Gamsei, Munich, Germany
Locavores are sure to adore Gamsei, an exhilaratingly different cocktail bar in Munich which prides itself upon serving only regional concoctions. Founder Matthew Bax, an artist and former accountant whose Bar Americano and Der Raum have seen enormous success in his native Melbourne, bills the new bar as a little protest against globalisation. Eschewing prohibition-era classic drinks, Gamsei offers a range of original beverages with such amusing appellations as ‘Lavender Drunk Bee’ and ‘Mid-Life Crisis’, arranged by flavour into a coordinate system on handmade menus. Ingredients are either foraged from the wild by Bax and his team, or grown by small artisan farmers in the region, and most alcohol and mixers are produced in-house.
The innovative spirit of Gamsei is also reflected in its unique configuration, inspired by the friendly ambiance of Bavarian beer halls. Instead of conventional tables and stools, interior architects Fabian Wagner and Andreas Kreft elected to install amphitheatre-style benches against opposing walls in the bar, so that every patron would have a full view of the bartenders in action. Bare light bulbs are suspended among stone bottles from the steel mesh ceiling, adding to the atmosphere of openness. And as with the cocktail ingredients, the construction materials of raw steel and solid oak are all locally sourced. With such a setting to match its visionary concept, Gamsei is truly one of a kind.
Writer: TF Chan
Photography: Simon Schels