Dragon's Den Ditch Bali for Flores Got Buns Bangkok's juciest burgers Take Flight Why you should move to Lat Krabang Steaming Hot Who makes the city's best khanom jeeb?
Year of the Rat NO. 778 JANUARY 17, 2020. www.bkmagazine.com
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BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
Who's in charge?
Managing Director & Publisher Andrew Hiransomboon Managing Editor Craig Sauers Deputy Editor Angela Symons Senior Digital Content Coordinator Nontaya Kumyat Digital Content Coordinator Pakchira Bunphol Junior Digital Content Coordinator Kawee Jarach Senior Writer Dhipkawee Sriyananda Selley Junior Writer Waris Teachatripoom Contributor Megan Leon
The inside scoop on The Commons Saladaeng
Creative Director Bhatara Chirdchuen Production Supervisor Komkrit Klinkaeo Senior Graphic Designer Assaya Dejkong Graphic Designers Anunya Chobnitas, Wirankan Saiyasombut Photographer Poonsawat Suttama
Yes, we cannabis!
Junior Videographers Jaruwan Suwandee, Tham Rodjananaudomvutigul Junior Video Editor Jakphet Potisarn
Advertising Director Wanida Akeapichai Sales Manager Tipkritta Chiraporncharas Senior Sales Associates Tassanee Mahamad, Nattaya Bovornsettanon Sales Associate Parinda Dermsripoom
The best places to eat, drink and be social outside
Junior Marketing Executive Katthaleeya Tamkittigul ASIA CITY STUDIO Managing Editor Dietrich Neu Associate Editor Sureepak Janyapat Event Projects Manager Chayanap Tongdadas Event Coordinator Thanawat Buddhichewin Project Coordinator Sirinart Panyasricharoen Junior Project Coordinator Sawanya Chantarakana Senior Developers Prawee Wiangin, Wasan Wangrach Developer Nopanun Laochunanun Branded Content Writer Chakariya Cheewatara Senior Content Writer Pailin Jindarerk SOIMILK Editor Noranarita Chaikun Senior Writers Rujiyatorn Choksiriwan, Kristiya Chaisri Writer Sarin Songkriengkrai Junior Graphic Designer Wathinee Srithongchuai Senior Sales Associate Kornkanok Sriwaranant Sales Associate Palita Nueangnit Assistant Brand Manager Prawpraew Pairohg Finance Manager Supaporn Bangmoung Senior Accountant Maneeya Kanthongdang Accountant Manita Bangmoung Admin Executive Yaovaluck Srisermsri Interns Pearapong U-hun, Supaporn Saeponkrang, Wanvisa Koedmongkhon
Get lost in Flores
Asia City Media Group Chief Executive Officer Greg Duncan (firstname.lastname@example.org) Director Gretchen Worth (email@example.com)
Where to find us!
The Asia City Media Group Asia City Publishing (Thailand) Ltd. 9/F, Sathorn Nakorn Tower 100 North Sathorn Rd., Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: 02-624-9696 Fax: 02-237-5656 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shun by Yanagiya
BK “Asia City Living” Magazine is edited by Andrew Hiransomboon and published 24 times a year, twice a month by Asia City Publishing (Thailand) Ltd. Copyright ©2020 Asia City Publishing (Thailand) Ltd. The titles “BK Magazine,” “BK ‘Asia City Living’ Magazine” and their associated logos or devices, and the content of BK “Asia City Living” Magazine are the property of Asia City (Thailand) Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Article reprints are available for B50 each. The magazine may not be distributed without the express written consent of Asia City Media Group (Thailand) Ltd. Contact the Advertising Department for ad rates and specifications. All advertising must comply with the Publisher’s terms of business, copies of which are available upon request. Printed by Comform Co.,Ltd. 212 Moo 13 Krungthepkreetha Rd., Saphansoong, Bangkok 10250
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Suburban vibes in Lat Krabang
Business Development Director Jane Bay Senior Business Development Manager Madeleine Anantasuk
Howdy, kids! Dr. Ganja here, your friendly anthropomorphic weed expert, and today we’re going to talk about how marijuana can make our miserable lives a little better. Did you know that weed can alleviate muscle pain? Think of all the people with sore legs today after joining one of those sold-out Wing Lai Lung runs held around the country. My sticky icky intuition tells me a little pakalolo might go a long way. For a lot of us, though, medical marijuana is most useful for helping us deal with anxiety and depression. When that persistent, potentially permanent, wheeze-producing PM 2.5 gets you down, or when the cold harsh reality that being a professional YouTuber isn’t a viable career path sinks in, just put a dropper full of CBD under your tongue. The bad vibes will melt away as the golden oil oozes into your bloodstream. Sometimes, people have trouble sleeping. We call that insomnia. Lots of things can cause insomnia—diet, stress, that special awareness of your own mortality that triggers when your white Lexus gets sprayed with bullets while you’re attending a business meeting—but THC can help you sleep soundly. The best part about it is that medical marijuana is available to people from all walks of life—Thais, former Chinese communists and immigrant fugitives alike. It’s really great that the Thai health ministry is finally getting the picture and allowing those of us who are suffering to explore alternative medicine at the new cannabis clinic in Bangkok. Gee, they even made cuddly old me to help spread the word about its benefits to all of you! Seriously, kids, I can’t wait until our leaders have found a way to turn all that green into gold so we can purchase and use marijuana freely. If you read up on Thai history, you’ll discover that we were using marijuana to treat illnesses over a century ago, before some of our friends in the West turned it into a taboo. Maybe decriminalizing marijuana now will return happiness, bring a bright future, declare our nation glorious eternal… well, you get the idea!
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BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
HOT OR NOT
The Commons’ co-founder dishes on her new community space
Are you cool? If you aren’t in on the raw roti challenge, the answer is a hard no. The latest craze sweeping the Thai internet, the challenge requires you to down a whole uncooked roti—raw eggs and all—topped with melted butter and condensed milk, laughing in the face of food-borne illness all the while.
Vicharee “Taew” Vichit-Vadakan is an uncommon thinker. After returning from the US, where she worked in retail consulting for major brands including Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, she opened Bangkok’s first true communityoriented commercial space: The Commons. With her second project now open in Sala Daeng, she talks with us about building for the community and giving back.
“What’s missing are smaller places built for the community.”
What do you think about the current state of development in Bangkok? Big mixed-use projects are everywhere now. What’s missing are smaller places built for the community, with programming that comes first. A lot of big projects build first and then think about what to put in—we come up with programming before we even think about the design. What went into your design process? We worked with the architectural firm DEPT again. They studied the neighborhood and found that the first railway in Thailand went from Pak Nam to Hua Lamphong, with a little station here with a red roof—in Thai, “sala daeng.” If you look at this soi (Sala Daeng 1), the street sign says “Gotche.” They found out that he was the train conductor at the time. They took all of that as inspiration. How did sustainability factor into it? We’re not LEED-certified or anything like that, but we try to be environmentally-friendly with our initiatives. We have a community fridge and encourage our food vendors to put their surplus ingredients that would otherwise go to waste into it. Thai SOS collects the food and brings it to orphanages and halfway homes, and we don’t sell plastic water bottles. We have drinking water stations, and the donation money from them goes back to the community. Tell us more about those initiatives. Every month, we work with the district to give that money to someone in the community who’s in need. In Thonglor, we met a 76-year-old lady living totally alone—no family, no kids—trying to survive on B700 a month. She could hardly
CREATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR THE PLASTIC BAG BAN
HYGIENE We’ve got a drought on our hands and the Chao Phraya is turning saline. That means it’s time to take a page from our western counterparts and turn off those showers. Forty-three percent of French citizens don’t shower every day, and they seem fine. Just remember to keep that ya hom handy when you’re out in public.
