The buzz: Instant. Without a proper name, a launch party or even a Facebook page, Aree opened to packed crowds riding on the reputation of Salt, which sits right across the Soi from it and is run by the same family and friends, with Antika Teparak at their head. They wanted a place that’s a lot more Thai, meaning bands doing covers, plenty of whiskey to share at big tables and a Thai glab glaem menu—oh and even squat toilets, too!
The décor: There’s a barn atmosphere to the place thanks to oversized wooden stools and tables, a generous use of brick and a few weathered curios ranging from a typewriter to a creepy baby carriage. The general effect is much more conducive to drinking late into the night, and makes Salt look like a proper sit-down restaurant in comparison.
The music: The Kingdom’s love for mediocre cover bands has always ranked pretty high on our list of gripes. In the future, we hope Aree can strike a balance between its yearning for Thainess and the quality of Salt’s playlist.
The food and drinks: The bar is a countertop covered in whiskey bottles, a nice gimmick that gives off a house party atmosphere. There, you can order cocktails (B200 for a whiskey sour) or single malts (from B200). As for bottles, they’ve actually given the finger to Johnnie and Chivas, instead serving bottles of Clan Gold (B800, B1,200 for 15 years old, B2,200 for 18 years old) and your dad’s whiskeys (Sangsom, Regency and Jack Daniels). In the beer department, there’s only Heineken (B120 for a pint) for now, but they’re working on fixing that. While the drinks are still a work in progress, the food has been stealing the show: authentic, well-executed glab glaem classics ranging from spicy soups (B180) to deep fried chicken in lemongrass (B90).
The crowd: The same as Salt’s—beautiful, impeccably-dressed women and guys who look like they just got out of the office—showing up in the usual mix of German cars and Italian motorcycles. Gregoire Glachant