The association between oysters and sex is such a cliché that ordering some on a date is embarrassing. Equivalent, say, to sounding your glass in a restaurant, calling for hush and declaring to a room full of strangers your lustful intentions. Order some at Distil though - an extravagantly styled malt whisky, vodka, wine, cigar and oyster bar up high on the 64th floor of leBua at State Tower Bangkok - and swallowing a few of these most obvious of aphrodisiacs becomes seductive and sexy again...
Lustful intentions and head-spinning views
Not just a place to be seen but somewhere that literally heightens the experience of seeing altogether, Distil gives you nearly 360 degrees of the very finest. Take dusk, when the sky becomes a hazy wash of rapidly disintegrating oranges and reds, and the city landscape below bristles with spikes of concrete and kinetic energy.
From up here, cars whose fumes were terrorizing you on the street minutes before become harmless traces of light, limping their way through the city's glowing rush-hour blocked arteries. Pin-sized boats plough their way through the murky waters of the city's weaving lifeblood, the Chao Phraya River. It's head-spinning stuff - like gazing at a living water colour propped up behind the Blade Runner set in miniature.
You can take it all in with a frosted martini on the open air terrace or recline on the plush cream sofas at its edge, but for the ultimate oyster experience take a raised terrace table - the warm evening breeze and dizzying views for company - or lounge in the darkly decadent surroundings inside, with its modish tables made of onyx. Alternatively, if you want to revel in the shucking ritual performed by the dedicated oyster chefs, sit up at the oyster bar itself.
Seduction comes at a price
There are four different kinds on the menu: 'Fines de Claires' from France, 'Pacifics' from Australia (110 baht each, 650 baht half a dozen), 'Kumamotos' from Washington and 'Tutamagouche' from Canada (160 baht each, 900 half a dozen). They arrive on an elegantly raised silver platter on a bed of ice, accompanied by four great condiments and sauces. Sizes range from the large, almost daunting 'Fines de Claires', which slid down agreeably with some Thai chili sauce, to the cutely shaped 'Kumamoto', delicious with the red shallot vinaigrette.
All are fresh enough to eat straight from the shell, but the firm and fat 'Tutamagouche' with only natural brine for accompaniment was well worth savoring. And a seasonal import, the deeply cupped and plump 'Hamama' (160 baht) worked brilliantly with the lemongrass balsamic.
They go great with vodka (which the Russians favour I'm told) and you'd be on stylish ground with champagne (vintage Dom Perignon '98 goes for 23,000 baht, Diebolt Vallos '98 for 13,500 baht), but most romancers with a budget opt for wine. Prices for a bottle of French white range from a respectable 3,645 to 37,500 baht, and for Italian from 2,750 to 7,689 baht. Choose a bottle from the chilled walk-in cellar.
How to eat an oyster
As to how an oyster is best appreciated, tackle them head on, with a single sexy gulp. Let them slide down the throat, as easily as sin. You'll discover that while oysters on the ground may be conventional, add the altitude of the 64th floor and these salty, sensuous pleasures become the perfect centerpiece to a romantic feast for the senses. Your intentions are still obvious of course, but the Distil experience makes them totally seductive.
- Opening Hours: 18:00 - 01:00
- Location: Distil, 64th floor, leBua at State Tower Bangkok
- BTS: Saphan Taksin
- Tel: +66 (0)2 624 9555