find food to eat. She was walking around trying to find a job—she even stopped at construction sites and asked for work. No one would give her one, because she’s 76 and looks frail. But she’s healthy and wanted to work, so we offered her a job at The Commons selling our products. She has so many great stories to tell. What can we expect? We’ve only invited a third of our tenants from Thonglor. Another third are more established brands—not chains, but people who have locations somewhere else, like Boon Tong Kee. And the other third are new players that didn’t have any outlets. Like the dim sum place, Yumcha. The chef is coming from Hong Kong. He came and cooked for us, and it was amazing. There’s a yogurt bar called Lykke—it was born out of two women who started making yogurt at home. What’s The Platform all about? I’ve met so many talented, interesting people who don’t necessarily want to invest millions into opening their own business. They just want to teach. And these businesses all have a different peak times. Musicians at night, art teachers during the day, fitness in the morning or after work. So I thought, why not take the idea of a vacation timeshare but adapt it to the space? There’s one big hall, a smaller studio, a fully equipped kitchen area for chefs, a grass lawn at the top for kids’ activities. The programs will change, so you can come often, try new things, meet new people. We’re trying to make it so you can buy credits and use them for any activity. Craig Sauers
FORCED OBSOLESCENCE It’s no surprise the only people really upset about the plastic bag ban are plastics manufacturers. But these days the bell tolls for everyone eventually. If the plastics industry has to take a hit to help preserve marine life—and, you know, human life; we do eat the fish and crabs that consume those single-use plastics—then so be it. It’s time to look forward.
ANIMAL CRUELTY The so-called tiger temple in Kanchanaburi gets burned at the proverbial stake in international media, so what do the bright minds in Phuket tourism decide to do? Open a new tiger park on the road to the Big Buddha, an already sad stretch of tarmac featuring such ethical attractions as chained-up elephants and monkeys. Always say no to animal attractions in Thailand.
To read the full interview, visit bk.asia-city.com.
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BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
25 – 26 JANUARY 2020
_ KICK-START THE YEAR OF THE RAT WITH A BANG!
SEVEN LUCKY FOODSTUFFS
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Gain all the luck that you can get by simply indulging all seven of the auspicious foodstuffs. Red Oven at SO/ Bangkok has a menu of fortune-giving bites including stir-fried Schezwan tiger prawn, Mud crab with sticky rice, Crispy pork belly, Pork Char Siu, Suckling pig, Steamed Snow fish, Mixed tofu & mushroom, Longevity noodles, and Beijing duck waiting for you over the upcoming Chinese New Year weekend. THB 1,588++ PER PERSON. AT RED OVEN, 7TH FLOOR. FROM NOON – 3:30 PM
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cover | dry january
— ROOFTOP — Winter is always painfully fleeting in Bangkok. But even when those crisp, cool days become a distant memory in your heat-rattled mind, we still have months of sunshine and clear skies to enjoy. From the rooftops to the riverside, these are our favorite alfresco bars and restaurants in Bangkok. By Waris Teachatripoom
ABAR ROOFTOP The rooftop bar at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park divides a beautiful space overlooking Benjasiri Park into two floors and two bars. Head to ABar Rooftop, where you can select your favorite label from an apocalypse-ready supply of gin and watch the sun dive over downtown Bangkok as the surrounding city lights twinkle to life. The chairs even come with built-in air-con. ABar Rooftop, 38/F, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22. 02-059-5555. Open daily 6pm-1am
BREWSKI Chill vibes and cool breezes define this 30th-floor bar overlooking Asoke. There are a dozen beers on tap plus an extensive range of bottled beers, from Leffe Blonde (B280) to Stone Delicious IPA (B360). Pair those with Thai beer snacks like larb moo tord (B190) or heartier fare like IPA-battered cod with mushy peas and chips (B490). 30/F, Radisson Blu Plaza, 486 Sukhumvit Soi 27, 02-302-3333. Open daily 5pm-1am
CAT ON THE ROOF Saphan Kwai’s Cat on the Roof is stripped of all pretentiousness. Neon bathes the bar inside, where indie bands regularly hold court. Outside, bare concrete, white brick and naked bulbs make for a low-key setting to watch the BTS rumble down the tracks as you sip on craft beer. 4/F, Everyday Sunday Social Hostel, Phaholyothin Rd., 095-046-8824. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-midnight
DUMBO JAZZ & VINYL BAR Saphan Kwai has a lot going for it in the rooftop department. Vibrant murals add splashes of color to the raw concrete at this casual, quasi-hidden space. Every weekend,
some raucous bands bring energy to the outdoor space, where craft beer and easydrinking cocktails are the order of the day. And just like Cat on the Roof, you’re seated pretty much at BTS height. 490/5 Phaholyothin Rd., 094-560-7222. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-midnight
massive complex of rooftop restaurants and bars, all speckled with light wood furniture and potted plants, Siwilai City Club offers everything from coffee and light lunches to group dinners, cocktails and parties fueled on by top DJs. The beachy vibe makes you feel far removed from the Phloen Chit setting, too.
5/F, Central Embassy, Phloen Chit Rd., 02-160-5631. Open daily 11am-midnight
Swanky EmQuartier dedicates some fifth-floor, mall-top space to a venue that’s part tapas bar, part tiki bar and wholly committed to its “downtown beach club” theme. Instagramready nooks litter the huge, tropical-plant and pink-flamingo festooned area. 5/F, The EmQuartier, 693, 695 Sukhumvit Rd., 02- 258-6515. Open daily 5pm-midnight
PARK SOCIETY/HI-SO This rooftop serves up one of Bangkok’s most stunning sunset scenes—looking straight over Lumphini Park and onto the gleaming skyscrapers of Phloen Chit. Maybe that’s why it’s one of the few spots that attracts a local crowd, one that likes to knock back Champagne and smoke cigars while reposed on the almost-too-comfy scarlet daybeds. 29/F, So Sofitel Hotel, 2 North Sathorn Rd., 02-624-0000. Open daily 5pm–1am
SEEN The Avani Riverside’s Portuguese bar and restaurant is big on energy and flair. Those timeless sweeping views over the Chao Phraya River combine with a stunningly lavish design, funky music, playful cocktails and friendly service for a relaxed but special feel. 26/F, Avani Riverside, 257 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-431-9120. Open daily 6pm-1am
SIWILAI CITY CLUB Who says rooftops are only for drinking? A
SKY ON 20 Maybe the most chilled out—and definitely the best value—rooftop bar in the city is the kind of place we wish could remain a secret. Here you can expect legitimately affordable cocktails (for a rooftop) that are actually good, plus a low-key house soundtrack and room to breathe. 26/F, Novotel Bangkok, 19/9 Sukhumvit Soi 20, 02-009-4999. Open daily 5pm-midnight
SWING BAR This casual bar boasts impressive views of Bangkok’s heritage sites. Grab any of the dozens of beers on the menu—Stonehead Lemongrass Kolsch (B150), Deschutes Fresh Squeezed (B250)—order some spicy Thai bar food and watch the sun go down over the Giant Swing as you belly up to a rustic wood bar overlooking the Old Town. 6/F ,Chingcha Hostel, 88/4-89 Siripong Rd., 063-231-2017. Open daily 5pm-midnight
VANILLA SKY ROOFTOP Decked out with LED lights, Vanilla Sky gives off a fancy sky bar atmosphere, but still remains easy-going. Gin and tonics take a starring role in the cocktail menu, with some unusual flavors the mix (think peppermint and passionfruit or chestnut and chamomile). 35/F, Compass SkyView Hotel 12, Sukhumvit Soi 24, 02-011-1111. Open daily 5pm-2am
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The Deck ABar Rooftop
— RIVERSIDE — BARBON Offering a more laid-back riverside hangout to the five-star hotels, this bar sits atop Song Wat’s playful Hostel Urby, offering cocktails with a view. Crash out on one of the large cushions on the deck for a chilled-out drinking sesh. Hostel Urby, 1222 Songwat Rd., 02-0436358. Open daily 5pm-midnight
CHIT BEER No day trip to Nonthaburi’s Koh Kret is complete without a craft beer or five at this much-loved brewing school and bar. Nab a waterside table on the deck and watch the world float by as the sun goes down.
