Eat your heart out, 7-Eleven.
Eat your heart out, 7-Eleven.
- By bkintern1
- | Oct 05, 2017
FamilyMart has been regarded as a poor man’s 7-Eleven for too long. The Japanese chain’s new opening in Phrom Phong proves that it is the convenience store that Bangkok has always deserved.
Open since Oct 3, the ambitiously named FamilyMart X Open Space (before you alert Central Embassy's Open House, remember that Central Group owns Thailand's FamilyMart, too) offers something akin to the traditional convenience store experience on steroids.
With round-the-clock opening hours, a bakery range and Segafredo coffee stand, plus a co-working space upstairs (a very generous term for a couple plastic chairs and an hour of free Wi-Fi), what’s not to love?
Alongside all the vacuum-packed convenience store regulars—think bizarrely flavored Lay’s chips, grayish ready meals and endless varieties of coconut water—there are a couple of real gems to be found here. From the wonderfully wacky to the outright delicious, here’s a what’s what of FamilyMart’s 10 best (we use the word loosely) snacks:
10. Egg Custard Cake (B29)
If you can get past its consistency of curdled vomit, this slab of custard cake is actually oddly moreish. Perhaps its because of the inoffensive, bland flavor, or the fact that it's swimming in syrup, but it's one of those desserts that you don't particularly enjoy eating but polish off anyway.
9. Oden (B12-18)
Stewing in a pungent tom yum broth, find ingredients like boiled egg, ikamaki (fish reconstituted into a sort of edible rubber), fish balls and tako sticks. To those unfamiliar with the Japanese specialty, it can look quite intimidating. After the first apprehensive mouthful, however, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Plus, it's a fact of life that eating food off a stick is just more fun.
8. Cheese Pan Bread (B25)
You can never go too wrong with cheese and dough. Here, the bread is slightly too sweet and the helping of cheese on top a bit on the stingy side, but you won’t hear too many complaints from us. Mainly because our mouth is stuffed full of Cheese Pan Bread.
7. Nescafe Glacier Cappuccino Slushie (B30)
Coffee connoisseurs, look away now. We can’t guarantee that this iced drink has ever actually come into contact with a coffee bean, but that doesn’t stop it from being tasty. If, for some ungodly reason, you’re pulling an all-nighter upstairs in the co-working space and you can’t face one more instant coffee, the sugar in this alone should keep you going.
6. Fried Chicken (B25)
It might not be finger lickin’ good, but the drumsticks here are actually half decent with crispy, well-seasoned skin. Docked points for being a bit too fatty and greasy for our liking. We’re not ready to say goodbye to revolving hot dogs just yet, but it’s always nice to have some variety in the hot food aisle.
5. Baked Macaroni & Cheese (B39)
This teeny-tiny microwave meal is equal parts adorable and frustrating. It passes the taste test with flying colors but unless you’ve got an ant-sized appetite, you'll need about three of them.
4. Ham Bun (B45)
Granted, it’s not as adventurous as some of the other options, but sometimes a simple sandwich hits the spot. A chewy seeded roll stuffed with ham salad and a hearty dollop of mayo, it’s hard to fault.
3. Camembert Cheese Flavored Bread (B25)
Whoever invented this needs to write a sincere apology to France. The feeble lumps of florescent orange strewn throughout the bun aren’t fooling anybody—there isn’t even a whiff of fake cheese about this, let alone a fine Camembert. That being said, it’s really yummy. Fluffy and slightly sweet, it’s the perfect snack to absentmindedly tear away at until you realize, with a pang of guilt, that it’s vanished.
2. Strawberry Danish Pastry (B40)
Buttery pastry with a river of strawberry compote running through the middle? Yes please. So what if it’s probably a whole day’s worth of calories.
1. Segafredo's Chocolate Lava Cake
It’s not technically a FamilyMart item, but they’ve joined forces under the same roof so we’ll allow it. Served warm with whipped cream, it’s rich, dense and oozing with gooey, chocolatey goodness. It might not be an everyday grab’n’go snack, but it is insanely good. We’re hoping the rest of Bangkok catches on and soon these will be at every convenience store in town.