Bangkok allows fun loving people to live their wildest dreams. Fun can be found in all possible aspects with renowned Thai food, ancient temples, and skyscrapers views. There are also many buildings that don’t seem very special on the outside, but little touches convince by-passers to look again. Look again and suddenly your perspective changes. Ours certainly did after we climbed the wooden stairs in the embrace of greenery. There it was: The Bar Upstairs, whose design made it seem like we were in the south of France. In addition, the Bar Upstairs, Sukhumvit 11 is above Brasserie Cordonnier French restaurant, and this is no coincidence.
The ambiance of the Bar Upstairs BKK
In the first place, nature is featured all around and inside The Bar Upstairs. The detailed design resembles an abandoned house, which could be right in the center of a huge vineyard if you ask me. As can be seen, the whole Bar upstairs is decorated with a combination of glass, wood and green plants. However, sitting here and having a few glasses of wine is a recipe to forget you are actually in Bangkok and not somewhere in Brittany, France.
Where to find imported cheese in Bangkok
To bring you right into a European ambiance, a red retro prosciutto slicing machine is placed at the entrance. Straight behind it is cheese display cabinet with imported goodies. If you are looking for cheese in Bangkok, The Bar Upstairs might be your address. They have imported specialties such as Fourme d’Ambert, Camembert “au lait cru”, Manchego, Mimolette, Morbier, Brie de Meaux, Saint Nectaire, Brillat Savarin, Comte – 24 months, Ossau Iraty, Rocamadour…
The guests get to choose between two areas: one has a view over the bar with the open ceiling in the middle, and the other where there is a large walk-in wine cellar and balcony all around the floor from which you can look down at the bar – we opted for the latter. In a word, countryside feel goes a long way at the Upstairs Bar, even all the way to the bathrooms, where you can listen to the sounds of nature on a summer evening. How relaxing is that?! I loved it!
The Bar Upstairs Bangkok menu
The menu is full of comfort foods typical of French cuisine as well as imported cheeses and cold cuts from France and Spain. To point out, one of the most exciting shared bites on the Upstairs Bar menu is the chef’s picnic basket. The chef prepares a basket for three or more people and its content is a surprise. It’s filled with a bottle of wine, cold cuts, cheese, butter, bread, salad, dessert, and a few other delights. Also, the wine is selected by the chef, for the taste to perfectly fit the bites. However, their wine selection counts over 150 international wine labels stored in the big walk-in wine cellar and bar stock. In addition, on the menu are also suggestions for DIY gin tonics, cocktails, and other beverages.
The temptation to taste how the addition of dry rosé and rosemary evolve in the 1724 Inca tonic and G’Vine Floraison Gin was too big not to have a glass of it. We also wanted to taste how it fits with the mixed items on the cheese and cold cuts platter. In the first place, it was interesting to taste the difference following DIY gin & tonic or wine. Both drinks were a nice palate cleanser, but the wine remained our preferred drink in this case. In this case, the glass of Camino de Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 from Maule Valley has pleasant acidity with fruity notes of cherry and raspberry that are grounded by some wood and leather nuances.
We ordered a bard of fine cold cuts and delicate imported cheeses. It was hard to say no to the half-baked Camembert, served in a rustic cooking pot and with a side of freshly baked bread.
Our wine choice was a nice match to half-baked Camembert from unpasteurized milk, taken from grazing cows. We loved that salt supported the sweet milky taste with rich buttery notes. The wine easily washed away the heavy cream cheese and filled our mouth with fruitiness.
The Chef topped the wooden board with a few delicious bites. The Rosette Superieure Duc de Coise salami was juicy with soft fat in between the meat. The first thing to remember, the taste was complex with superb seasoning. There was also Italian prosciutto, which melted away in our mouths after just a few bites. We liked the meaty taste, which wasn’t overpoweringly salty. It wasn’t the best prosciutto we ever had, but satisfactory enough to enjoy it in the middle of South East Asia.
Our guilty pleasure is to eat butter with fatty foods and yes, it goes perfectly with cold cuts and cheese. The butter itself had milkier than fatty taste, sort of a silky clotted cream. The upstairs bar mixed plate includes in the mixed platter also their homemade cheese spread and rillette. We liked the clean meaty taste of the duck rillette. It was subtly seasoned and accompanied by caramelized nuts. Nuts were conveniently crushed so it was easy to sprinkle them on top of the bread.
The fat is an important part of rillette as it adds flavor and also spreads easier on bread. Besides that, it also preserves the dish for a long time. The light texture of the young cheese spread had a gentle seasoning of chives and complimented everything on the board really well. On the other hand, the Spanish Manchego cheese is made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk and it had a nice crumbly texture with a lingering sweet taste, which wasn’t too strong.
The last cheese on our platter was the Brie de Meaux from France. Made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, it had rich buttery flavors with notes of mushrooms and almonds. As a matter of fact, there are only two Brie’s approved by the governing body of French cheese, with the Brie de Meaux being one of them.
To point out, nice addition to the platter were the pickles with Asian seasonings. Some sour and crunchy vegetables are always welcome with nice fatty cheeses and salty cold cuts.
The Bar Upstairs BKK is a fantastic place, no doubt about it. Its open design lets the air circulate around like the wine swirls in a glass. The beautiful surroundings are perfect for a photo. Sipping a glass of fine wine will send you straight in the high spirits, but surely it will awaken the appetite as well! Enjoy it to the fullest, you are in the right place!
In “one word”, this is a green getaway for wine and cheese lovers, who want to retreat from Bangkok’s never-ending hustle and bustle.
To be honest nothing special. We only noticed that there is a bit too much of everything. They have also a cocktail menu, extended spirits menu, occasionally DJ… However, wine and comfort food is all you need here. For a cocktail, we headed just a 50 meters away to a new secret bar in Bangkok – Havana Social Bangkok. All I can say is, this is one of the most detailed bars I have ever seen.
The Bar Upstairs directs a dress code which guests are expected to follow. It’s nothing outrageous, just semi-casual and closed shoes for gentlemen. We like dress-code, the reason is that those who make a little effort enjoy themselves more. It starts with the anticipation when you are getting dressed, as it affects the confidence of feeling good in your own skin.
Price and Location
A nice platter with extra cheese and drinks like ours will cost you about $60. Here is a link to a location for easy navigation on Sukhumvit Rd. Soi 11.
The Upstairs Bar review card
- ATMOSPHERE - 9.4/109.4/10
- SERVICE - 8.9/108.9/10
- PRESENTATION - 9/109/10
- FOOD - 9.5/109.5/10
- DRINKS - 9.4/109.4/10
- VALUE - 9.2/109.2/10
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