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Asia’s best bar comes to Bangkok

Jun 11. 2019
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By The Nation

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From now until the end of August, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok is playing host to a pop-up version of Asia’s Best Bar – The Old Man from Hong Kong.

The winner of Asia’s 50 Best Bars and ranked #10 on the World’s Best Bars 2019, The Old Man is located in a discreet corner of the buzzing Soho district in Hong Kong. Agung Prabowo, the head mixologist and bar forerunner at The Old Man, has accepted an invitation from Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok to co-create a highly-styled “Pop-Up” concept in the hotel’s lobby.

The co-founder of The Old Man and cocktail aficionados, Prabowo, James Tamang, Roman Ghale and their crew will take turns working the bar in the Hotel Lobby to showcase the themed-cocktail experience. Each cocktail draws inspiration in some way from Ernest Hemingway, the legendary American author who once was a resident at The Oriental Hotel. Hemingway always appreciated an awe-inspiring space, and the beauty of the colonial architecture motivated him to write passionately.

The Old Man will sweep Hemingway fans and cocktail connoisseurs into a world tailored to the beautifully complex mind of the iconic writer. With its name, drinks menu and overall concept paying tribute to Hemingway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning fictional work, The Old Man and the Sea, Prabowo has concocted a range of inventive cocktails with a culinary and scientific approach. His new cocktail menu provides fascinating backgrounds on the various drinks, their ingredients, their histories and the characters – real and fictional – associated with them.

The Best of the Old Man offers a unique take on Hemingway’s oeuvre that showcases the tastes, smells and colours of the cocktails he enjoyed and placed so prominently in his stories. A Moveable Feast #1964 uses a rotary evaporator to extract elements of the sea, taking memorable aromas of the sea and concentrating them into liquid form. It pays homage to a Hemingway book set in the idyllic south of France in 1927.

“Mandarin Oriental is no stranger to us, as we used to shake and stir drinks at Oriental Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta, MO Bar in Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and The Chinnery at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work again with the hotel group that we keep close to our heart. Although we are running our own bar now, we feel grateful for the opportunity and the meaningful experiences we have had – and continue to have – with the hotel,” Prabowo says.

“Hemingway’s storylines are good not only for sight and thought, but also for taste and smell. Come and see how The Old Man translates great works of this great author into a delightful array of spirits. As we transform the River Wing, it is a wonderful occasion to embrace this “Pop-Up” experience in our Lobby, while its upper floors are on the way to a complete refurbishment in October,” adds Greg Liddell, the hotels' general manager.

For more information and reservations, call (02) 659 9000 or email: mobkk-restaurants@mohg.com.

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