An roundup of eclectic new places that you must check-out when you’re in Bangkok.
by Rich Kantita.
The colorful city of Bangkok does not only offer cultural attractions. It also has one of the best dining, nightlife, and spa experiences anyone could ask for. Along the busiest and liveliest streets of Bangkok such as Sukhumvit Road, Chidlom, and Sathorn areas are some new, cool spots to be added to your “must-experience” list.
Organika Cafe & Spa
Sukhumvit 49, Tel. 026 651 899
This garden-like café sits on top of Piman 49 complex, creating a tranquil oasis with large trees indoors and providing a great view of the city. What began as a high-end spa shop at the Paragon shopping mall is now a venue catering to spa treatments with its five-star signature scents, candles and tea, but also doubles as a cafe where you can enjoy highly nutritional produce such as organic chia seeds, yogurt, fresh fruits, walnuts, organic granola, honey and more.
Still in its soft opening stage, this new Organika offers an organic “eat-clean, drink-clean,” and relaxing atmosphere with a simple yet unique menu. Its tea list features their signature scent mixed with organic dried flowers and fruits with names such as “Into the Woods,” “Ocean of Dreams,” “Memoirs of Sunrise,” Secret Rose” and “Lost in Neverland.” For a wilder note during sunset, try the “Gintonika Signature” list, which features flavored gin mixed with scented tea, making it a low calorie and refreshing cocktail to treat yourself with.
The Secret Spa section of Organika is as secret as it gets. At first glance, one might wonder where the spa rooms are actually located. Hint: it is behind the book shelves! ‘Well-done,’ ‘medium’ or ‘rare’, might be some of the words that meat lovers would like to hear.
Meat Bar 31
El Patio Sukhumvit Soi 31, Tel. 095 778 2617
This well-deecorated, homey place has been open for just a little over five months but has already created quite stir. “Normally, people expect to go to luxurious hotels or restaurants to experience good meat,” Itthi, the chef, tells us. “Good quality meat is mainly imported, and therefore costs more. So here, we try our best to meet high standards by using both local and imported meats to keep our food within a reasonable price range.” In fact, it is difficult for younger groups of people to enjoy good meat without being in a barbeque restaurant or perhaps, unfortunately enough, just get a “tester” rather than enjoy a really fulfilling dish.
Meat Bar aims for those who enjoy a vibrant, unpretentious atmosphere in a place that is completely meat-focused. The dishes themselves have been localized with fusion ingredients. A Caesar Salad here is not just a typical salad. It is served with a Japanese Onsen egg. If you are making a visit, try the recommended dishes such as roast bone marrow served with garlic toast, beef tartare with caviar and egg yolk, meat plates with six different types of meat and grilled murraylands, Australian rack of lamb served with mash potato.
The Summer House Project
Charoen Nakhon Road, Tel. 02 861 0953
Another new must-visit restaurant sits by the Chao Phraya River: the sister-brand of the Never Ending Summer, which introduced Western cuisine with a Thai-styled serving.
Newly built right by the private dock of Never Ending Summer, The Summer House Project has a setting that is perfect for both indoor and outdoor dining. During the night the food is accompanied by a live jazz band playing acoustic, jazz and Thai jazz for a romantic and airy evening. Although dishes are mainly seafood based, the fine-tuning of their freshness with adapted Thai seasonings make them tastefully delightful.
The Summer House Project has a simplistic, original, and down-to-earth environment. The restaurant has a homey vibe where the smell of the food will make your mouth water. Among the recommended dishes are almond crusted barramundi with raspberry compote; grilled marinated squid with lime squeeze and bacon.
104 1st Fl, Soi Phrom Chit, Sukhumvit 39, Tel. 099 283 6363
Many people look for imported goods and often forget the importance of fresh local ones. At this organic, garden-like restaurant, all the ingredients for the sauces, and the meats to the bread are sourced from the best local suppliers to ensure that all of the produce is both fresh and organic. Unless, of course, items such as Chilean sea bass because the sea bass can only be found in the deeper seas. Dishes at Seed looks simple but they surprise you with their explosive tastes.
