Hàn Quốc | A Walk into Wonderland Alice & Le Chamber’s Luxe Lounge | The Small Cheongdam Street Where Cocktails Reign Supreme

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JokerZ Lam

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❀》盜香帥《✿
1/11/18
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Along a single strip of road in the otherwise sprawling city of Seoul, you’ll find two of the city’s very best cocktail bars right across the street from each other: Alice Cheongdam and Le Chamber. Located in the Gangnam district—yes, everyone’s favorite viral song from 2012 is actually named for a part of Seoul and the swanky style you might find there—the two bars are now getting international acclaim as well, climbing up the charts in both Asia and the world.

There’s a special synergy between the two cocktail bars, located in such close proximity—ne that’s hard to understate in a city whose drinking scene is still dominated by soju and beer. While the two bars are entirely separate institutions with separate teams, what they have in common beyond locale is a near-obsessive level of hospitality, along with intricate menus, creative concepts and highly inventive drinks.

Two high-end bars this close to one another can either foster a unifying atmosphere or carry on as bitter rivals. It’s the former that’s on display in Gangnam with neighbors Alice and Le Chamber.


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Alice Cheongdam

Alice, a lounge style bar, serves experimental cocktails and equally bizarre bar snacks. The bar and lounge space mimics the airs of an English mansion with sofas to sink into, and ceilings that resemble the surface of a chocolate bar. Swing jazz music with an EDM twist adds to the lively mood. Order the ‘Alice Boutique’ from the signature cocktail list, and the bartender will whip up a gin tonic flavored with grapefruit juice, emitting a white cloud food grade nitrogen gas. The cocktail comes served in a glass shaped like an elephant, in which the ‘nose’ section functions as an attached straw. The bar’s dedication to eclecticism doesn’t end here. At the touch of a button, bartenders can make drink glasses magically appear from the bar table and the bathroom with its camouflaged walls are a mysterious find, too.

There’s no real magic or voodoo trickery involved at Alice but the bar’s is built to foster a fairy tale for the souls tired of everyday life. The owner, who has worked as a hotel bartender for over ten years, boils Alice down to one word: detail. His efforts are evident in the very fact that it took him two years to find the appropriate land to construct such a bar and story. If you are looking for a fantastical hole to salvage your soul, find the White Rabbit of Cheongdamland. The magic lies down the rabbit hole.


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“Korea is known for its beautiful seasons, and even if you go to the same place, you can find different beauty from one season to the next,” says head bartender Willy Park. “The menu expresses the four seasons with a style that matches Alice’s theme.”

The bar’s upcoming menu features an emoticon to match a cocktail’s particular sensory experience, with QR codes revealing full ingredients and explanations. Previously, a graphic novel depicted a mischievous rabbit’s adventures on the town, with colorful illustrations accompanying each drink.

The playfulness doesn’t stop with the menus but rather continues with each drink’s ingredients and presentations. The Birds & the Bees, for instance, features basil-infused gin with pineapple, honey and an IPA foam, served in a mug contained within a straw bird’s nest loaded with chocolate eggs for you to snack on. Another drink was smoked within a mirror-backed jewelry box that guests pop open with resounding delight.


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You'll find Alice, a regular on Asia's 50 Best Bars list. This speakeasy lounge, with its curtained-off private areas and madcap touches of Lewis Carroll, offers eclectic, theatrical cocktails drawing on molecular techniques, as well as some unusual bar snacks.
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Le Chamber

Posh. High-end. Sophisticated. All words that come to mind when you step into Le Chamber. From their pricing to their service, Le Chamber is a speakeasy that strives for the finest. Their sign has no distinct shape or form, understandably so as a speakeasy, but the entrance to their basement is even more intriguingly mysterious. The entrance is shaped like a bookshelf, and only if you pick the right book will the door open. It's a classic mystery novel touch in a modern-day setting.

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Access to sumptuous speakeasy Le Chamber depends on pulling the correct book from the bookshelf entrance: a much-Instagrammed touch dreamed up by world-champion bartender-owners Eom Do-hwan and Lim Jae-jin. With a 50-guest capacity, the space features high ceilings, leather seating, glittering chandeliers and live piano music. Menus, presented in hardcover books, boast some 200 whiskies, house-made ingredients, including ginger beer, and fermented pours. With a bottle-storage facility for VIPs, don’t be surprised if you spot a K-pop star sipping a Gatsby-style cocktail, complete with a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio clipped to the glass.

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Le Chamber is also a basement bar, though rather than hidden behind a flight of fancy, the flight of stairs here leads you into a luxurious cocktail lounge replete with a chandelier and grand piano. The city’s stylish night owls may be out in abundance, but the key to the friendly environs is that everyone is welcome.

The bar’s code of conduct is “Hyang-Eum-JuRye,” which refers to a traditional etiquette from the Joseon Dynasty, Korea’s renowned kingdom that ruled for five centuries after its founding in the late 14th century. “Both the high and low classes were invited to drink in public so that they could each learn the manners and disciplines that were valued in culture,” says head bartender. “This also serves as a great reminder that today’s fine drinking is to drink responsibly.”

A recent menu showcased a diverse set of ingredients and drinks, from classics to barrel-aged cocktails and omakase cocktail flights, all with accompanying illustrations as well as helpful information such as the drink’s flavor profile and ABV. The Love or Hate is a standout with Islay whisky, amontillado sherry and truffle, along with a revamped Pisco Sour featuring yuzu and basil oil.
 

JokerZ Lam

Trung Tá
❀》盜香帥《✿
1/11/18
Chủ đề
86
1,719
2,091
烟花拥着风流真情不在
0 ₿
Why don't you play on your congdongx forum but suddenly come here and say what the hell is that :3onion24: