Halloween comes but once a year, although in Bangkok there’s one place that keeps the witching hour going all year round in a cyber-Gothic-meets-Salem venue guaranteed to satisfy the darkest demons within us all. It’s called FIVE, after the major elements of existence; earth, wind, fire, water and spirit, and curiously enough, just the right number of points on a pentagram. It’s one part gruesome gastronomy and two parts malevolent mixology in a recipe created to please the Devil himself.
By Thomas Jones
With lots of iron and exposed rivets, black furniture, steel girders and iron staircases, Five feels like the cooled insides of a foundry after the furnaces have been turned off. And not being a huge space, when it’s filled with a crew of black-clad regulars celebrating within its darkened interiors it’s a full on Black Sabbath on Witch Mountain.
And it’s all black. In fact, apart from the food, bottles of drink, some coloured candles, and discreet lighting, black is pretty much all you will see on the inside – and that includes the guests and staff. The staff dress in long, beautifully designed tunics, blending Japanese cosplay and Min-Woo Hyung’s characters from his ‘Priest’ graphic novels, providing Extreme Unction with every glass and plate that passes across the bar.
Up in the mezzanine floor, metal catwalks travel under low ceilings and lead the way to sunken booths and sitting areas with velvet sofas and a black cubic jigsaw wall. Movement is tight so it’s good to have a pulley system from the bar allowing drinks to be ferried up inside tiny lanterns, flames ablazing.Click to view slideshow.
it’s like the cooled insides of a foundry after the furnaces have been turned off.
Everything that passes one’s lips has been created to perfectly match the décor and darkness, with simple dishes ranging from tapas to full pasta plates carrying apt, if not a little cheesy, names like Black Magic Wands (breadsticks wrapped in nori seaweed), Fried Bat’s Wings (actually just chicken), and a dessert called Brain in a Jar, which you can imagine for yourself, but involves cake and chocolate with no frog’s legs or body parts.
Their cocktails continue along the darkened path and are evil – and by evil I mean good enough to turn any man from the path of righteousness and into drunken oblivion, if only for one night. The names on the menu say it all, Witch’s Mojito, International Witchcraft, Mulled Wine of Lost Souls, Ice Magic, A Cure for the Innocent, and their signature Black Martini, with drama coming not just from the effects of the drink but from the visual spectacle of the barman’s process – the presentation and use of dry ice which floats across the bar like fog in a haunted graveyard. This is not a place to run home before midnight to be safe from harm. The freaks are already here.
FIVE – Gastronomy & Mixology
K Village Sukhumvit 26, Bangkok.