4/F, Sala Rattanakosin Hotel, 39 Maharaj Rd., 02-622-1388. Open daily 7-10:30am, 11am-4:30pm, 5:30-10:30pm
Ko Kret, Nonthaburi, 083-999-0935. Open Sat midday-9pm, Sun 1-9pm
1612 Song Wat Rd., 02-639-6853, 086-9789331. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-midnight
STEVE CAFE AND CUISINE
Arun Residence, 36-38 Soi Phatu Nokyung, 02-221-9158/9. Open daily 8am-10pm
Located in the small community behind Wat Devarajkoonchon, this brightly painted 60-year-old house may not deal in fine dining, but there’s no denying the comfort factor of its casual and simple Thai fare. The tom klong pla salid (spicy soup with dried fish and mushroom) is a killer hangover cure.
DOCK NO. 13
68 Sri Ayutthaya Soi 21, 02-281-0915. Open daily 11am-10:30pm
A classy place to drink right on the river on Phra Arthit, with 13 taps of craft beer and live music? It almost sounds too good to be true. These guys are plugged into the Thai craft beer scene, and you can’t beat that riverside setting by the Rama XIII bridge at golden hour. 49/7 Phra Arthit Rd., 02-629-5165. Open daily 9am-midday, 3pm-midnight
Siwilai City Club
Offering a stunning view of Wat Arun, this renovated shop-house hotel doles out elegantly plated Thai classics, regional specialties and Western bistro food on its outdoor terrace. Head up to the rooftop for fruity cocktails (from B220) with a breeze.
It takes an explorer to find this tucked-away wooden house by the Chao Phraya, but you’ll be rewarded with great music, reasonably priced beers and sake, a host of cats and a super chilled out vibe.
While many riverside restaurants offer prime views of Wat Arun, none is quite as spectacular as this one. With the Temple of Dawn directly across the river from your table, feast on well executed Thai classic and European grill dishes. Spread over two alfresco stories, request the top tier for the best view.
SALA RATTANAKOSIN EATERY & BAR
JACK'S BAR An oldie but forever a goodie, this ramshackle and raucous hangout promises not only the cheapest riverside beers you’re likely to find, but also some lip-smackingly tasty home cooked Thai food. Just be prepared to wait for it—service can be painstakingly slow. Soi Wat Suan Plu, Charoenkrung Soi 42, 086416-8182. Open daily midday-midnight
THE SUMMER HOUSE PROJECT Housed in an industrial-style warehouse, the vast waterside terrace at this bistro is the perfect spot to catch the winter breeze and indulge in European comfort food washed down with a Thai-infused cocktail. 41/5 Charoen Nakorn Rd., 02-861-0953. Open daily 11am-11pm
SUPANNIGA EATING ROOM THA TIEN The Old Town riverside location of one of Bangkok’s most satisfying Thai restaurants offers not only Supanniga’s wonderful food with prime Wat Arun views, but also an excellent cocktail menu brimming with localized classics. Riva Arun, 392/25-26 Maharaj Rd., 02-0154224. Open daily 11:30am-10:30pm
» The Summer House Project
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cover | dry january
BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17,2020
— GARDENS — ARTISAN
Set in The Garden complex—a leafy slice of Eden off of hectic Asoke—this coffee counter is an extension of the rustic Thai eatery, Kiew Kai Ka. Take a seat in the deep green, tropical-wallpapered dining room, or lounge on cushioned garden furniture amid colorful flowers with a sweet Thai-style coffee and a ham-cheese croissant or a slice of velvety cheesecake.
Ari’s Austrian bakery is a hidden gem, a stripped down townhouse brimming with fresh-baked breads and pastries with a pet-friendly backyard garden. That space regularly gets transformed into community craft markets, selling locally made clothes, bags and more—the ideal activity for a slow weekend afternoon.
The second outlet of the now-global craft beer empire to open outside of Denmark, Mikkeller has rewarded beer geeks for over half a decade with its pared-back Scandinavian style and away-from-it-all setting in a mid-century house in the back sois of Ekkamai. The front yard lawn practically begs you to settle in with one of the 30 beers on tap or hundreds of bottles and cans found in the cold room. Frequent weekend barbecues see the bar open as early as noon, too.
The Garden, 68/2 Sukhumvit Soi 21, 061-963-5364. Open daily 7am-10pm
BLUE PARROT Revolucion Cocktail’s backyard shelters this tropical sanctuary hidden amid Sathorn’s concrete jungle. Blue Parrot is essentially the vision of a holiday in Thailand brought to life—all faux grass, palm trees and Thai salas surrounding a kid-friendly swimming pool and petanque courts. 50 Sathorn Soi 10, 02-235-4822. Open daily 11am-11pm
DAYDREAM BELIEVER Across a pair of huge plant-strewn glasshouses, a 60-year-old house and a sculpted English garden, this cafe offers a bright and airy experience few can match. Find your own quiet nook and tuck into fusion fare. They also whip out a line of aromatic house-baked goods and refreshing soda drinks. 436/1 Phahon Yothin Soi 12, 062-569-7946. Open Tue-Sun 10am-9:30pm
18 Phahon Yothin Soi 5, 081-902-9183. Open Tue-Sun 7am-7pm
LE CABANON This high-end Mediterranean restaurant, run by a friendly French expat, occupies a cottage-like house down a leafy Narathiwat soi, with the star attraction being its outdoor terrace. A firm favorite of the city’s Gallic crowd, Le Cabanon boasts a menu packed with premium imported French and Spanish seafood put to great use in dishes like the classic lobster soup. 44 Akhan Songkhro Soi 3, 092-568-0444. Open Mon-Thu 6-10pm; Fri-Sun 12-3pm, 6-10pm
LINK CUISINE & BAR This Samui transplant (now with another branch in Chiang Mai) brings a secret-garden vibe to already leafy Yen Akat. A koi pond sits in the middle of a wooden-decked courtyard surrounded by tropical plants and a towering banyan tree, adding a touch of zen to long, boozy days out. 19 Yen Akat Rd., 02-077-4804. Open daily 10am-10pm
It doesn’t get much greener than Bang Krachao, and this tucked-away cafe is the perfect tree-shrouded pit stop while touring the city’s last true urban oasis. Surrounded by cute wooden bridges, mini man-made waterfalls, fairy lights and a big deck overlooking the river, the cafe helps you boost energy levels with a range of coffees, desserts and Thai dishes.
Located within the Nai Lert Park Heritage Home, this charming Thai restaurant surveys the property’s lush and impeccably manicured confines. The menu features family recipes that date back to the 1920s, prepared at the level you’d expect from such a stately domain. This is easily one of the city’s most charming, if aristocratic, lunch destinations.
