I was introduced to Aire Bar (official Facebook page) not long after their December ’17 opening via a media event invite. During the event I was really impressed with their concept, their drink menu, and their prices. It impressed me as a rooftop bar for folks who live here in Bangkok, folks who want to experience a nice view, and a nice drink, but don’t want to have their wallets pillaged in the process. Folks like me, actually!
At the time they had their drink menu finalized but were still working on their food menu. Once their food menu came online I figured it was a good time for a visit!
Some menu highlights…
The food menu at Aire Bar is best described as a “snack” menu and there’s plenty there to nosh on. The offerings range from light snacks like exotic flavored chips (Jamon Iberico, Caviar, and Trufa Negra flavors (150 baht)) to heavier snacks like Thai Style Crispy Chicken with Spicy Dipping Sauce (320 baht), and meat and cheese platters.
Here’s what we* got!
*NOTE: I conducted this visit with my gal, as it was a Friday and she would be getting off of work during the visit. She’d have murdered me if I didn’t invite her along, and she certainly helped by taking many of the pictures in this article.
Seriously spicy hummus…
This Chili Hummus and Pita Bread (220 baht) plate has some serious heat to it. It’s well portioned and meant for sharing. I enjoyed it with the soft pita bread, and the spice kept me drinking!
One of my favorite snacks when I’m drinking is olives (when I lived in Turkey a big bowl of mixed olives was one of my favorite mezzes). This appetizer of Olives, Semi Sun Dried Tomatoes, Feta and Rye Bread (320 baht) has a nice mix of green, black, and red olives.
Don’t forget the meat!
If you live in Bangkok and are into the wine and dine scene you’ve probably heard of VIVIN and their locally produced meats and cheeses. The VIVIN Cold Cut Platter (550 baht) has 5 samples of meats, bread and good sampling of olives as well. If you’re hungry this is a nice dish to get–especially if you’re drinking wine.
About the food menu…
The menu at Aire Bar is meant to accompany drinks and the casual scene of their rooftop bar. It’s not dinner–but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat well here. Taking into consideration the fact that it’s a rooftop bar in Bangkok, and the quality of the ingredients that they use, I felt the prices were a fair value.
That’s not to say that you can’t find hummus and meat platters cheaper here in Bangkok. Of course you can. But I think you’d find it very challenging to find them at a rooftop bar. I took this into consideration by comparing their menu prices to other rooftop bars…not to restaurants.
If you’re like me and appreciate value, then read on as for me the REAL value here is their drinks…
Amazing cocktails that won’t break the bank!
I’ve had mixed experiences with rooftop bars in Bangkok. Some make a decent drink that I can enjoy, and some offer up cocktails that seem tailored for child consumption–weak in the booze but strong in the sugar department. Though it can be a coin toss as to whether or not I’d get a good drink at a rooftop bar one thing would be certain: that drink would be expensive!
It’s different at Aire Bar. All of their signature cocktails are priced at 280 baht, they’re all made with premium spirits, and they’re all fantastic.
They’re also unique. What makes them so special? The man who designed Aire Bar’s cocktail menu, Nick Braun. Throughout his career Nick has been recognized in world leading cocktail competitions and has even represented Australia at the International Bartenders Association World Cocktail Championships 2010 as a tasting panel judge.
He was hired as a consultant to develop the signature cocktails for Aire Bar’s drink menu and train their staff to make them correctly. I had an opportunity to chat with Nick during the media event last December (where he put together a fun drink mixing event). He told me his intention was to create drinks that were flavorful, easy to drink, and balanced. As an example a cocktail like Passion in the AIRE (Kai vodka, bianco vermouth, caramel, passionfruit) sounds like it would be super sweet but in reality it’s surprisingly not! All the of ingredients combine to make a smooth, refreshing, easy to drink cocktail that’s perfect for those hot Bangkok evenings.
Some tasty examples!
My personal favorite is the Rye on Thyme cocktail (Rebel Yell Rye, Bianco Vermouth, grapefruit, honey, thyme, orange bitters). I’m a fan of a good Old Fashioned and this drink reminds me of that but it’s refreshing, too. I could drink these all night– and at these prices I could afford to.
My gal selected this drink and it’s a winner. The Sazzle cocktail (Broker’s Gin, JJ Whitley Vodka, raspberry, lime, sugar, soda, kaffir lime leaf) looks girly but it’s not. This has a wonderful fresh berry taste but with a kick. You definitely get the boozy heat yet it’s tempered by the freshness of the kaffir lime and raspberry.
Noteworthy from their drink menu…
Aire Bar has very reasonable prices for their bottled beers (incredibly inexpensive Singha and Heineken) and a rotating wine and beer list. Their wines are fairly priced, and you can even get a glass of sparkling Prosecco for 199 baht. If cocktails are not your thing you won’t be disappointed with the selection or pricing of their beer, wine, and spirit menu.
A chat with the manager…
I had a chance to chat with Saraid Carey, the Hyatt Place General Manager (pictured with their Marketing Manager, “CC”). Saraid wants the Aire Bar to be your “neighborhood bar–on a rooftop”. Originally from Australia, she enjoyed the neighborhood bar concept prevalent “Down Under” and wanted to bring that feel to the Aire Bar.
Aire Bar is meant to be a place where folks who live in Bangkok will want to hang out–it’s why the seats are comfortable and the seating spread out, even the inside of the bar is open and “airy”. It’s also why the drinks are exceptional, yet affordable.
Aire Bar has a “Happy Hour” from 5 pm to 7 pm everyday in which customers can enjoy a 2 for 1 special on a large selection of spirits, cocktails, wines and beers. It seems odd to have a happy hour special at the peak time for rooftop bars, but I think it’s smart. They’re banking on customers coming and having an excellent experience with a beautiful sunset and great drinks–enjoying themselves so much they stick around. From my experience I can see it playing out just like that!
Aire Bar is open at 5 pm every day except for Sunday. On Sunday they open earlier at 3 pm for “Sunday Sessions”. During this time they have specials in which the signature cocktails are served in pitchers and with live musical entertainment. If you find yourself walking out of a Sunday buffet in which you’ve had a few Mimosas and would rather continue that feeling than go home, Aire Bar is a GREAT place to keep it going.
I’m interested! Where is it?
The Aire Bar is located on the 28th floor of the Hyatt Place hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 24. It’s within walking distance of the Phrom Phong BTS station. It’s a little tricky as you take one elevator to the hotel lobby, then you exit and get in another elevator to the 28th floor.
If you’re looking for a rooftop bar experience that has solid drinks and fair prices you will be impressed with the offerings of Aire Bar!