This restaurant specilaizing in Western cuisine adds a flavorsome Asian twist to every menu, as dishes such as smoked chicken fusilli pasta dish proves. This dish surprises you with its curry creamy dressing that is full of flavor. By the way, to welcome the New Year, the executive chef of Seed’s sister brand, the Water Library, the Water Library, offered a secret four-course menu that guaranteed a fulfilling dining experience with dishes such as dry aged beef carpaccio, Chilean sea bass in sautéed spinach, and French toast dessert.
Meanwhile, as locals enjoy the cross-cultural mixture, many expats get homesick for a taste of home. Fortunately, a new European market solves that problem: El Mercado.
Soi Phai Sing To, Klongtoey, Tel. 020 038 922
El Mercado (“market” in Spanish) brings the European market concept to Thailand by delivering imported goods such as fishes and oysters, cheese, sausages, wine, and organic products such as pasta. But more than just a market, El Mercado also offers freshly made dishes depending on what is available in the market. More importantly, it allows international chefs to worry less on having to import raw materials, both in quantity and quality, making the price affordable for all. This multi-functional market is also a café where you can enjoy great brewed coffee with homemade croissant. While the place is not yet fully opened, it offers space for private chefs to hold pop-up food events and for local shop vendors to sell their products.
Now, dining in Bangkok can only end on a high note with the choice of more exciting new bars to visit.
Sing Sing Theatre
Sukhumvit Soi 45, Tel. 097 285 6888
This bar/club/theater offers more than just a drinking experience with its theatrical performances, exotic interior design, costume designs, and animated music. Seemingly like a dragon chamber, Sing Sing went through a year of planning before making its debut last year. Opened now for just three months, it has received a successful amount of attention. Of course, this is easy to see why. If you know its sister brand, Maggie Choo’s – located in Novotel Phoenix Silom – you can imagine how much more creative this place can be.
Designed by the infamous Ashley Sutton, this Chinese-inspired venue is located right by Quince Restaurant. At the entrance, one is welcomed by Bruce Lee and at the gate, by the Muses of the Theater consisting of two ladies dressed in a contemporary Chinese costumes, making you feel like royalty while entering the theater.
Sukhumvit Soi 11
For an easy-come, easy-go trend in Bangkok, there has to be more than good music and good drinks to keep the people on their toes. This venue for a “secret society” aims to touch people’s emotions and creativity with its concept. The “tricky,” not easy-to-find, entrance is accessible only by a passcode and this passcode issubject to change although for now, old-comers are safe.
The place took about seven months to transform from a typical Thai townhouse into a 1940s Cuban-style home. Havana Social serves more than 20 kinds of rum and its top favorite is, of course, Bacardi. The signature cocktails are designed by mixologist Joseph Boroski, who provide very fresh and flavorsome tastes that blend well with the sexy and ‘muy caliente’ Latin vibe. We recommend the Ricardo Robson, the Knickerbocker and the classic but still with a hint of something special the Mojito. The pre-revolution classical drinks served during that period and the post-revolution modern drinks are also great for those who like to stick to Cosmos and vodka-tonic.
River front, Tel: 098 260 9292
Sitting on the river front across Dusit area, is an exciting new night life already has plans for the future. Located in Charan Sinitwong 92, near Yan Hee hospital, River Duck Restaurant, Bar and Pub has found the perfect spot for the booming Nonthaburi and the outskirts. The grand opening of the restaurant (19 Jan) will feature a compacted guest list of famous Thai celebrity, press and A-list guest, highlighted with a pop-rock band Klear and DJs from Thonglor to play at the Pub. River Duck is also opening a coffee shop in Feb, tagging team with Chiang Mai’s famous Café De Museum (www.facebook.com/CafeMuseum). One of many other concept and ideas for this place. A Thai-fusion restaurant that would appeal to both local and tourist surely gives a great cozy atmosphere by the river but as the night gets darker the part-goers come out play.