Dok Kaew House Bar
Phayathai's supposedly haunted craft beer bar.
With Bangkok development set to tear down everything old, charming and not in the sightlines of Duangrit, it’s rare that we get a new spot like Ari’s Dok Kaew House Bar. Taking over an 80-year-old, two-story house out the back of Rama 6, this beer bar not only boasts arguably the best selection of local craft brews this side of town, but also some pretty good Thai food—to go with a few creepy claims of ghosts.
Among the partners are Supot “Pot” Onmark, head of the budding Nectar brewery, and Prapavee “Bamee” Hematat, the guy behind the Beer Wanderlust blog. This means that the brews are stand-out. Whether you reach in the fridge for the house-made Nher Weizen (B180), or get them to pour you a Wheat Bomb (B180) from the tap tank behind the bar, it’s serious beer drinker stuff.
It also kind of steals the show from the food which, if we’re being honest, is nothing to DM your buddies about—tasty, great for washing down another Schneider Weisse (B200) but not all that groundbreaking. Still, they can boil up a mean leng (sour-and-spicy pork-rib soup), whose chili levels are set to guarantee you’ll be making repeat fridge visits (they don’t do table service), especially since the sharp-sweet balance of the soup is so tasty.
A typical yam salad dressing also demonstrates the kind of clean, delicate flavor that so many street-food iterations lack, and there’s no denying the satisfaction of chomping into its chunky, white pepper-rich slabs of moo yor (preserved minced pork sausage B90). The grilled beef (B120) is not the tenderest nor rarest of meat, but boy is it juicy, and accompanied by an extra thick and tasty jaew dip. Equally succulent meat arrives in the pork belly ma-la—spicy marinated barbecue sticks that are like bacon but better.
Elsewhere, the menu gives nods to fried, beer-accompanying favorites (onion rings, B80, calamari B120) and a satisfyingly fresh Japanese-style raw octopus salad (B80).
Given its location right at the far side of what can legitimately be called Ari, it’s unsurprising that Dok Kaew is never so busy that you need to book, but the smattering of regulars make a fun crowd, and the owners always have a smile—even if the odd order goes astray. Would we leave Sukhumvit-Sathorn for a night at Dok Kaew? No. Does it make one of our favorite places to eat and drink between Vic-Mon to Chatuchak? Absolutely.