Chu Restaurant and Bar
This humble Chinese restaurant hides cool secrets upstairs.
The buzz: Thonglor’s new Chinese khao tom place may look sweet and innocent, but it has a fully-stocked bar hidden upstairs featuring Chinese-themed cocktails.
The decor: From outside, you’d easily mistake this shop-house for just another mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant. Surrounded by simple, tiny dining tables and chairs, a prominent flight of stairs is the first indication that there might be more to it. Head up them and you’ll find a much more extravagant dining space filled with big, round retro Chinese tables. Let your senses work past the crazy open kitchen vibe and you’ll notice some neon lights on the other side of the room behind a glass wall. There, you will find a bar that feels as if it’s been transplanted straight out of Hong Kong, with cute laundry hanging by the window to complete the look.
The food: Chinese comfort dishes like bak kut teh served with patongo (B280) and Hokkien noodles with seafood (B190). We love the stir-fried pig’s stomach with pickled mustard greens (B140). The cured egg spicy salad (B100) is also well worth trying.
The drinks: Their signature cocktails stick to the theme. Try the Train To 2046 (B360) with Chinese flower-sous-vide rum, lemon and grapefruit bitters and bak kut teh syrup—it might sound weird but it tastes good, trust us. Those who love a negroni have to try As Tiger Goes By (B340), which sees gin infused with Eleven Tigers—a Chinese herbal medicine that’s often found in yadong—mixed with cinnamon-sous-vide Campari and Carpano Dry vermouth—this drink is guaranteed to wake you up with its strength and power.
The crowd: The young, hip Thonglor crowd and big Chinese families meeting for dinner.
The music: Classic Chinese pop.
Why we’d come back: The food is great and the drinks are even better. The owner has really made good use of the space and expanded Thonglor’s coolness beyond Soi 55.