Kooon, Nihonmachi, Sukhumvit Soi 26, Bangkok, Thailand
Nearest Train:BTS Thong Lo
Opening Hours:daily 11am-midnight
Price Range:BB - BB
Cuisine:Japanese, Thai, Isaan
The buzz: Kooon is a Thai izakaya with an automated iPad ordering system has just landed in Nihonmachi (where Chinese restaurant Spring Garden once stood). It’s as bizarre as it sounds, but it’s also kind of fun. A duck larb with yakitori-style chicken skewers is not as odd a mix as you may think—and ordering with iPads is pretty addictive.
The décor: It’s really too bad they encased the central bar in a tiled, bunker-like structure. Kooon's space is otherwise very bright and open thanks to a vibrant white and green color scheme, windows on two sides and a reflective ceiling. With a long banquet seating running around the sides of the restaurant, corner tables are the most comfy.
The food: Izakaya and Isaan drinking food join forces. On the Thai side, expect black sticky rice (B20), somtam (B45), Northern sausage (B60), and a duck larb (spicy minced duck salad, B90). Or go Japanese with beef skewers (B90) or grilled chicken with salt (B55). Either way, you can tell the food at Kooon will all go down well with some beer.
The drinks: Draught beer (pint B135, pitcher B280). Singha, Ashai and Heinken by the bottle (B110-120). Cocktails B200-250.
The crowd: It’s early days. Will the Japanese families be tempted by this high-tech fusion offering? Or will it draw an entirely new crowd to Nihonmachi, as Napa (on the floor above) has. Gregoire Glachant