Philtration: This Bangkok Speakeasy is a Modern Cocktail Steeped in Thai History

The first project by mega F&B and hospitality joint-venture Elysium Enterprise, Philtration is a hidden bar serving exquisite, herbally-infused cocktails, from the secret basement of a century-old heritage house.

Bangkok is a city where the food and beverage scene is simply exploding and constantly reaching new heights. Philtration is the city’s new kid speakeasy on the block looking to make its mark.

While Philtration might be the newest speakeasy, it’s located at probably one of the oldest sites, rich with history. Located at 2 Kasem San Soi 3, Bangkok, Thailand, centuries ago Philtration was home to a famous Doctor, ‘Moh Mee’, concocted herbal medicines from the old factory basement of his family home. It was here that his family sold traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years.

This unassuming ushers you into one of Bangkok’s oldest “off the beaten track” landmarks.

Since then, this chamber has been sealed away beneath the 100-year-old house, under the ’Moh Mee’ family’s protection. With the birth of Philtration, this hidden space is finally revealed, inviting guests to explore the century-old secret that for generations, has remained hidden.

Walking into the compound is akin to walking back in time. Take a left along the main entrance of the mansion and you’ll find an antique medicine cabinet in your path. A small doorway to the right will take you down to the basement and to Bangkok’s newest speakeasy. The are a couple more surprises when you head down, but… no spoilers.

Take a step down into the world of Philtration.

Derived from the word ‘philtre’, which means “a potion to make someone fall in love,” aims to do just that from concept and design to menu.

Philtration offers a modern take on an Oriental Apothecary crossed with a cocktail bar where exceptional cocktails come together, to be enjoyed by those who love a good drink.

Paying homage to Moh Mee’s medicines, drinks here are infused with herbs, spices, and teas found in Moh Mee’s creations, as a tribute to the family’s longstanding legacy.

Behind the bar is Bar Manager Shavinraj Gopinath affectionately known as the “Fairy Godfather”, who — together with bartenders Thawatchai “Not” Permphol and Tanad “Jay” Mhadawee — serve up delightful cocktails that each come with their own quirky and amusing health benefits.

The team behind the bar… and the drinks

Bar Manager Shavinraj, a Singaporean who moved to Bangkok and embraced the burgeoning F&B scene, has managed iconic institutions such as The Iron Fairies. At Philtration, he is adamant that the cocktails must be made with the freshest of ingredients to not only preserve the taste of the drinks, but as an homage to the availability of quality ingredients in Thailand.

Thailand is rich in culture and has a lot to offer when it comes to fresh produce. Travelling North to the villages and foraging in the jungles has introduced me to new ingredients that I never would have come across in Singapore.

– Shavinraj “The Fairy Godfather” Gopinath, Bar Manager, Philtration 

The menu at Philtration highlights the ‘health benefits’ each of the drinks may provide. There’s something on the menu for anyone who needs an excuse to have a ‘healthy’ drink. Stay alert and improve your skin with ‘Friends With Benefits’, made using lime, pomegranate, fennel, ginger, watermelon, and Diplomatico Planas Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa.

Improve your eyesight with ‘Wake Me Up!’, made using black coffee, Mr. Black, sesame seeds, and Tito’s vodka sesame peanut. They even have a cure for smelly feet – ‘Sweet Tears of Mine’, made with black tears spiced rum, lime, popcorn, Gifford salted caramel, green apple, and Fino sherry lemongrass kaffir, gets rid of those odors when drunk.

The drinks, made with fresh ingredients, come with their own unique ‘health benefits’.

Among the highlights is the ‘Mohmeetini’, where a classic martini is infused with Moh Mee’s Uthai medicine, which is said to help improve blood circulation and benefit the heart.

Design-wise, you won’t find any sharp edges here. The interior are all about soft curves, accentuated by sleek streaks of light. This elegant remix of east-meets-west is the brainchild of WVS Interior Design and Production Camp PDC, and offers an intimate respite from the surrounding city hubbub, despite its central location in Siam area.

Fancy a corner spot beside a 100-year old wall… check

Though seemingly worlds apart, the place is a perfect companion to the existing Moh Mee Restaurant upstairs, where guests will find a delicious selection of authentic, traditional Thai royal cuisine that also incorporates Moh Mee’s medicinal herbs.

Philtration is the first project by Elysium Enterprise, a mega F&B and hospitality joint venture between partners, who are a cocktail of talent themselves consisting of professionals from across a wide range of industries, including architecture, fashion design, interior design, construction, furniture, media, marketing, TTM (Traditional Thai Medicine), photography, and food and beverage management.

Definitely looking forward to what they come up with next.

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