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BarSu club Bangkok, an interview with Renaud Mahe - Club Director
"Actually we also asked ourselves many times 'what is Barsu exactly?' and the answer has always been the same 'you cannot define Barsu. Barsu is Barsu: a mix of experiences"
Barsu, if you are familiar with Bangkok you know it already, is the beautiful club located at the ground floor at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit. Actually, calling Barsu just a club is not entirely correct. It is much more than that, in many different ways and for many different reasons. Depending on the day of the week you visit it, or the time of the day, it can be a club or a wine bar, a restaurant, a lounge bar it depends. We talked about Barsu Bangkok with Renaud Mahe, Club Director for the past 3 years (November, 30th 2010 will be his last day as Club Director, a new adventure is waiting for him, and we think this was a good time to talk about Barsu with him), while enjoying a glass of very good French red wine.
"Actually we also asked ourselves many times 'what is Barsu exactly?' and the answer has always been the same 'you cannot define Barsu. Barsu is Barsu: a mix of experiences'" explains Renaud, smiling.
"Let's say that one of the best compliments I received from one of our regular guests is "I like to come to Barsu because it is like an extension of my living room " and this is exactly what we want to offer to our guests. A place where you can feel at home, you can dine, or you can enjoy a great selection of wines, listen to nice music, dance, interact with other guests or with your friends".
"Barsu has been my life for the past three years" continues Renaud "and I put all my heart and my efforts in order to make it the best place possible. The club (we will call Barsu a club, from now on) has gone through several changes in the past few years. We try to continuously improve the menu, the wine list, the interior decoration of the club, add new initiatives. We added the - as we call it - 'happiest hour' (from 5:30pm to 8:30pm 250++ THB for a drink and free access to the buffet"), and with this I also tried to introduce my Mediterranean culture to the crowd in BKK" (Renaud is French, with French, Italian and North African roots).
It is very common, in fact, to find free buffet together with a good glass of wine in France, or in Italy just to mention two of the most famous Mediterranean countries, but it is not so in Bangkok. At least until now. The 'Drink. Eat Free' initiative has been a success since the beginning, and we can see that right in front of our eyes. While we interview Renaud the buffet is continuously 'under attack' by the guests, and it is regularly refreshed and refilled with new dishes coming from the kitchen.
"We now have Special Nights at Barsu" explains Renaud "Wednesday night, for example, is Ladies Night and it has quickly become one of the busiest nights at Barsu now. Friday is probably our busiest night in the week. And we recently introduced a member card, free of charge, which allows our guests to earn points and rewards. Our members can also enjoy special nights and be part of our many initiatives".
Barsu is not just a wine bar, but it is 'also' a wine bar. Their wine cellar is stocked with wines from all over the world. If you are into a special bottle of Barolo, or a Bordeaux, or anything else you might have in mind, just ask for the wine list because it could (and should) be in it. Or ask for some advice.
"We regularly organize wine promotions at Barsu" continues Renaud "they are a very interesting way to present new wines or producers to our guests, and they really enjoy our 'wine experiences' as we call them.
We think it is important our guests can enjoy the wine, interact with the producer, with the other guests, and with us by giving us their opinion and feedback".
The food menu is extremely sophisticated, and some of the dishes served at Barsu are on the menu since the opening of the club. A few ideas? Why not try some oysters, for example? French oysters are shipped weekly to Barsu. Or our favorite, the seared tuna, or the grilled salmon. And if you are in the mood for something really special, you should try the ginger and pepper crusted snow fish. Or try their Italian and French cheese platters, served with a warm baguette and honey to go with it.
Of course, at night the club becomes a club, with music, a dance floor, and a lot of enthusiastic guests. The motto of Barsu, after all, is eat, play, dance.
"Basically" explains Renaud "I tried to give my heart to this place, and a very personal approach to it".
And it worked. It is not easy to find the right balance in all the ingredients that make a club a successful club, but Barsu seems to have found the right formula: be original, listen to your guests, surprise them and - sometimes - spoil them. And provide quality. It worked.
BarSu - Sheraton Sukhumvit Ground Floor
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