Aug 16, 2012|
The buzz: Located just off the main drag, on Ari Soi 4 (North), this is the pet project of a tight-knit group of friends who serve up their favorite fusion dishes and desserts in a cute shophouse setting.
The décor: Sizeable windows let in plenty of natural light and accentuate the white brick walls and striped feature wall. Vintage knick-knacks (and a couple of crayfish in bowls) give the space a homey vibe, while there’s also a tiny garden out front.
The food: The all-day menu ranges from American breakfast to fusion dishes. Start off with the recommended salmon with ebiko cream sauce (B170), laab salmon (salmon with spicy herbal sauce, B140) or the green salad they grow themselves (B80). There are also pasta dishes like spaghetti with bacon, chili garlic and ebiko (B180). The desserts, like the popular red velvet cheesecake (B115) and macaroons (B45 a piece), are served on rustic wooden boards.
The drinks: Besides Twinings tea (B80), hot chocolate with marshmallow (B70) and a full range of coffees (from B50), they also serve Singha, Heineken and Asahi (from B80 per bottle). Wine is on the way.
The crowd: It’s often packed with couples getting cozy over a coffee and office workers gathering for lunch and dinner.
24/4 Ari Soi 4 (North), Paholyothin Rd., Bangkok, 081-495-1555. Open daily 11am-11pm.
The buzz: Aree opened to packed crowds thanks to the reputation of Salt, which sits across the Soi and is run by the same family and friends, headed by Antika Teparak. They wanted a place that’s more Thai, meaning cover bands, plenty of whiskey to share at big tables and a Thai glab glaem (drinking food)menu—oh and even squat toilets, too.
The décor: There’s a barn atmosphere 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 food: Authentic, well-executed glab glaem classics ranging from spicy soups (B180) to deep fried chicken in lemongrass (B90). Given the chef’s fusion pedigree (he heads Salt’s kitchen), this is a great back-to-basics menu.
The drinks: The bar is a countertop covered in whiskey bottles, which gives off a house party atmosphere. There, you can order cocktails (B200 for a whiskey sour), single malts (from B200) or bottles of whiskey both hi-so (Clan Gold, B800, B1,200 for 15 years old, B2,200 for 18 years old) and lo-so (Sangsom, Regency and Jack Daniels) while Heineken is B200.
The crowd: The beautiful people of Ari, with girls all dolled up and guys still in their office clothes.
Ari Soi 4, Paholyothin Rd., Bangkok, 087-511-4466. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-1am.
The buzz: Oji first started on Chan Rd. before the owners decided to relocate to Ari (it’s right opposite Aree) in order to win over the in-crowd with what they call their contemporary Japanese cuisine, drawing on their time working in a Japanese restaurant in the USA.
The décor: Oji doesn’t share the wood-heavy vibe typical of many Japanese sushi bars thanks to its stark black and white décor.
The food: The focus is also far from traditional, with fusion fare like spicy tuna salad (B179) and tuna tataki (B179). The recommended dishes are the OMG Roll (shrimp rolls topped with strawberry, B279), Beauty and The Beast (spicy tuna and grilled eel maki topped with tempura flour, B299) and Oji Roll (crabmeat and ebiko maki wrapped with tempura seaweed, B279). They also serve a range of classic dishes like salmon sashimi (B120).
The drinks: Refill green tea is B39. Bottled sake ranges from B300-B400, while beers (Carlsberg, Singha and Asahi) start from B90.
The crowd: It’s a similar crowd to Ari’s other new hotspots, typically young office workers but also some who come to check out the cute owners.
111/1 Paholyothin Soi 7, Bangkok, 080-209-0323. Open Thu-Tue 5-11pm.
The buzz: Tucked away on Ari Soi 2, Wholly Cow serves affordable, mostly Australian steaks.
The décor: An industrial-style modern glasshouse with plenty of bare brick on show. The interior is quite grown-up with formal tables throughout, a bar at the center and a small stage in one corner which plays host to live jazz bands on Fri-Sat. There’s also a walk-in wine cellar, with a soon-to-open cigar lounge called Holy Smokes in a glasshouse of its own.
The food: Expect appetizers like French onion soup (B150) and scallops wrapped in bacon (B250) alongside hearty fare like Australian rib eye (B530 for 8 oz.), Australian Angus tenderloin (B640 for 8 oz.) and Thai tenderloin (B350 for 8 oz.). Other specialties include BBQ baby back pork ribs. But if meat is not your thing, try the angel hair pasta with spicy seafood (B250) or the fish and chips (B200).
The drinks: Classic cocktails are B180. Wines, both old and new world, start from B750 per bottle. Wines by the glass start from B200. Beers are mostly Belgian, including Duvel, Tripel Karmeliet and the fruity Kasteel Rouge and start from B235.
The crowd: Middle-aged office workers from the neighborhood, and steak-lovers coming to check out the latest spot to sink their teeth into some red meat.
34/1 Ari Soi 2, Paholyothin Rd., Bangkok, 02-619-8177-8. Open Tue-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30-10:30pm.