Bloc Beer & Bistro
The buzz: Imported beers in bistro settings continue to be a trend, and thanks to a combination of location, a ready supply of officer workers and a decent menu involving hearty European fare, Block Beer and Bistro is getting busy already. The décor: A colorful atmosphere, with exposed brick walls sporting photos and shelves lined with beer bottles from around the world. The third floor balcony seating offers nice views of Narathiwas. In a cute twist, the square tables double as Snakes and Ladders boards, while the round tables offer the option of roulette. The indoors area is furnished with black velvet couches. The food: The menu here is mostly European with some Thai-inter fusion, all of which goes well with beer. Expect dishes like smoked duck breast with prune & orange glaze (B355) and the German-style lamb shank (B380). More Asian-fusion dishes include the chicken schnitzel with red curry dressing and fries (B200) and Japanese cold noodles with seared salmon (B180). Their lunch sets (11am-2pm) has some very affordable choices like the chicken Basque (B99, B99 extra for rice and soup). Note that after the grand opening in June, they will serve lunch as well. The drinks: No local beers here—not even Heineken. A respectable number of brews on tap: Hoegaarden, Stella, Leffe, Guiness and Hofbrau (B220 per pint, B130 for half). They also carry an impressive selection of Belgian labels including Kasteel Bruin, Maredsous, Blanche De Namur, Waterloo, and Krombacher, with prices starting at B200 per bottle. For strong beer lovers, there’s the 11% alcohol Inedit from El Bulli (B790/750ml). They also have their own beer brand Bloc, which is brewed in Belgium (B180). The crowd: Mostly an after-work crowd with a fair smattering of foreigners. Monruedee Jansuttipan
Bloc Beer and Bistro can be something of a challenge. The first challenge is finding it. There’s little in the way of signage, and if you get in the wrong lift at this compact but confusing community mall, you’ll have to walk through what looks like a fire door to get there. The second challenge is deciding whether this little bar with its breezy balcony terrace and comfy laidback seating warrants a review or not. After all, it’s clearly a bar first, and one that takes its beer seriously. They score high on that front with an impressive selection of imported European beers and even its very own Bloc Beer (B180), a pleasantly dry and fruity wheat beer that is brewed in Belgium. But they clearly also have foody aspirations: there’s a “Bistro” after “Bloc Beer” after all, and the menu is certainly more expansive than your normal gap glaem offerings. Unfortunately, they should probably have stuck to the pub grub, as it’s only these dishes that they do well: stuff like the heart attack inducing, but deliciously crisp and gooey, ham and cheese spring rolls (B120) that come with a nice tangy thousand island dressing. Even better is the moreish garlic and wasabi mayonnaise served with the crisp and moist chunks of wasabi chicken (B120). And we are equally impressed by the sheer size of portions. There is certainly no cost-cutting on the fish and chips (B220), with around seven or eight sizeable pieces of fish and a big handful of chips that one person would struggle to finish. Disappointingly, considering the fish itself is of decent quality, the batter can be pretty greasy though. Other Western dishes are also humdrum: the beef cheek stew with mashed potato (B295) is another big serving but it can’t make up for the dryness of the mash, the bland gravy or the chewiness of the beef. All in all, Bloc Beer and Bistro has got a relaxed vibe, the beer is good and it has enough of a crowd to give it a buzz, so there are plenty of reasons to go back. We’re just not sure the dinner menu is one of them. Corkage B400.
|Address:||Bloc Beer & Bistro, 3/F, City Viva, 58 Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Soi 6, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu 4pm-1am; Fri-Sat 4pm-1:30am|
|Live music, Parking available|
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