BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Catalana

The buzz: Already bumping with dining, drinking and dancing spots, Sukhumvit Soi 11 now adds yet another option to its midst, tapas and wine joint Catalana. The name is derived from Catalonia, a region in northeast Spain and home to party city Barcelona. Bangkok is becoming chock full of tapas places, but what makes Catalona stand out is its adherence to authentic ingredients and preparation, as well as its energized, party atmosphere, that, unlike the sedate Tapas Y Vino or laid-back Tapas Café, make it a good option for some sophisticated pre-gaming before hitting the nearby clubs.

The décor: The inside is a bit Gaudi-esque. Curvy booths are wrapped in crimson velvet beneath high ceilings. Diners can catch a glimpse of the vibrant LED display that lights up the bar through chainmail curtains that partition the dining section from the mingling and drinking area.

The food: Popular tapas such as sautéed chorizo (B145), gambas ajilo (garlic shrimp, B150), albondigas (Spanish meatballs, B170), and mejillones a la marinera (mussels in white wine sauce, B170) characterize the menu as distinctly Spanish, and the presence of paella (shared portion, B800) offers a heartier option. However, a few Bangkok staples do find their way onto the menu, like Vietnamese spring rolls (B175) and crispy pork belly (B190), as well as the slightly rarer fish tikka (B180) and Greek dolmades (vine leaves, B190).

The drinks: Some affordable entry-level wines range from B400-800, but then there are some heavy hitters like the Castello Banfi Brunello Di Montalcino at B7,900. There’s also the standard assortment of domestic beers: Singha, Tiger, Heineken, with some appearances by Spanish and Latin brews like Estrella (B220) and Corona (B220). Sangria, red or white, is available by the glass (B195) or by the carafe (large, B800).

The crowd: Being on the premises of Prive Eleven condos means plenty of curious locals stop in, but the steady crowd seems to be groups of well-dressed women enjoying a girls’ night out. The cigar bar might pull in some guys when it opens in the near future. Cole Pennington

Venue Details
Address: Catalana, Prime Eleven, Sukhumvit Soi 11, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-651-0220
Opening hours: daily 11am-11pm
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