen and at the table, brings all the authentic nuances of Thai cooking to the guest in a way that is hard to replicate.

Without being overt, the Som Chai Drink bar captures the balance of rustic industrial versus refined – where contemporary urban meets with an Asian design sensibility. Upon entering, the immediate feeling is that of a sumptuous Bangkok speakeasy or cabaret bar, reminiscent of the mysterious and alluring drinking dens of Old Chinatown, where back room lounges and secretive niches provided privacy for patrons and the charm of the Cheongsam-clad staff would waft across the bar in a mist of feminine intrigue.

At Som Chai Drink, the night unfolds with performance artistes, live music and resident DJs invoking a hedonistic sensory exoticism. Homage is paid to Old Chinatown in Bangkok, where cutting edge bars and cafes are opening up under the awnings of the old town, creating new adventures in nighttime entertainment. At Som Chai Drink, the eclectic and classic interior is reflected in the nouveau-retro alchemy of the bar menu. Quintessential cocktails are presented in new ways and a host of botanicals are infused into refreshments that invite endless possibilities, blending herbs, infusions and liquors into potions of potency and pleasure. Selected artisan beers and classic mixed drinks, along with fine wines are also served during the opening hours of 5.30pm through to one in the morning. Signature street-food bites are served from a designated Som Chai Drink menu to bar customers preferring to remain in the bar.

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