777 Moo 4, Phetchahung Rd., Bang Krachao, 090-974-8234. Open Thu-Sun 10:30am-6pm
Nai Lert Park Heritage Home, 4 Soi Somkid, Phloen Chit Rd., 02-655-4773. Open daily 11am-2:30pm, 6-10pm
Mikkeller, 26 Ekkamai Soi 10, Yaek 2, 02-381-9891. Open daily 5pm-midnight
PATOM ORGANIC CAFE Patom’s greenhouse-like cube, surrounded by a shroud of foliage, feels so far removed from Bangkok that you’ll forget you’re on Thonglor. Its good-life image has made it a huge hit with the photo-hungry cafe hoppers, though that’s not to say its salads and lunch boxes—made from ingredients sourced from the Sampran network of farmers—don’t back up their claims of local, sustainable and organic. 9/2 Sukhumvit Soi 49/6, 02-084-8649. Open Tue-Sun 9:30am-6pm
SIRI HOUSE Property developer Sansiri’s charming mid-century house is centered on one of Bangkok’s most chilled-out gardens. Pop in for brunch at Luka, get a pre-dinner drink at the Jackie O-inspired Jacqueline, visit for dinner at the second-coming of Quince or just drop in for one of the frequent weekend events—this place rewards repeat visits. 14/2 Soi Som Khit, Phloen Chit Rd., 04-868-2639. Open daily 8am-midnight
THE 51 TASTY MOMENTS This single-floor space comes complete with a spacious lawn with big trees and bean bags—just made for day drinking. Since the closure of Soi 47’s Freebird, this part of town has lacked the kind of open, green space that's ripe for weekend chilling. With its diverse menu, 51 Tasty Moments well and truly fills the void. 64 Sukhumvit Soi 51, 092-552-5012. Open daily 11am-11pm
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hit list | 18 reasons to love bangkok
BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
Meet Organika’s all-new luxury spa WELLNESS
Following an extensive renovation, Vie Hotel Bangkok has teamed up with high-end Thai spa brand Organika to launch a luxury pampering spot dubbed Vie Spa by Organika. Located on the 10th floor of the design-led boutique hotel, the spa boasts a natureinspired setting of earthy palettes and comprises a total of six private treatment rooms, including a Thai massage room, a single treatment room, three rooms equipped for couples and a luxurious spa suite with a Jacuzzi. Opt for their signature 90-minute “The Organika Aromatic Candle Massage” (B3,000), an aromatic candle massage that uses pure essential oils, soy butter, jojoba and vitamins A and E to help nourish, replenish and moisturize your skin, or the 30-minute “Aromatic Milk Bath Therapy” (B800) that aims to destress and melt away your aches and pains. You’ll get to select from three of Organika’s milk bath and massage oils, too, which include Ocean of Dreams (lavender, rosemary and mint), Secret Rose Garden (rose extract) and Memoirs of Sunrise (passion fruit, orange and lemon). A range of Organika’s spa products are also available for purchase, including the all-natural aroma massage candle, aromatic milk bath and massage oil, aromatic ambiance diffuser and more. 10/F, VIE Hotel Bangkok, 117/39-40 Phayathai Rd., 02-309-3939. Open daily 10am-10pm
Combat the plastic ban with these stylish ecofriendly totes. Kamnueng Bags B320 Available at Chatuchak Weekend Market (Section 22, Soi 30/4)
Madmatter “Mongkol” B790 -890 Available at Line ID: @madmatterstore
Renim Project x SCG “Moca” B2,490 Available at Absolute Siam Store, 1/F, Siam Center
02 This Ari shop wants you
03 Get buff on the go
04 This 360-degree camera
Dubbed the “Airbnb of fitness,” Bangkok-based startup app FitTripper helps you find the right gym, whether you’re home or away. With a subscription-free model for daily, weekly, monthly and three-month passes on a pay-as-you-go basis, the app lets you search and filter gyms based on location, price, equipment, amenities and classes, even honing it down to the opening and closing hours and pass duration. FitTripper now partners with over 45 gyms across Thailand, including big names like CrossFit Ten500, Roots8 Yoga and RSM Academy Muay Thai. Available on iOS and Android.
What: GoPro Max Price: B17,000 Why? Smaller, cheaper and easier to use than its predecessor, the GoPro Fusion, this 360-degree action camera lets you shoot standard “Hero” style videos and photos like GoPro’s flagship, the Hero 8 Black, or capture immersive 360 footage at 6K and vlog with shotgun mic performance. Other top-line features include the “Max HyperSmooth” image stabilization; “Max TimeWarp” for capturing smooth motion time lapse videos; and an updated GoPro app for editing and sharing your videos. Available at kingpower.com
to wear white worry-free
Besides a slew of hip coffee shops and restaurants, Ari is also fast becoming one of Bangkok’s coolest shopping destinations thanks to a growing number of trendy multi-label shops and even concept stores located inside its BTS station. The latest to join the pack is GQ Apparel, a Thai menswear label that specializes in stain-resistant and wrinkle-free button-down shirts. Head to the store to try on their best-selling GQWhite shirt (B1,990), made from fabric that is spill-, stain- and wrinkle-resistant, with a collar that’s coated to prevent pesky yellow stains. BTS Ari. Open Mon-Fri 11am-8pm; Sat-Sun 10am-8pm
with this travel-friendly fitness app
puts the “pro” in GoPro
Freitag “Miami Vice” B3,900 Available at Freitag Store by Pronto, Siam Square Soi 7
Least Studio “HUM Tote” B4,390 Available at leaststudio.com
Shop Talk How to spend your hardearned baht.
BUY IT STELLA MCCARTNEY X ADIDAS STAN SMITH Put a New Year spring in your step with these vegan kicks; B15,000.
BIN IT LUXURY STREETWEAR In the name of sustainability, ditch fads for timeless style this year.
BARGAIN HABITAT LIVING ROOM SALE Refresh your home for 2020 with up to 30 percent off coffee tables, sofas and other selected home decor pieces at Habitat; now through Feb 29. 3/F, Siam Discovery
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hit list | calendar
BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
Karma Klique kicks off 2020 with a back-to-nature party
THE OASIS FEST This new quarterly party boasts two dancefloors: one for house and techno and the other for R ‘n’ B and hip hop. Jan 18, 2pm-9pm. Amari Watergate Bangkok, 847 Petchaburi Rd. From B350 via Megatix QOMMON GROUND LAUNCH Celebrate the launch of this new electronic music community with 12 hours of house, techno and electro beats. Jan 18, 3pm-3am. De Commune, 1/F Liberty Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor). B300 via tiny.cc/qtix or B500 at the door
Mosh to this energetic Kentucky-hailing hardcore punk act. Jan 26. About Studio, Pradit Manutham Rd. From B800 via Ticketmelon
MAPPA This map-making installation from the Speedy Grandma team explores the concept of Null Island, the origin of all destructive monsters in Greek legend and a virtual location where digital waste accumulates. Through Jan 24. The Shophouse 1527, 1527 Rama IV Rd. Free
INTO THE WOODS CLAPTONE Catch the German tech and house DJ known for his beaked golden mask. Jan 23, 6pm. Spectrum Lounge & B a r , H ya t t R e g e n c y Bangkok Sukhumvit, 1 Sukhumvit Soi 13, 02-098-1234. From B800 via megatix.in.th
Karma Klique—the party collective behind Karma Kruise, Karma Kastle and Karma Koncrete—is heading to Bangkok’s urban oasis, Bang Krachao. Karma Krachao goes back to nature on Feb 1, as the crew puts on a scaled-down party limited to 200 revelers. As for the music, expect a globe-spanning DJ line-up, including Elaheh, part of Thailand’s Soundistan; French house and techno DJ/producer Molly; German DJ Dustin, whose label, Giegling, gained “label of the month” recognition from Resident Advisor in 2014; Bangkok-based DJ Roberto; and Wong Echo, one half of disco and house duo Slum Disco Soundsystem. 2-10pm. Hiddenwoods, 777 Moo 4, Phetchahung Rd. (Bang Krachao). B1,600 via Ticketmelon, including entry to the after-party, held at a secret location in the city.
