So what exactly is Drink Gallery? Is it a state-of-the-art restaurant that’s also a great place to spend the rest of the evening relaxing with a few drinks? Or is it a chic after-dining outdoor lounge bar that also happens to serve some of the most innovative International cuisine on the island? Well, how you answer these questions will depend entirely on whether you’ve gone there to eat or to drink, or to do both. Either way, you definitely won’t be disappointed!
And you’d have a hard job missing Drink Gallery as it’s in a central location in Chaweng, on the Chaweng Beach Road itself, just a few metres south of the main McDonald’s and Starbucks, on the opposite side of the road. Although it’s completely ‘stand alone’, Drink Gallery is right next door to the entrance leading to its parent resort – The Library. And being a part, albeit separate, of this fabulous and unique company, you can be assured that the dining and drinking experience at Drink Gallery will be a most satisfying one.
To start with, the place is opulently spacious – no overcrowding here! And with a 50-metre wooden decking street frontage, there doesn’t have to be. Tables and chairs are dotted here and there on the deck and around Drink Gallery’s vibrant tapas bar. And it’s here that you can experience an innovative variety of Thai tapas dishes (each costing just 99 baht) whose delicious flavours do justice to their intriguing and tempting names, such as the amazing Sua Song Hai (which translates as Crying Tiger) and comprises grilled marinated beef sirloin and spicy tamarind sauce.
And at one end of the property there’s an indoor air-conditioned ‘restaurant’ building with huge glass windows reaching from the floor to its high, high ceiling. Inside here, there’s the Gallery’s trademark painting of a Chinese girl with bobbed hair and bright red lipstick high above the colourful bottles behind the well-stocked bar with its matching red barstools. And hanging down to just above the tables from the ceiling way above are crystal chandeliers which spread the light just perfectly.
Unlike most places, everything at Drink Gallery has been designed specifically for the restaurant. And that includes everything from the various chairs, tables and sofas through to the unique upright-standing cutlery and chinaware. If ever there was a ‘designer’ restaurant, then this is it.
The food has been well ‘designed’ too and although it’s predominantly International cuisine, there are also some Thai dishes. And there’s a definite ‘West meets East’ (as opposed to ‘East meets West’) element to the food at Drink Gallery, with interesting additions of Oriental herbs and spices (it’s never too hot) here and there.
“…and if ever there was a ‘designer’ restaurant, then this is it.”
The menu has special dishes (in addition to the wide range of soups, salads and pasta dishes) that are worthy of individual recommendation. And these include both the Roasted Garlic Raviolis – pan-roasted mushrooms, garlic crèma and chopped parsley, and the Oven Roasted Lamb Chops – toasted rice aioli, cabbage sauté and fried shallots.
The appropriately named ‘Happy Ending’ desserts’ section of the menu also contains some winners, with both the Sticky Rice and Mango – sticky rice cup cake with warmed coconut syrup and mango sorbet, and the Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème – gianduja and burnt orange supreme doing it full justice. (And note that all bakery items here are freshly made in-house!)
And as there’s a huge emphasis on the drinks at Drink Gallery, you’d expect there to be a wide selection, complete with extra-special cocktails – and you’d be right! The cocktails are spectacularly tasty and original, including many additions of unexpected herbs and fruits, and even wine- and coffee-based concoctions.
Visiting Drink Gallery with its super-stylish décor, daily live entertainment (with a Jazz night every Saturday), and acres of space makes a refreshing change from going to other Chaweng Beach Road restaurants and bars. For one thing, there’s absolutely no hurry. You’re more than welcome to enjoy a meal and/or some drinks at your leisure without the feeling that they’re trying to rush you off to make way for the next customers. In fact, at Drink Gallery you’re actively encouraged to linger and savour the experience.
Drink Gallery is open from 4:00 pm until 1:00 am (kitchen closes at 12:15 am)
For reservations and further information telephone +66 (0) 7742 2767-8
Middle of Chaweng Beach, next to The Library