Night shoppers who love digging around for cheap retro buys will be thrilled to learn that Rod Fai Market has just opened up a new branch on Srinakarin. Although smaller than the original (and not yet the finished article), all units are rented out both indoors (open Tue-Sun 3pm-12am) and outdoors (open Wed-Thu 6pm-12am) selling everything from head-to-toe apparel to decorative arts. We recommend going on a Thursday night when you’ll get the most out of the place. Srinakarin Soi 51, behind Seacon Square, 081-827-5885.
Asia Bar + Kitchen serves up a melting pot of Asian cuisines—from Southeast Asia and East Asia to the Indian sub-continent—at hotel prices and food court quality. Situated in the Holiday Inn Express near the BACC, the spacious venue’s black walls, high ceilings, rustic floorboards, hanging lamps and cane partitions give off a hip industrial vibe—too bad about the lackluster soundtrack and struggling air-con. The outdoor area is furnished with large black umbrellas and a bit of greenery, providing a surprisingly laidback escape right under the BTS line.
The buzz: Brought to you by the owner of restaurants like Barn Thai Jazzaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Asia Bar + Kitchen is a veritable melting pot of Asian cuisines—from Southeast Asia and East Asia to the Indian sub-continent. Situated in the Holiday Inn Express near the BACC, the spacious venue is an energetic kitchen by day, and lively bar by night.
The décor: Black walls, high ceilings, rustic floorboards, hanging lamps and cane partitions combine to give off a natural-meets-industrial vibe as jazz plays in the background. The outdoor area is furnished with a similarly elegant attention to detail, with large umbrellas and a bit of greenery providing a cozy, garden escape right in the heart of Bangkok.
The food: The owners say they want to keep the cuisine authentic, which means Malaysian, Singaporean, Hong Kong, Indian and Indonesian dishes that aren’t adulterated or adapted to the Thai palate. Start your meal with appetizers from the tapas menu like the recommended penang lorbak (pork wrapped in tofu skin and served with homemade sauce, B130) before moving on to mains like the Malaysian satay chicken (B180), Hong Kong wonton noodle soup (B150) and Indian roti (plain roti prata served with dhal beans and chicken curry, B150). If you’d prefer flavors closer to home, there are also Thai options such as pad Thai (B150), which they’re very proud of. Top it all off with exotic desserts like Indonesian fried banana (B70) and Malaysian ice kachang (Malaysian ice with rainbow syrup, B70), which is a bit like our waan yen, or opt for Thai mango with sticky rice (B70).
The drinks: The bar stocks famous beers from all over Asia, with prices starting from B130. The highlights are Cambodia’s Kingdom, China’s Tsingtao and the locally-brewed Phuket Beer. Opt for the Six Pack drink set (B650) which gets you the choice of any six beers in the house. Cocktails start from B180, including the recommended Mango Tango (rum, fresh mango, fresh lime, and mint leaf). Sake is also available, both hot and cold, from B180.
The crowd: Mostly hotel guests and groups of 30-something office workers. Monthakan Chantra
The buzz: Within barely a month of opening, Fatbird has earned a reputation as a comforting hangout. Owned by a group of friends, led by M.L. Nipanoppadara Yugala, the restaurant features the owners’ decorative pieces collected from all over Europe and New York. Food-wise there are classic Western recipes to match and a few Thai options.
New Ari restaurant Fat Bird is serving Thai dishes plus some Western favorites and baked goods. The renovated shophouse stands out with its striking green façade, while inside there’s a very hip vibe courtesy of vintage knick knacks hanging on pale wood walls. Dishes include chicken stew pie (B180) and chicken liver with cherry sauce and rocket (B220), and they also serve cocktails (B220).
The buzz: The owner, Chantit Sawangnate, has years of experience running restaurants like Extra Virgin and Angelo (MBK), which he decided to combine with his childhood growing up as an actual general’s son, to present this old-school gastro bar. Serving both Thai and international cuisine, General’s Son also boasts a fairly inventive drinks menu.
Those craving both Thai and international cuisine in the one sitting may want to visit General’s Son. An old-school gastro bar, they serve simple dishes like grilled spicy pork skewers (B110), rice topped with garlic pork (B120) or tuna spaghetti with black olives (B190). They’re also pretty proud of their inventive drinks menu, which includes the World War I (Guinness, Heineken and apple juice topped with Hoegaarden, B250).
Buzz: The Mall Group just brought together around 30 international designer labels under the temporary roofs of two pop-up stores. Dubbed Contemp Salon (located at both The Emporium and Siam Paragon), this soon-to-be-proper-shop at Siam Paragon is one for working females.
Vibe: Although it’s three-times the size of a usual pop-up store, there isn’t much in the way of décor, just white paravents and clothing separated by brands, each with their own brief bio.
With a cute retro-inspired facade, Everyday by Karmakamet is the newest branch of the Bangkok-based aromatic products brand Karmakamet. Yet this new store, tucked away in the small soi right next to the Yada Building in the heart of Silom, promises to go beyond its sisters in Chatuchak and CentralWorld, due to its multi-product approach (a very hot trend at the moment).
So SPA, perched on the 11th floor of the cutting-edge Sofitel So Bangkok on Sathorn Road, offers the added bonus of a relaxing view over the greenery of Lumphini Park, amid its own dimly lit, forest-themed décor. Their special couples package takes place in the double treatment room which ensures couples can enjoy that view from the comfort of their own bathtub. The session begins with a 60-minute So Exhilarating soothing massage for both men and women, followed by a 60-minute Ko Bi Do facial treatment for her.
Thanks to its location hidden deep in a residential area of Sukhumvit, the leafy complex of Rasayana Retreat is perfect for those wishing to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and recharge their batteries with a full-day retreat. Among the menu of holistic treatments, the highlights have to be the detoxification and therapeutic massage options. The one-day package lets you experience both, starting with an infrared sauna session, followed by a salt scrub, detox bath, oil pack, aromatherapy massage and a colonic detox.
Tucked away within a beautiful compound of wooden Thai houses, this spa takes you on a trip back in time thanks to its traditional setting and a series of massages and therapies that utilize old-school principles. One of the most popular is the Wat Pho Healer, named after the famous Thai massage school. It starts with your choice of body scrubs using Thai herbs, and is then followed up with a choice between an Ayurvedic massage, or an herbal compress and oil massage. The program ends with a more focused massage for your head, feet, back and shoulder.
The Divana Virtue Spa is set in a century-old house with its own private garden hidden in a small lane off Sathorn Road. In a bid to combat the hot and humid month of May, Divana has created the Organic Thai Rice Therapy, which utilizes the natural benefits of young organic Thai rice and rice bran oil—perfect for those with dry skin. The program combines six steps, beginning with a body rub of aloe vera and yeast serum, followed by herbal steam using rice water, a body scrub using young rice and young rice milk, a warm body wrap and a body massage using hot stones and wheat serum.