Welcome to Bangkok brunch nirvana. When Roast first opened in 2011 at Seenspace, it kickstarted a lazy Sunday exodus from hotel buffets and into light-filled Thonglor cafes brimming with mid-century furnishings, dangling light bulbs and industrial coffee equipment. The food didn’t always get the same attention as the lattes, but it was always a nice place to waste an afternoon.
Since Roast’s relocation to the top-floor of The Commons, the Finn Juhl knock-off furniture has been given the boot in favor of cool concrete monochromes, subway tiles and smoky orbs of incandescent light, while the menu has had an even more impressive makeover. Out go boring side salads and humdrum comfort classics in favor of dishes that keep the comfort while also delivering in flavor, size and produce—crisp, rustic fries, tender steaks, fresh salads and eggy brunch dishes that embarrass most other cafes.
A panzanella salad (B240) of cherry tomatoes, red onions, bell pepper, anchovy and croutons brims with the flavor of quality olive oil and sharp, juicy tomatoes. A seafood risotto (B420) leads with plump mussels and tender squid, along with a rich mascarpone sauce cut with citrus and saffron. The corned beef hash (B280) actually looks like it does in the Kinfolk-worthy menu photography, complete with abundant shards of moreish dried beef and a perfectly poached egg.
This level of quality doesn’t come cheap. Knock back a couple of crisp gruner veltliners (B300/glass), finish dinner on the excellent single-origin French press (B140), and that lunch date could hit you for near 2K; but there’s no denying Roast delivers on its prices.
Of course, a whole heap of the clientele here waltzes right by all the foodie highlights and straight to the giant stacks of waffles and pancakes (B260-320). These are great too, but don’t dismiss Roast as just another one for the coffee-hopping photo gangs. This place turns out serious food to go with the flat whites.
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