Talking Liquid Surreality with Opium

Written by Christopher Menning 

August 25, 2022

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In Partnership with Perrier.

Opium has fast become one of Bangkok’s most exciting new bars with the concept of ‘Liquid Surreality’ being at the heart of all they do. Situated in the back alleys of Bangkok’s China Town, Opium is above the historic building of Chef Pam Pitchaya Utarntham’s, Thai-Chinese restaurant Potong.

In what was once an opium den, this progressive cocktail experience is ideal for those looking for a classic mixed drink before a meal as well as for gourmets seeking experimental and modern cocktails.

We caught up with creative director Arnon Hoontrakula and head bartender Matteo Cadeddu to hear more about their bar development.

Our emphasis is on the drink. We want to make ourselves different. How are we different? We take things a step further before crossing the line. Our motto is Liquid Surreality. A lot of people ask us what that means. For me it’s to challenge people’s perceptions and let our customers doubt what they are tasting, smelling, seeing. At Opium we like to use these three senses to create something truly memorable. What we are doing is on the verge of dreams. Magic with liquid. said Arnon.


The bar has an array of highly advanced equipment for use in the bar to manipulate liquids into thought-provoking tastes. The menu itself holds over 40 unique crafted cocktails with an emphasis on spirit forward, a cocktail style generally best used to bring out unique and challenging flavours.

Arnon says “There is a lot of chemistry involved. Sometimes Matt even has to tell me to calm down on some of our experiments! But for me it’s fun, it’s exciting. All the equipment you can think we have, nitrogen, rotovap, sous vide. There is a lot for us to use.”

Opium has become known for more than just its crazy, experimental drinks. Many of the drinks are classic cocktails made well, and there is also a section dedicated to cocktails with low alcohol content. We asked Matteo to create one for us.

Being Italian, I had to put an Americano on the menu! We chose Perrier because of the light carbonation, which went perfectly with the other elements of the cocktail. Many cocktails need a bit of salinity (salt) to enhance flavour, So the minerality found in Perrier fits just right.said Matteo.

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Liquid Surreality will be more than just a concept. The bar team are working on a unique four course cocktail experience that will incorporate their ambition to challenge the senses.

Alongside an advanced cocktail program, the bar offers a small menu of bite size meals to compliment the drinks. To get in contact with Opium and to book a seat head over to their website here.

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