BAD TASTE BIRTHDAY BASH Celebrate the birthday of Mustache proprietor Olivier Alexandre in your ugliest garb with house music from DJs Fred Canal and Lazykay. Jan 30, 9pm. Mustache Bangkok, 544/5 Ratchadaphisek Soi 7, 081-844-7080. B300
ARDAL O’HANLON Laugh along with the Irish funny man best-known for his role as Father Dougal McGuire in the legendary British-made sitcom Father Ted. Jan 17, 8pm. Lancaster Hotel Bangkok, 1777 New Petchaburi Rd. B950 via Ticketflap
MAX “INTIMATE AF” The rising American pop star and Youtube icon visits Bangkok for the first time. Jan 17. Lido Connect, Rama I Rd. B1,300 via Livenation
WELCOME TO PARADISE
06 Comedian Dave Chappelle hits Bangkok this weekend
07 Get nostalgic with Green Day
Legendary American stand-up comedian and actor Dave Chappelle is bringing his shtick to Bangkok this Jan 19. Dubbed “the comic genius of America” by Esquire, Chapelle appeared in several blockbuster films before signing a deal with Netflix in 2016 to produce and star in an original stand-up comedy series. He won his first Emmy for his guest role on “Saturday Night Live” in 2017 and captured a second for his Netflix original, “Dave Chappelle: Equanimity” in 2018. GMM Live House, CentralWorld. B2,500-B4,000 via Livenation
If your teenage years were spent rocking out in baggy pants to the sounds of American pop-rock legends Green Day, then mark your calendar for Mar 11. In support of their upcoming album, Father of All..., due out on Feb 7, the trio will be hitting up Bangkok’s Impact Arena. Formed in 1986, the punk rockers rose to fame in the ‘90s when their third album Dookie (1994) dropped now nostalgic hits like “Welcome to Paradise,” “When I Come Around” and “Basket Case.” Over their 20-plus years together, they’ve made 12 albums, with Billie Joe Armstrong as their front man, and have sold more than 85 million records worldwide. B2,000 via Live Nation.
LISTEN, SHOOT, POSE!
These one-off events are not to be missed
SPECTRO DANCE BATTLE 2020 Sathorn-based gallery Tentacles is joining forces with the BACC on Jan 18 to celebrate two dances born out of the LGBTQ underground—waacking and voguing— plus showcases from Higher Level and Kandy Zyanide. Tickets B200250. 2-8pm. 4/F, Studio, BACC, 939 Rama I Rd.
OH WONDER On Jan 19, British electropop duo Oh Wonder will play three free gigs in one night at Chinatown’s Ba Hao, FooJohn and Baan Rim Naam (Talad Noi). Tickets went fast, so here’s hoping for drop-outs.
THE 60 SECOND FILM FESTIVAL This mini film contest will screen 120 minute-long films by local filmmakers. Film submissions accepted through Feb 20 via the60secondfilmfestival.com. Feb 28, 7pm. Whiteline, Silom Soi 8, 087-061-1117
RATTANAKOSIN BREAKIN CREW Groove to Thai instrumental funk and hip hop, woven with retro molam and luk thung beats. Jan 22. Studio Lam, 3/1 Sukhumvit Soi 51, 02-2616661. B200 (includes one beer)
FOLK SERIES VOL. 2 SELINA & SIRINYA The Thai duo bring their folksy vocals and acoustic guitars to Scala Theatre. Jan 24. 184/216 Rama I Rd. B990 via Ticketmelon FOR TRACY HYDE The Japanese shoegaze band plays with local support from Chucheewa and Parim. Jan 24. Lido Connect, Rama I Rd. B600 via Ticketmelon JEFF BERNAT Catch the Filipino-American R&B singer, songwriter and record producer known for tracks like “Call You Mine.” Jan 26. Voice Space, BBD Building 197 Viphavadi Rangsit Rd. B1,800 via Ticketmelon
POST-LOOP MUSIC FESTIVAL AND SECOND HAND MUSIC MARKET Browse second-hand musical instruments and vinyl alongside live performances from over 50 artists. Jan 19, 1pm1am. ASiA Sound Space, 1395 Sukhumvit Soi 77. Free
THE GREEN MARKET AT PATOM Peruse 30 eco-friendly vendors selling organic and vegan food, sustainable products, natural skin care, homewear, clothing and more, along with workshops. Jan 25, 10am-4pm. Patom Organic Living, 9/2 Soi Phrom Phak, 02-084-8649. Free
SWAP ‘TIL YOU DROP Keep to your green New Year’s resolutions at this clothes swap. Jan 29. The Home BKK, 120/18 Sukhumvit Soi 23, 082-495-2121
SHOWCASE BANGKOK MOTORBIKE FESTIVAL 2020 A showcase and custom bike competition. Through Jan 19, 10am-10pm. CentralWorld, 999/9 Rama I Rd.
1/10/20 5:29 PM
travel | flores
BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
Lost in Paradise Indonesia is made up of more than 17,500 islands. While Bali is the best known of the holiday destinations, Flores is fast becoming Indonesia’s next big thing— especially for those who want to get away from Bali’s crowded beaches and Lombok’s increasing crowds. By Reika Kobayashi
Lay of the land
Lay low on a pink beach
Sitting further east of Bali and Lombok, Flores remains remarkably insulated from mass tourism, offering beautiful places to explore with a fraction of the crowds that head to Indonesia’s other holiday islands. Flores is home to diverse marine life, crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, volcanic mountains and untouched waterfalls. Not to mention it offers easy access to Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its namesake dragons. Whether you want to explore the land or sea, there are tons of activities and beautiful locations that scream adventure. Here are the top things to do in and around Flores.
There are actually a few pink beaches in the area, where the sand is a vibrantly unfiltered pink—an effect apparently caused by microscopic organisms living in the coral. Check out Labuan Bajo’s Pink Beach to see for yourself.
Visit the Komodo dragons before prices skyrocket In late 2019, Indonesian officials floated a plan to increase the entrance fee to Komodo National Park on neighboring Komodo Island from a one-time USD10 payment to a USD1,000 “annual membership.” That sky-high fee hasn’t gone into effect, however, which makes now the perfect time to see the world’s biggest lizards, the Komodo dragons, in the wild. Rinca Island, also part of the National Park, is another natural habitat to the dragons.
Go diving in paradise The waters here offer some of the most rewarding diving and snorkeling experiences you can get, with more than 1,000 species of tropical fish, 260 species of coral and other marine life such as turtles, manta rays and dolphins all living off Flores. Doing a three- to four-day tour on a liveaboard is the best way to go. The boats usually take you to several dive spots—like Manta Point, where you can swim with manta rays and dolphins—and visit a bunch of different islands, like Kanawa Island, with its picturesque Pink Beach.
Trek to the top of Padar Island This mountaintop is likely one of the most Instagrammed destinations in the Komodo archipelago. Go at the crack of dawn to beat the crowds and the heat. By the time you get down, you’ll still have plenty of time to swim in the sea before it gets packed with holidaymakers.
Watch the sunrise over the Kelimutu crater lakes The three volcanic lakes on Mount Kelimutu change color, from turquoise to red, green or brown depending on the atmospheric conditions and gas emissions. Camp near the crater to wake up to an unforgettable sunrise over the rim. (Note: the area is still volcanically active; although it is safe to camp here, make sure to do your homework before you go.)
See the spider web rice fields at Cancar Village These uniquely shaped rice terraces are arranged in a spider web formation, with each part of the web assigned to a different family in the area, depending on their wealth. Check it out from a high point to see the whole view.
Hike to Wae Rebo Village After a three-hour trek through jungles and along the cliffside, you arrive at this mountain village inhabited by the indigenous Manggarai people. Wae Rebo Village has been recognized by UNESCO for the conservation of its cultural heritage, and visitors can experience the local way of life, enjoy their food and music, and stay overnight in their cone-shaped drum houses.
Splash around in Rangko Cave This hidden cave is a sight to behold, with striking stalactites and a cool blue pool you can swim in.
Cool off under a waterfall The main waterfalls on Flores are Cunca Rami and Cunca Rede, but adrenaline junkies should make a beeline for Cunca Wulang: you can jump off an 11-meter-high ledge right into the water. Note: getting to these waterfalls can be tricky; drive safely (car or bike), or hire a guide.
