Chan Nyein Soe is a young, innovative entrepreneur who is the owner of Roof Alchemy, co-owner of newly opened club, Fuse and organizer of Electronic Dance Music Festivals. He has a passion for cocktails, electronic dance music, interior design, football and travels.
Could you tell me a bit about what makes Roof Alchemy unique?
Experimental craftsmanship cocktail menu is uniquely created by our Cocktail Professor, an international cocktail bureau from Amsterdam, offering unique molecular cocktail menu with the newest techniques from the kitchen and cocktails that are never seen before in the world.
Since it opened up, what changes have been made?
The menu at Roof Alchemy is always changing as we like to surprise our guests, and we are always working on innovative new cocktails. Also on special days like
Valentine’s, we create a special experience for our guests. People in Yangon are easily bored; we like to keep them entertained!
What are your most popular drinks?
‘Experiment pH22’, a magic cocktail with flavors of rose, fresh lime and a li le bit of smokiness that changes color from dark blue to bright pink. ‘Afro Man’, a cocktail with a fun presentation in the form of an afro man with a head full of peppered cotton candy is a cognac cocktail with cherry flavors served in a pipe glass with a spicy salt tip. ‘The Bubbles’, a cocktail sphere that blasts in the mouth is our signature cocktail shot.
How are the drinks created and who creates them?
Drinks at Roof Alchemy are created by well-known expert mixologists from the industry. International multiple awards winning mixologist Tommy Suwan Seelee from Thailand first created our 2015 menu with drinks such as Airs, Caviars, Foams and Bubbles, giving Myanmar people the first taste of molecular experience.
After a successful first year, we decided to take it to a step further for Roof Alchemy by approaching the international bureau Cocktail Professor for a partnership for our new 2016 menu.
Cocktail Professor is renowned for their creative approach where they tickle the five senses with their cocktail concepts with success for international brands like W Hotel Doha, Hendrick’s Gin, Villa Caemilla Boracay, Nike, Volkshotel Amsterdam and more. Sixteen tailor-made cocktails were especially designed to create the experimental and molecular concept.
What was the inspiration behind the opening of the bar and creation of the drinks?
I’m the type of person who gets easily bored with ordinary things and always looking for innovative ideas and concepts. My inspirations always come from my passion and I take it from everywhere.
I decided to go for molecular mixology concept instead of classic for Roof Alchemy because I’d like to give a new experience to everyone here and for myself as well.
What are the challenges of molecular mixology?
It’s never been easy to do molecular mixology and you need to put in extra work, me and costs for every aspects from sourcing ingredients and machinery from different countries to preparations of drinks (home made infusions). That’s why only a handful of cities have one of those bars and Yangon is now one of the few.
What are the challenges in terms of the drinks you provide, in general?
We don’t have wide diversity on available spirits in Myanmar so you have to be very creative with infusions and creating your own stuff . We infuse our spirits with flavors like baked banana and dark chocolate, create our own syrups and smoke our tequila to create Mezcal. Same is the case with glassware, tools, interior and other items that are so easily available elsewhere in the world.
You can see quite a difference between the local taste and the taste of expats/tourists. Most foreigners have more drinking experience and prefer classier and spirit-driven drinks, while the locals are more into the excitement and entertainment of the new cocktail scene, and have a different and sweeter pallet. So it is a nice challenge to create cocktails that t both local and foreigners.
Do you o er anything besides drinks?
Yes, we serve a lot of comfort foods like pizza, pasta, burgers and Asian foods that go very well with the drinks. Another thing that is really special and popular is our unique fruit cocktail shishas.
What you hope people will get out to this place?
I hope we can give people a different experience than they are used to, but at the same me we want everybody to feel at home. A lot of our guests are repeat customers. It’s the challenge to keep entertaining them. We want them to feel they are part of our big family.
Yangonites can expect some more hospitality projects of mine that will come soon. Unfortunately I can’t tell you more about this yet, but I can promise it will be something very special.
Dreams don’t work unless you do.
Roof Alchemy is a two-story cocktails bar that opened up in 2014 at the center of Yangon inside Yangon International Hotel. Recently, an additional second floor was added where resident DJs spin every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It is open every day from 5pm to 2am. Reservations are recommended at 09254272460.
Originally published in Balance Magazine (in print only) on July 2016