by Dave Stamboulis
The Marlin Café (117/4-5 Paholyothin Soi 7; 02 023 3438; www.facebook.com/marlincafebkk), a New York–inspired trendy hangout bar/restaurant in the heart of Ari, is the latest be-seen spot to grace the fashionable neighborhood. With a neo-industrial décor of bare brickwork and metal, the Marlin resembles something right out of SoHo, with fusion food and drinks to match. Featured eats include a foie gras chill chill, which is a Japanese roll of grilled salmon topped with seared foie gras served with sweet unagi sauce, or pasta with ebiko and onsen egg in light cream sauce. The menu, heavy on Japanese and Western comfort food, is complemented by a large selection of signature cocktails such as the Hayabuza, made with gin and absinthe. There are also plenty of fine wines, beers, and smoothies made with organic fruit to top things off. Co-founder Akanit Wichiencharoen says that “the marlin is actually pound for pound the world’s strongest gamefish, and we think the name reflects the strength, grace, and fine quality of what our restaurant offers.” The café’s recent opening saw the likes of some of the best-known celebrities in the Thai entertainment industry vying for tables at this sophisticated seafarers’ niche.
Open daily from 4:30 p.m. till midnight.
by Philippe Nagot
If you feel tired of the jungle of concrete that is Bangkok, Ad Lib restaurant (Sukhumvit Soi 1; 02 205 7600) might offer you a break with its surrounding vegetation and casual yet stylish dining space decorated with cozy wooden furniture, natural elements, and lounge music that could almost make you forget the city’s bustle.
“Ad lib” is from the Latin for ad libitum, meaning “at one’s pleasure, as much as one desires.” Ad Lib is part of a hotel of the same name, and it features an open kitchen showcasing chef Noom Thaninthorn’s modern take on authentic Thai cuisine.
For drinks, besides healthy juices, the menu offers craft beers, Champagne and its cousin spumante from Italy. The wine list features a classic selection of reds and whites from both the Old and New Worlds, starting at THB 245 by the glass.
When it comes to the food, Ad Lib offers both Thai and Western preparations. The former were more successful than the latter, which included stuffed chicken with sweet corn purée and red wine sauce (THB 380). We did enjoy the beef massaman with potato and peanuts (THB 180). Portions are generous but not oversized. For “all-day breakfast,” dishes start at THB 120.
Open from 6:30 a.m. till midnight.