Kelimutu crater lakes
KOMODO NATIONAL PARK FEES There’s news going around that the entrance fee for Komodo National Park—mainly Komodo Island—will soon rise from a USD10 admission fee to an eye-watering USD1,000 as part of a new premium annual membership system to restrict visitors. Yikes. Initially, Komodo Island was going to be closed off to visitors. This stemmed from news that Komodo dragons were being smuggled abroad, as well as a steady decline in population of the world’s largest lizards. But, hey: at least officials have scrapped the idea of completely closing it down and instead will jack up the price to effectively reduce the tourist footprint and save these soon-to-be luxury lizards. HOW TO GET THERE
BY AIR The easiest and fastest way to reach Flores is by air. From Bali, flights arrive at Labuan Bajo and take about an hour. Maumere, in the east, is also an option. Bangkok to Bali flights from B4,200 return; Bali to Labuan Bojo from B2,130. BY SEA Seeking a different travel experience? Join any of the one- to three-night diving/snorkeling tours between Lombok and Flores. Prices range from IDR250,0004,500,000 (about B550-9,000), depending on the length of the journey and how luxurious you want the boat to be.
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food & drink | open doors
08 Shun by Yanagiya The buzz: Shun by Yanagiya is the first-ever spinoff of Yanagiya, a two-Michelin-starred, invitationonly restaurant outside Gifu, Japan, that The Guardian has suggested might be the world’s best restaurant. It comes to Bangkok courtesy of the man behind the local branches of Ginza Tenharu and Menya Itto, Ben Na Nakhon, who counts third-generation Yanagiya owner Masashi Yamada as a friend. The vibe: This place is easy to miss, located behind a barely marked wooden door in the unlikeliest of locations: the third floor of the Don Don Donki mall. Once inside, you’ll find a private dining space dominated by a semi-circular table that surrounds smoking grills and a team of Japanese chefs. Looming over it all is a lighting fixture that resembles hot coals—a clever way of telling you what you’re in for at this omakase sumiyaki (charcoal-grilled chef’s selection) restaurant. Unlike your run-of-the-mill yakitori joint, however, high-tech vents suck the smoke out of the room, so you won’t leave smelling like burnt apple chips. The food: The food at Shun, meaning “seasons,” is driven largely by that: whatever is fresh and available. In time, they hope to incorporate wild game—the very products that Yanagiya uses to such critical acclaim—as long as the local palate warms up to it. For now, the focus is on more accessible premium products, including carabineros (red shrimp), Ibérico pork belly and Atlantic salmon. Tasting menus span 17 courses (B4,800), and the flavors amplify as you work your way to
the finish line—a tangy dessert of toasted marshmallows with yuzu cream. The menu features three cuts of chicken—starting with the shoulder, moving to the fattier thigh and finishing with the succulent middle wing—all glazed with the restaurant’s 50-year-old master tare sauce. The seafood does the same, culminating in an over-the-top temaki roll stuffed with uni, ikura and fatty tuna. The signature dish is the fork-tender wild unagi, but the real standout might be the creamy, oaksmoked and mentsuyu-marinated quail eggs. The drinks: The sake selection is what you’re after. It’s full of rare regional bottles, with entry-level offerings like Niigata’s Koshi no Kanbai Ginjo Bessen starting at B430/carafe. If it’s cocktails you crave, you’re still in good hands. The menu changes seasonally and might feature anything from a raspberry-and-spice rum drink with Emmental cheese foam (B650) or a surprisingly vegetal blend of Talisker 10 with Mahiki coconut liqueur, rum and young coconut (B650). If you arrive early or want to stay late, check out the secret bar hidden behind the entryway. Why we’d come back: The constantly changing menu and promise of exotic game merit repeat visits. Not to mention dining here gets you an invitation to eat at Yanagiya, one of the most sought-after meal tickets in Japan. Craig Sauers 3/F, Donki, Thonglor Soi 10, 097854-2222. Open Tue-Sun 6-11pm
1/10/20 5:32 PM
BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
NEW AND NOTED
09 Painstaking slow bar coffee hits Lad Phrao
10 Donut lovers should get down to Udom Suk
11 Sample the cocktails-on-tap trend at W District
Coffee at the Kinfolk cabin-like Blackhills Bkk (302 Lat Phrao Soi 1, Intersection 2) is a painstaking affair, avoiding electricity at all costs. That means hand ground beans, gas stove steamed milk, and a vast array of slow bar equipment ranging from the familiar AeroPress and moka pots to science-like siphon machines. Choose your beans, ranging from Brazilian Senhora De Fatima (B140) to rarities like the Panamanian La Esmeralda Private Collection Geisha Natural (B700) and pair your cup with a slice of sticky date cake (B65). Take note: this is no Instagram bait—in fact, they’ll complain if you whip out your camera.
If you’re the type to travel for a decent donut, then hop on the BTS because Drop by Dough (3131, 4-5 Sukhumvit Rd., 081-961-9135) is pumping out some drool-inducing specimens. Located just minutes’ walk from Udom Suk station, the picturesque cafe is a carefully curated blend of dark woods, midnight blues, curves and lines—the perfect backdrop for a shot of their glistening iced donuts, topped with everything from sweet young coconut (B89) to tart raspberry (B95) and classic cinnamon sugar (B65). Wash it down with a refreshing lemonade (B120) or a piping hot latte (B100).
Marked by an eye-catching mural of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un soaring off on a missile, it’s hard to miss W District’s latest opening. Talk of the Town (1599 Sukhumvit Rd., 080629-4624) specializes in what looks to be all the rage in 2020: draft cocktails. With pre-mixed concoctions on tap, you can say goodbye to lengthy waiting times without sacrificing creativity in drinks like the herbal Red Lantern (B320), with its mix of yuzu sake, lemongrass and ginger vodka, elderflower liqueur, lemon and yellow chartreuse. For something more easy-drinking, try the gin-based Larsen Iceberg (B270), featuring rhubarb, ginger, blue grapefruit tonic and sea salt.
Kinkao G/F Central Eastville, Praditmanutham Rd., 02-5536185. Open daily 10am-8:30pm Kinkao is a down-to-earth eatery that sources the best possible ingredients from all over the country. Served on nostalgic enamel crockery, all the dishes are packed with bold Thai flavors. Highlights include gaeng kua pla kapong (southernstyle yellow curry with seabass and coconut shoots) which balances a complex profile of Thai spices, and the flavorful pla tapian tom kem (B380) that sees java barb fish simmer for 15 hours until the bones soften.
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get 10% discount on food only and get a complimentary Sorghum Coconut Milk valued THB 85 when spending THB 800 or more /sales slip 01 Nov ’19 – 31 Dec ’20
1/10/20 5:32 PM
Bright Young Things
NEW AND NOTED TABLE TALK
Plu 3 Suanphlu Rd., 062-642-2222. Open daily 11:30am-10:30pm Tucked down Suan Phlu Road, this standalone house is a tropical-colonial mix of Sino-Portuguese tiles and fern patterns, with private dining rooms and an impressive outdoor deck geared up for big groups. The lengthy menu ranges from Thai dishes like the 48-hour-braised pork belly and soft boiled egg with five-spice soup, to Myanmar dishes like the explosively sweet-salty tea leaf salad—so good it could make us swear off som tam.
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get 10% discount on food only when spending THB 1,000 or more /sales slip 01 Nov ’19 – 30 Sep ’20
12 Ari gets a very modern taste of matcha With light filtering through a thin white curtain onto a stainless steel counter, Ari’s Contemporary Matcha Bar—a.k.a. MTCH—strikes a cool contrast to traditional wood-dominated tea rooms. Run by a pair of matcha enthusiasts, the cafe serves nine single cultivar matcha varieties from Japan. Cool off with the cream soda-like Sparkling Ujihikari (B120) or get a real flavor of the green stuff with the intense, double-strength Asahi MTCH Cold Whisk Latte (B190)— not to be confused with the namesake beer, Asahi here refers to a floral tea from Osaka. Pair your drink with the MTCH Cheesecake (B180), packed with the rich aroma of smokey Yabukita tea.
13 Pongchuros brings big flavor but without its namesake ingredient This homey Isaan restaurant in Silom might be named after the Thai word for MSG, but don’t expect any of it in your dishes. Owner Thitikarn “Som” Jongwattana says Pongchuros (Kessara Hotel, 38 Silom Soi 3, 082-504-1198) serves dishes that taste delicious without using the maligned ingredient. Choose from 20 kinds of somtam, from salads that swap lotus stems for papaya to the funky Luang Prabang-style version, or go for standouts like the khao pad pla too sam men (B175), a plate of fried rice prepared with the restaurant's own special shrimp paste and crispy fried pork.
