Samui Wining & Dining
Eclectic Eatery
Prepare to be wowed by the new menu at Drink Gallery.


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Through tall panes of glass set in the dark, steel beams of a contemporary structure, you’ll notice people having a good time. Some are peacefully sitting on their own, reading the paper and sipping on a steaming cappuccino. Others are gathered at the expansive central table, decked with an assortment of chairs, laughing as they sip fancy cocktails and share creative dishes. If you look closer through the floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll notice that the interior of Drink Gallery is quirky and inviting, which is what may first draw you in. But it’s the great food and inventive cocktails that will keep you there to linger longer, and bring you back time and again for more.

        Drink Gallery, part of The Library on Chaweng Beach Road, describes itself as ‘Eclectic by nature, artistic by character and thoroughly unique in style’. Now while we know to take advertising blurbs with a pinch of salt so to speak, in this case, their self-portrayal rings true. On entering through the glass door, you’re greeted with a cool welcome – from the air-conditioning that is. The welcome from the staff on the other hand, is most warm, as is the atmosphere, which is so often lacking in modern structures. Although the walls are exposed concrete, floors are screed and the frontage is floorto-

ceiling glass, the look is softened by way of cut-glass chandeliers, an interesting collection of furniture and the commissioned focal art piece above the bar. Drink Galley follows in the footsteps of The Library, with an interior inspired by art. Furniture is not merely functional, but is visually appealing too, and the pieces in Drink Gallery have been custom made in Chiang Mai. An oversized white dresser fills one wall, and individual armchairs are angled to take full advantage of the street view, perfect for people-watching.

        Wishy-washy drinks and half-hearted concoctions won’t make the cut here, which is why mixologist, Dhasan Prabhananda, has created Drink Gallery’s extensive list of cocktails. He regularly visits from Bangkok to tweak, refine and reinvent the drinks menu. With a smidgen of this, a pinch of that, a dash of a secret ingredient and twist of lime he comes up with delicious combinations meant to please both the palate and the eye, and recently, there’ve been a few new introductions to the cocktail list.

         Let’s start with the pretty in pink, Ms Rosé Collins. After this delightful cocktail, you’ll be seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses! Not overly sweet, this drink is a combination of rosé wine, Bacardi rum, peach schnapps, lychee juice, Monin Elderflower Syrup and a lemon wedge. For something different, try the Suave & Singular. The ingredients that make up this delicious concoction are Bench Mark, Grand Marnier, apple juice, fresh lime juice, Monin Orgeat Syrup, egg white, Angostura Bitters and almonds. Who would have thought? You can see why a mixologist is needed to come up with such drinks.

          Next on the list is the Morning Walker, though perhaps not everyone can start their morning this way! Here we have port wine, Bench Mark, Grand Marnier, egg white, sugar and star anise. Those that prefer something a little fruiter will like the Blanco’s Orchard: White wine, apricot brandy, Ketel One Vodka, apple juice, Monin Watermelon Syrup, lemon wedge and Italian basil leaves. And for something quite refreshing, try a Cucumber Bath – Ketel One Vodka, sour apple, apple juice, fresh lime juice, Monin Watermelon Syrup and fresh cucumber.

          Served in a jar with a handle, the Golden Club is sweet and tangy. Perfectly blended to make this tasty drink are Bench Mark, Sweet Vermouth, strawberry puree, fresh lime juice and egg white. And for those that feel James Bond needs to add a modern flair to his signature drink, there’s the GF Bellini Martini – Tanqueray Gin, grapefruit juice, Monin Vanilla Syrup, fresh lime juice and soft lemon thyme.

          Another interesting combo is the London Rose, which is a blend of Earl Grey Tea infused Tanqueray Gin, port wine, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup, egg white and fresh rosemary. And then there’s the Spiced Winter Cliché (which is everything but a cliché), combining sparkling wine, Ketel One Vodka, strawberry puree, lime, cinnamon and bitters. Last of the new cocktails, but far from completing the list on offer, is the Lady in White – Ketel One Vodka, sour apple, aloe vera juice, fresh lime juice, Monin Vanilla Syrup, egg white, and soft lemon thyme.

          With so many interesting cocktails to choose from, it makes sense to take advantage of Drink Gallery’s ‘365-day, two-hour free-flow cocktail special offer’, which is available from 5:00 pm until closing daily. Rather than have it only for a specific two hours, the clock starts when you order your first cocktail from a selected menu of top-tier cocktails. For 1,300 baht net, you can enjoy as many cocktails as you like from the list – well worth it for what is on offer.

          Of course, it’s always a good idea to line your stomach before indulging in alcohol, and Drink Gallery is renowned not only for its unique cocktails, but also for its delicious and innovative menu. Opening at 11:00 am for brunch (there’s a delicious selection to choose from) it may be a little early to tap from the wine dispenser or tuck into a few cocktails, so perhaps a brew from the state-of-the-art coffee machine is more fitting. For those that prefer an open-air feel, you’ll find a few tables on the deck area overlooking the street, and service wraps up at 1:00 am.

          The menu is vast and offers something for all, but again we’re highlighting the new dishes on offer. From the brunch menu, there’s a selection of tempting waffles, including a mixed berry waffle, with toasted coconut flakes and buttered maple syrup, and an apple crumble waffle, with Bourbon caramel, toasted walnuts and vanilla ice cream. For a sweet and savoury combination, try the warmed brie waffle, served with apples and raisins and local wild honey. Another interesting choice on the brunch menu is the Salmon Oskar Benedict – with picked crabmeat, asparagus and lemon hollandaise sauce.

          A new addition to the appetisers is the chipotle avocado nachos, with crisp flour tortilla chips, cheddar and cilantro. Pasta lovers won’t be disappointed with the choices, and a new vegetarian option is the broccoli and gorgonzola spaghetti, with roasted garlic, caramelised mushrooms and chilli oil. Drink Gallery has created an interesting twist to the traditional Italian tiramisu, with its Thai tea tiramisu – Thai tea, mascarpone, and almond macaroons form the base of this more-ish dessert.

          If you appreciate whimsical design and are after a sophisticated spot to gather over an interesting cocktail and hearty food, then head down to Drink Gallery. Whether it’s a quick brunch to get you going for the day, or a cocktail to unwind after a busy day, you can’t go wrong with this venue that’s proving to be one of the most popular foodie hangouts on the island.

          

 Rosanne Turner/em>


 


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