Rocket Coffeebar S 12
From the former team behind Hyde & Seek, this cafe keeps its breakfast simple and solid, along with exceptional coffee.
There’s much to admire about Rocket, the uber chic brunch spot situated in the heart of the up and coming neighborhood around Sathorn sois 10 and 12. The small space looks delightful, thanks to an abundance of light, plenty of warm wood tones and little details like bowls of fruit, chrome coffee machines and glossy magazines. It looks like the kitchen we all dream of having, right down to the white marble counter where staff are hard at work prepping their short, but sweet, menu of idealized brunch dishes.
It’s certainly done the trick, pulling in crowds of beautiful people who endure the often lengthy queues for simple breakfast options like the Rocket eggs benedict (B225). To be fair, this is perhaps the best incarnation of this overdone dish we’ve tried in Bangkok: the eggs are perfectly cooked and beautifully complemented by a wonderful rich hollandaise sauce, even if we did snicker at their claims that their eggs are “beyond organic.” Indeed, there’s definitely an element of smoke and mirrors, here; you’re being sold a dream that the food can’t always live up to.
We admire the brevity of the menu, but the reality is there’s not much cooking going on. And while most dishes look exciting, the flavors don’t always match the delightful presentation. The toast skagen, for example, a tower of prawns with horseradish-dill mayo perched on white bread and topped with tobiko (B315), looks great but lacks something to lift it above the one-dimensional. The Chivito? (B375), a Uruguayan-style sandwich, is another dish that slightly flatters to deceive. It uses great ingredients and comes in a wonderful sea-salt bun, but the combination of pork, peppers, gouda and mayo lacks seasoning and could do with a little less cheese.
Arguably, it’s the desserts where this realization hits home hardest. They sound wonderful on paper but the flavor in deconstructed dishes like the tarte tartin (B285), which features caramelized mango terrine and coconut water caviar instead of the usual apples, is sweet and flat. The subtleties of the mint-lemon-lime sorbet in the sapparot (B285) served in a real pineapple are overpowered by the cinnamon in the spiced fruit.
But despite these shortcomings, we’ll definitely come back. Dishes like the eggs benedict or the sub (B495), a baguette crammed with two types of cheese, salami and prosciutto, are head and shoulders above the cheaper versions served elsewhere. Their home-made breads and cakes are all pretty spot-on, the coffee is decent, the smoothies and juices (B95-220) are well mixed and there’s a good selection of booze, from cocktails to a choice of six wines by the glass (from B225). But most of all, it’s just a very pleasant spot to while away an hour or two, watching the crowd (and the cute wait staff), catching up with friends and planning/recovering from the night before/ahead. That, in our book, is what a good brunch spot is really all about, and despite many restaurateurs’ best efforts there are very few of them to be found in Bangkok.