The buzz: Bangkok has its fair share of fancy cigar and whiskey lounges in the five-star hotels. Whisgars is a little different, though, in that it’s a standalone and they do not sell Cuban cigars, claiming that the region’s other producers actually offer better quality (see Q&A, here). The space, tucked at the back of long-standing Italian restaurant Giusto, features a soaring ceiling, a mezzanine and a walk-in humidor.
The décor: There seems to be an attempt at modernizing the classic gentleman’s club décor, with blocky furniture which nonetheless references its classic counterparts through the use of tufted leather. The rest is covered in a variety of mismatched textures including bare bricks, faux stone, wooden strips, big tiles and bare cement on the floor.
The music: Soft jazzy classics as well as some Latin-inspired rhythms. The bar also plans to host live jazz and blues from July.
The crowd: Mostly foreign professionals and local big shots.
The price: The bar puts the focus on non-Cuban cigars, namely four main brands: Perdomo from Nicaragua and El Primer Mundo, EP Carrillo and Pinar Del Rio from the Dominican Republic. All four range from mild and medium-bodied through full-bodied, priced at B300-1,290 each. After picking your cigar, it’s time to select a drink. The long list of whiskeys come from the Lowlands, Highlands, Islands and Islay Region of Scotland; pick from choices like McLeods Highland 8 Year Old (B250/2,500 by the glass/bottle), Ardmore Highland (B370/3,630), Bowmore 12 Year old (B380/3,800) and Japanese Hakushu 10 Year Old (B360/3,520). The food menu is prepared by the chef from Giusto with a focus on both light bites and proper meals; try the Millefeuille torchon foie gras served with truffle mayonnaise and truffle caviar (B650), seared tuna served with avocado mousse and aged balsamic (B450) or mini beef burger with tomato, mozzarella, salad, mayonnaise and French fries (B150/each). There are also sweet dishes like warm chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream (B390).
Why you’ll come back: The place is welcoming of people who know little but want to learn more about cigars and whiskey: the tasting promotion, for example, offers five shots of select whiskeys for B890. Already an expert? Rent your own personal locker in which to store your cigars and single malts for B15,000 per year (note, you do get a 10% discount on food and drink for that price). Vasachol Quadri