Gastro-pub 1881 by Water Library is an all-day dining restaurant at noon, and turns into a nightlife hotspot when the sun sets. Not to be confused with their logo (even though i was), the 1881 looks exactly like a "W" (think Water Library), so spotting the place at Central Groove @ Central World might be tricky.
Helmed by Chef Urs (pronounced "ers") from Switzerland, the kitchen serves up modern European cuisine with a twist of Thai flavours incorporated that's extremely value of money. The ambience gives off a chic vibe, with a live band on some days to keep you entertained during happy hour. If there's no live band, fret not, there's still the really talented, good looking and chatty chef that might come by your table if time allows.
To start, we highly recommend the Double Duck Mesclun. The double duck meaning behind the name of this dish comes from the tender slices of smoked duck and a sous vide duck egg in the middle. We enjoyed the sesame dressing on the salad and the flavours came together, giving it a clean refreshing taste with each mouthful.
A good example of the European Thai merger of flavours at 1881 is the Thai Style Chicken Burger "Larb Kai". The burger features a soft fluffy bun with a thick spicy chicken patty in the middle, sandwiched between cabbage and green mango shreds. The crunch from the green mango shreds resemble pickles you get from a normal burger and the spicy salsa accompanying it added some heat. If you don't want something so filling, the Siam Chicken Praline (finger food) is a close version of chicken pops that taste like the chicken patty from the burger.
I think what ultimately blew us away was the Kurobuta Pork Belly that had a crackling skin on the outside and was fork-tender within, it literally melted in our mouth. It also came served with an onsen egg and a very very delectable truffle-mushroom confit on the side. The whole plate was bursting with flavours from every corner, to the extent we secretly wished the portion was doubled.
And what is a bar without drinks? At 1881, the drinks menu is extensive and the range of liquors are aplenty. Our favourite was the Gummy Bear - a signature cocktail that consists of fresh mango and passionfruit as a base. Did we also mention that it comes with real gummy bears on the side?
1881 by Water Library is a place that's chill-out worthy after a long day at work, or for our case after a long day of shopping and running around the bustling city. Situated at Central World, the location is pretty central and easy to get to using public transport. But after a few rounds of drinks, trust me, you'll probably need to hail a cab back.
1881 by Water Library
Central World Complex
Radjaprasong Junction, Bangkok
This was an invited media tasting.
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