14 The carefree ethos of the 1920s lives on at this new bar Sathorn 12 just welcomed a new bar to the neighborhood. Bright Young Things (101 Sathorn Soi 12, 085-5535844) pays tribute to the first golden age of cocktails—the short-lived time between the end of World War I and prohibition in the US—through a menu designed by Vesper’s Supawit “Palm” Muttarattana. All drinks are named after major European cities and highlight their native flavors, like London (B370), an elderflower- and apple-infused G&T made with Bulldog gin and served in a very ‘grammable bee glass, and Berlin (B400), a refreshing mix of Riesling, brine, mint and apricot liqueur.
1/10/20 5:32 PM
food & drink | taste test
Who makes the best… khanom jeeb? Dumplings, shumai, khanom jeeb— whatever you want to call them, these steamed bundles of minced pork are up there with the world’s best-loved comfort foods. They’re also said to bring wealth during Chinese New Year—bring it on! We’ve sampled khanom jeeb from an auspicious eight Bangkok restaurants to see who you should be celebrating with. By BK Staff
BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
Tim Ho Wan
Price: B40 Various locations. Try U/G, Siam Takashimaya, IconSiam, 299 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 095-539-2451
Winner! The brand: Made famous when its mother branch in Hong Kong became “the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant,” this spot is known for its legendary pork buns and fine dim sum. Taste: These juicy, tender dumplings practically melt in your mouth, with a pleasantly mild tasting mix of pork and shrimp that speaks of high quality, freshly prepared ingredients. Verdict: Melt in the mouth. Price: B120 Various locations. Try Terminal 21, 88 Sukhumvit Soi 19, 02-006-5288
The brand: This ubiquitous convenience store from the US offers some surprising hot food items, including khanom jeeb. Taste: A lesson in “don’t judge a book by its cover,” these unappealing-looking dumplings smacked us with a flavor that beat many of their restaurant-hailing competitors. Points go to the addition of salted egg to the filling. Verdict: Ugly face, good heart. Price: B21
Hua Seng Hong
The brand: This modern Cantonese restaurant serves carefully crafted dim sum to packed round tables in a gloriously over-the-top setting replete with chandeliers. Taste: These bite-sized dumplings are beautifully presented and thankfully follow through with their smooth texture, generous fillings and soft, thin flour wrappings. Verdict: Perfect balance. Price: B97 Various locations. Try Central Embassy, 1031 Phloen Chit Rd., 092-667-2992
The brand: What began as a humble shop in 1992 has since gained traction, expanding with branches across Bangkok. Taste: Though tasty and perfectly packed, these dumplings are a little on the peppery side. The flavor does not stand out among the pack. Verdict: Pepper spray. Price: B39 Various locations. Try Tops, Sukhumvit Soi 101/1, 02-042-2830
The brand: This Hat Yai-born dim sum house now has several branches across Bangkok. Taste: Thumbs up for the pleasant scent and the melt-in-your-mouth filling, elevated by the inclusion of shrimp. However, despite their tenderness, these dumplings are in sore need of flavor. Verdict: Flatline.
The brand: This legendary restaurant was born on Yaowarat Road in 1967 and now boasts 15 outlets nationwide. Taste: Though presented attractively, these flavorless dumplings come with an unappealing crunchy filling that fails to satisfy. Verdict: Crunch time. Price: B49 Various locations. Try 371-373 Yaowarat Rd., 02-222-7053
The brand: This popular Thai suki chain also serves an impressive array of dim sum. Taste: These look like the real deal but taste dry and salty. The strange flavored sauce added to the filling doesn't help. Verdict: Pinch of salt. Price: B53 Various locations. Try Siam Square 1, 02-248-5555
Chokdee Dim Sum
The brand: This 24/7 dim sum Yikes! joint opened its first branch in 2000 and now has outlets across Bangkok. Taste: These dumplings look too colorful to eat—and we almost wish we hadn’t. They do not taste fresh at all and the salty flavor is overpowering. Verdict: Reheat offender. Price: B33 Various locations. Try 1239 Phahonyothin Rd., 02-278-2145
1/10/20 5:32 PM
food & drink | news
BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
HOT OFF THE PASS
The Commons Saladaeng is finally open
WEST IS BEST
After over a year of construction and rumors about which cafes, bars and restaurants would be joining the party, The Commons Saladaeng is finally open to the public. Set on Sala Daeng Soi 1, the community mall stands out for its sleek look brought to life by Department of Architecture (DEPT), the same firm that designed its sister venue in Thonglor. Expect a lot of the same design principles that run through The Commons Thonglor, plus some touches that pay homage to Sala Daeng’s history. Those include the striking red roof—a nod to the name “Sala Daeng,” or red pavilion. There are three floors— the Ground, the Market and the Platform, a multipurpose space intended for community use—and plenty of outdoor and communal areas. Over 20 vendors are moving in, including familiar names from The Commons Thonglor like Roast, Roots, Seven Suns and The Lobster Lab, as well as some new ones like burger specialist Bun Meat & Cheese, modern dim sum joint Yumcha and the third outlet of Angus Zou’s Draft Land, a bar serving cocktails on draft that’s overseen by Tango Tonight, the company responsible for The Rabbit Hole, Liberation and Crimson Room. By February, when the mall will be fully up and running, expect classes, workshops and events for the whole family, including your dog—The Commons Saladaeng is pet-friendly. 126 Soi Sala Daeng 1, 089-152-2677, thecommonsbkk.com
WINDS OF CHANGE
16 Tropic City has launched an awesome new menu
17 R.Haan rolls out a fresh new menu for winter
18 Get to grips with whiskey at this huge showcase
Charoenkrung’s party-loving hotspot, Tropic City, has beefed up its menu with tasty new cocktails. Stand-outs include the Champagne Supernova (B380)—a blend of Diplomático Mantuano rum, popcorn-infused vermouth, tangy maple Champagne lactart and Angostura bitters—and the pre-batch, low-ABV Sweetest Taboo (B350), a subtly tropical easy-drinker made with Mancino Rosso vermouth, coconut whey and Jerez medium sherry. Fans of the hits, fear not: the bar has retained five popular drinks from their last two menus. Rum lovers can even indulge in tasting flights from B850. 672/65 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 091-870-9825
Fresh off R.Haan earning a second Michelin star, chef Chumpol Jangprai has unveiled a new seasonal menu at his fast-emerging restaurant. The “Royal Symphony Thai Samrub: Winter” menu (B2,912/ person) highlights seasonal produce procured from small farms and providers around Thailand. Think black chicken consommé with black galingale and golden longan, catfish rolled with neem blossoms and virgin fish sauce, mulberry sorbet and the excellent gaeng hang lay with kurobuta pork leg served with recently harvested hom mali rice from Yasothon. 131 Sukhumvit Soi 53, 02-059-0433
Taking place at Chit Lom’s Renaissance Hotel between Jan 31-Feb 1, Whisky Live promises to be the biggest show of its kind in Southeast Asia, showcasing over 200 well-known and rare labels from producers spanning Spain, the USA, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland, Scotland and beyond. Browse over 50 exhibitors and take part in masterclasses with standard access (B1,500 one day/B2,500 two day via Ticketmelon) or go all-in with a VIP weekend pass (B4,500) for access to an exclusive tasting room. A whiskey cocktail making contest and a five-course Macallan whiskey pairing dinner complete the list of activities. 518/8 Phloen Chit Rd.
PRIVATE PARTY The former head chef of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Bangkok, Olivier Limousin, recently announced his new private dining concept, L’executif Chef, offering tailored menus for exclusive parties and private events.
