The Bamboo Bar

The Bamboo Bar has that rare thing: a sense of place. It’s apparent the moment you enter. You’re there – the tropics – with wooden ceiling fans spinning over parquet flooring and rattan chairs; walls lined with bamboo and a jazz band providing the soundtrack. Though refurbished in recent years, this has been the style and scene of Mandarin Oriental’s Bamboo Bar since the early 1950s. The bartender team assembled here has a reputation too. Bar operations manager Jamie Rhind, an alumnus of Artesian in London, has taken the bar to a new level – though it never forgets its foundations. The latest menu, Compass, is a liquid exploration of Thailand, bringing to bear the country’s regionality of ingredients: think drinks with the likes of dragon fruit, coconut flower, cashew nut or tamarind. While other hotel bars recreate the tried and tested international formula that appeals to the largest demographic, Bamboo Bar has taken a more personal, characterful path.