The Asia Pub Guide

Good pubs, great beer (and a few restaurants too) in Asia.

Archive for the ‘Cool Pubs’

Saxophone Pub, Bangkok

August 04, 2007 By: admin Category: Cool Pubs No Comments →

THIS PLACE is not easy to find when you are heading there for the first time. But it is well worth the effort if you are into jazz and blues.

Saxophone is a lot bigger than you expect when you first step inside. I have a suspicion that it was originally two houses knocked into one. A tell tale remnant of wall, to the left as you go in, is scarcely disguised by the remnant of trumpet that sticks out from it. There is a saxophone fixed to a red brick arch that juts out from the bar and a gaggle of tubas occupy a perch high above the stage.

Other sundry brass instruments languish in other nooks, crannies, or simply stick out from brickwork, there are some pictures on the walls. Barrels and clocks are scattered hither and thither and flags are draped and dangled from various places.

What would have been the upstairs has been knocked out leaving just enough floor-space around the edges to create an all round balcony overlooking the bar and the stage area which is finnished with huge red curtains.

The overall effect is a surreal mix of medieval banquet hall and demolition site loaded with atmosphere. There are two live sets of some of Bangkok’s finest jazz and blues every night, seven days a week, plus occasional special guests. Best of all admission is free.

There is nothing special on the beer menu but the drinks are reasonably priced. There is also the regular selection of spirits and a range of cocktails.

The Saxophone was opened in 1987 and can accommodate up to 400 people. Apparently there is also a pool table but I have never seen it, I usually go to listen to the blues.

Saxophone Pub
3/8 Victory Monument, Phyathai Road, Bangkok
Tel. 022 465 472

Take the skytrain to Victory Monument. When you get off the train go down from the platform and follow the walkway under the train lines towards the monument itself. As the train lines veer to the right so should you. Look down to the street below and look for the black ‘Jack Daniels’ sign on the line of buildings that face the market and eating out area. You’ll have to keep walking a bit to the next flight of steps down then make your way back to that Jack Daniels sign.

AND THAT reminds me, back in 1956 one of the coolest most laid back and chilled out saxophonists of all time got together with the legendary ivory tickler, Art Tatum. Unbelievably the results didn’t see light of day until the 70’s. Tatum very much led the sessions but it is Webster’s languid sax and sense of melody that will make your toes curl with pleasure.

The skinny on Slim’s

July 24, 2007 By: admin Category: Cool Pubs No Comments →

SLIM’S IS a cosy hole in the wall type place in Hong Kong.

It’s an appropriate name, tunneled into an old shop-house at 1 Wing Fung Street, Wanchai you almost need to turn sideways to get in. The bar takes up most of the left wall, there is a line of seats along the right and a few tables down at the far end. There is also a familiar crunch of peanut shells underfoot.

For somewhere that is actually quite a hike from anywhere else in Wanchai this place is surprisingly popular. True there are a few restaurants up on Star Street but I suspect it’s popularity has more to do with the music, which is strictly blues and R&B, and the friendliness of the staff.

It might also have something to do with the impressive range of imported bottled beers from British micro-breweries. Several of which are not on the menu, so be sure to ask.

There is also a menu of pub grub that includes pizza, pasta, bangers and burgers

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    • Singapore: The Pump Room is launching their first Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Wednesday 2nd July 2008 at Keppel Club in aid of The Lupus Association Singapore.
    Information and application forms can be found here

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