WESTWARD BOUND Gin haven Just a Drink (Maybe) leaves Thonglor for pastures new this month in the vicinity of Mahanakhon Tower. With The Commons Saladaeng in tow, we’re left to wonder, is Sala Daeng the new Thonglor?
ARRIVEDERCI After 24 years, Phloen Chit’s Italian mainstay, Gianni Ristorante, will be relocating to The Athenee Hotel. Gianni Favro has played no small part in bringing Bangkok’s Italian fine dining scene to where it is today and the charismatic chef is sure to bring his culinary flair and unrivaled hosting skills to the new venture.
Gaa’s first collab of 2020 is set to be another homerun
On Jan 31, Gaa’s Garima Arora will welcome guest chef Ana Ros, a fellow recipient of the World’s Best Female Chef award (2017) and the mastermind behind Slovenia’s lauded Hisa Franko, which ranks no. 38 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Self-taught chef Ana starred in the first season of hit Netflix series “Chef’s Table” and is known for bringing Slovenian cuisine to the forefront, through her use of seasonal produce from the country’s mountains
and Soca Valley. A past visit to Bangkok saw her team up with Gaggan for a one-night-only feast. This time, she’ll be joining with chef Garima to bring Thai flavors to some of her signature dishes in an exclusive dinner priced at B5,500. Seating times are at 6pm, 6:30pm, 9pm and 9:30pm and reservations can be made via email@example.com. Gaa, 68/4 Sarasin Rd.
1/10/20 5:34 PM
BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
Bangkok’s Most Trusted Independent Food Guide
is celebrating its
26 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-012-1423. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-1am.
During Soi 11’s resurgence last year, only one new restaurant truly looked set to combat the street’s hellscape reputation. Meaning “east” in Thai—a nod to its menu— Burapa brought class, au courant design and the cachet of being linked to the already successful Sri Trat to the soi. With its steely blue paint job and bright Art Deco signage, Burapa looks nicer than anything you’d expect in these parts. Inside, all three floors of the narrow shophouse-turned-restaurant resemble Eastern and Oriental Express carriages—think button-back leather chairs, brass rails, black marble tables, velvet drapes and warm lighting with a soundtrack of early- to mid-century jazz. On our last visit, almost every table was booked from 7pm onward, little silver placards denoting reservations everyone arrived late for—a place this handsome attracts that special layer of society that lives by its own rules. But those latearriving, Lexus-driving crowds also recognize excellent Thai food, and that’s what you’re in for here. While Sri Trat serves purely eastern Thai dishes, Burapa dabbles in northeastern Thai cuisine. Within a novella-sized menu, almost everything we ordered hit the mark. Sea bass larb with cardamom shoots, chili and dill (B220)? Amazing. Banana flower salad Price guide Under B500 B500-1,000 B1,000-2,000 B2,000-3,000 BBBBB Over B3,000
with perfectly cooked shrimp (B220); meaty tiger prawns served in fish sauce with chili and finely sliced garlic (B300)? Even better. Beyond being unimpeachably prepared, the dishes come in portions that don’t require you to order half the menu to feel satisfied. The Supanniga-rivaling cabbage stir-fried with fish sauce (B150) is a meal in itself. Dip into the umami-packed red curry with crab meat, crab roe and tender pumpkin (B300), and you’ll miraculously draw up spoonful after spoonful of crab. The only letdowns are the cocktails. The Kham Khong (Mekhong, saffron port wine, Benedictine, Licor 43, amaro; B320) is watered-down and bland, while the Salacca Fizz (butterfly pea flower- and sala-infused Tanqueray, citrus, eggwhite, cream, thyme; B340) is decent, if underwhelming. The same can be said for the service. Sure, the wait staff is all smiles. Just don’t expect much help selecting dishes. Still, with such full-flavored food, you don’t really need their help anyway.
Order: Banana flower salad (B220), tiger prawns (B300), red curry with crab (B200)
Ratings H Forget it HH Only if you’re in the neighborhood HHH A pleasant dining experience HHHH Not to be missed HHHHH Flawless
B BB BBB BBBB
BK pays for its meal and does not call ahead or sit with the chef.
Price per person, including one drink, appetizer, main course, dessert, charges and tax.
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neighborhood | lat krabang
BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2020
Sky Bar 64
Eat Drink Love Lan Suk Pork Noodle
All Six to Twelve x En/r/oute
In the ‘Burbs Looking to get out of central Bangkok? There’s a lot to like about Lat Krabang. The area is emerging with a wave of cool openings, but it still has an old-style charm, too. By Pearapong U-hun
Coffee & Breakfast Kickstart your day with a shot of espresso (B65) at Cuppers, a light-dappled cafe that uses imported Brazilian beans for its brews. You can also opt for a signature iced coffee with milk in the cozy, mid-century modern confines of MASON and friends. For breakfast, fuel up with the Energy Breakfast (B285) or kai kra ta (fried eggs served with minced pork, ham, sausage and Viennese bread, B85) at All Six to Twelve x En/r/oute, a spot popular among bicyclists in the morning that transforms into a bar at night. Looking for something light? Try the honey toast (B110) or sweet potato tart (B100) at The Catch Up Bakeroom.
Lunch & Dinner Lat Krabang has several excellent mid-range spots and street food stalls. Go for authentic khao soi gai (B85) at Lanna Origin, or try the
dry tom yam noodles (B40) at Lan Suk Pork Noodle. If it’s western fare you crave, score a seat in the garden at Varvana Cafe & Bar and order the tasty truffle fettuccine with seared scallops (B340). For even better al fresco dining, visit Ploen Ploen at the golden hour to catch sunset over its lake while you tuck into classic Thai dishes like stir-fried sea bass in red curry with salted egg (B220). If you’re a meat lover, get the grilled rib eye served with mashed potatoes (B550) at Eat Drink Love, a handsome bistro in The Park Nine Suvarnabhumi Hotel.
Drinks Though this neighborhood is no Thonglor, there are several spots to quench your thirst. True to its name, All Six to Twelve x En/r/ oute goes from early-morning cafe to late-night bar with live music. You can also hang around at Eat Drink Love for the free
flow house wine and local beer (B599), or go for craft beers at low-key bottle shop and bar Rest Up. Drinks with a view? Visit Sky Bar 64, a rooftop bar at the Suvarnabhumi Ville hotel, which overlooks the airport runways.
Transport From Airport Rail Link Lat Krabang station, you can reach all these sites in less than 10 minutes by taxi.
Visit Explore Hua Takhe, a canal-side community dating back to the Rama V era, which has been reinvigorated as an art market. Then relish the green space at Suan Pranakorn or hit the bike lane at Suvarnabhumi Airport before pampering yourself with a signature Aromatic Tyme Massage (B1,200/60 mins) at Tyme Spa. If you want to shop, take a taxi to the newly opened Central Village luxury outlet mall.
Accommodation Your baht goes a long way here. Three-bedroom houses at Supalai Suvarnabhumi can be rented for less than B40,000, and multibedroom townhomes go for as low as B15,000 at gated housing projects like The Thamm Village. When it comes to condos, B7,500 will get you a 26-sq-meter one-bedroom at Lumpini Ville Onnut-Latkrabang. If you want more space, iCondo Green Space Sukhumvit 77 offers 47-sq-meter two-bedroom units for B16,000.
What do you love about Lat Krabang?
AKKARA SIRIPLUNGKANONT, OWNER OF MASON AND FRIENDS “Obviously, it’s near the airport. Many well-known restaurants and cafes are opening branches here, too, and we’re near the bike lane.”
POLTHEP NA SONGKHLA, OWNER OF ALL SIX TO TWELVE X EN/R/OUTE “It isn’t urbanized yet. Lat Krabang people are pretty down to earth. They don’t care about trends on social media.”
NATTANAN KIRATIKORNYOSSANAN, OWNER OF TYME SPA “It’s a destination where local or international travelers can indulge before or after their trips with good food and luxury spas with affordable prices.”
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In this week's BK: Bangkok's best al fresco hang-outs