The buzz: The Monopoly Park community mall has welcomed a new rooftop bar and restaurant, 61 Saloon, run by the guy behind the long-standing Bu-Lan-Dan-Mek down on Rama 3 Road. Here he teams up with other partners with the aim of bringing quality live music to the neighborhood.
Baan Klang Nam has been around for more than 10 years and in this time has expanded in the form of many other restaurants like Baan Klang Krung and Rueng Nam. The riverside location is especially popular among tourists who consistently fill out the wooden terrace. The menu, though extensive, really emphasizes seafood cooked in both Thai and Chinese styles. But we feel many of these dishes, already slightly overrated by various tourist-centric websites, have only gone down in quality over the years and sorely lack in freshness, flavor and flair.
Time flies so fast, it’s really hard to believe that it was 13 years ago that Tawandang German Brewery first opened its signature restaurant on Rama 3 Rd. Despite being around for so long, this place has clearly not lost its appeal. Packed every night, you nearly always have to wait for a table despite the vastness of the space. The chaotic but entertaining shows are clearly a big part of the draw, as is the home brew beer. However, the good news is that high levels of service and delicious food are present too, leaving the big groups of locals who come here happy and sated.
A bit further out than we’re used to, and bearing an old-fashioned moniker, Bulandunmek is a stronghold of that modest, laid-back style of Thai dining we miss from our college days: the kind of place you go to because it’s cheap, delicious and has a faithful following, festive décor and acoustic music. The vibe here is friendly and unpretentious, with colorful tablecloths and lots of trees with sprawling branches over the second-floor open space. We love the retro touches like the blue window frames, yellow walls and nostalgic posters.
The buzz: This is modern Japanese fare with a bold, futuristic gimmick. Instead of human waiters, Hajime has a human-like robot taking over serving duties. And that’s not all: even the menu is computer-based, meaning the diners can order directly from the touch-screen device attached to every single table. When there is no order lining the cue, the robot stars as the eatery’s entertainer, dancing to Asian pop music.
You can’t miss the giant beer barrel shaped dome of this longtime favorite. Three kinds of beer are brewed onsite—weizen, lager, and dunkel. Tawandang German Brewery claims to be the largest microbrewery in Thailand with a capacity to produce 700,000 liters/year. They can also seat 1,600 people at a time in the cavernous beer hall. And it’s usually packed with punters enjoying the classic Thai hits and the affordable food. The beer’s not too pricy either: B85 baht for a small, B120 for medium and B240 for a large jug. Prost!
95/426 Rama 3 Soi 52, Rama 3 Rd., 02-294-5500. Open daily 11am-10pm.
You’ll come to this restaurant for its juicy dim sum, but you may stick around for some hairy crabs imported from China.
It’s common to see family-run businesses handed over to the second (or third) generation, who then call in the designers and image consultants to give the operation the modern “look” they feel is necessary to be successful in today’s “trendy” world. Not Kuan Ah. After over a half-century serving khao man gai and a handful of other Hainanese staples, they expanded their menu and moved to a purpose-built “complex” on a quiet stretch of the Chao Phraya River.
After over a half-century serving khao man gai and a handful of other Hainanese staples, Kuan Ah expanded their menu and moved to this purpose built “complex” on a quiet stretch of the Chao Phraya River. But, frankly, the venue itself is about as stylish as a cafeteria. The focus here is obviously on the food, which is terrific, the kind of confident, presentation-be-damnedcuisine you can only get in places that have been in business this long. Must-orders are the famous chicken and “sukiyaki,” which is ideally enjoyed at one of the 40 or so outdoor tables.