The buzz: After a surprise announcement shuttering Bo.lan as we knew it, chefs Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava and Dylan Jones quickly returned with an ambitious new project. Bo.lan HQ now operates like a one-stop shop, with a bar, grocery store, all-day dining restaurant, chef's table and nook for sipping coffee and tea.
Bo.lan’s renovated house is just like you remember, with a moody and slightly dark setting made lighter with easy-listening Thai music playing in the background. Now, you are greeted by Wasteland
, a bar concept offering counter seating and overlooking a greenhouse. Beyond Wasteland, you enter the new and improved Bo.lan Grocer
, a spacious room that also serves as a seating-slash-working area. Here, you’re welcome to sit and hang out or peruse the handcrafted products that highlight the flavors, cultures and creativity from across Thailand—from shrimp paste, natural wine and fresh veggies to dinnerware and mortars and pestles. After that, you enter the main dining room, where Err
has been recreated with kitschy Thai knick-knacks and paintings from the previous location. The Bo.lan chef’s table operates out of the same room but is separated by glass doors and overlooks the garden and decorative pool.
The food: Err, formerly located in Tha Tien, serves its familiar rustic Thai eats here—you might describe the dishes as fun, upscale drinking food. Using ingredients procured from the same local and sustainable producers as Bo.lan, the kitchen team whips up favorites like the Chicken Movie (B195), which sees deep-fried whole chicken skin stitched together with a couple toothpicks in the shape of the absent chicken, and served with homemade Sriracha sauce. The moo ping (B125)—also dubbed “spicy sober pork”—comes hot from the charcoal grill. Their selection of preserved sausages like sai oua (B245), a coconut-smoked Chiang Rai curry sausage, and sai krok Isaan (B250), a cured sausage made with organic gaba rice, are all made in-house. Don’t miss the yum khai dao (B145), a spicy salad of deep-fried organic eggs and herbs, or the Gaeng Kiew Wan Gai Baan (B320), Err’s green curry made fresh and pounded from scratch with all the best bits of the chicken. If the Bo.lan experience is what you seek, you can still enjoy what made the restaurant famous: feasts served family-style, influenced by the heritage of Thai food culture, beginning with a shot of yadong and ending with their special selection of petit-fours. The chefs can even make the menu plant-based.
The drinks: Wasteland aspires to be more than just a bar. Paying homage to farmer-focused produce, seasonality and the environment, Wasteland has brought together several top bartenders, who repurpose many ingredients from the Bo.lan kitchen and utilize others from the edible garden. Drinks range from coffee (from B160) to cocktails, including creative concoctions like the Lumka Sour (rice wine, pineapple wine, murraya, brown sugar, lime and egg white; B350). As if this all-in-one destination wasn’t stacked enough, there’s yet another new concept open in Must Wine Bar. The space is the brainchild of the folks from Fin Fine Wines, which means you can expect a curated selection of organic and biodynamic wines that you can sip by the glass or take home for later.
Why we’d go back: Bo.lan has long stumped for the belief that cooking and eating are essential to a more sustainable world, and this new space puts that belief into action. Bo.lan—and all these supporting parts involved in it now—acts as a platform to promote the exchange and spread of knowledge about sustainable and environmental practices. Apart from the awesome food and drinks on offer, the new initiative, Zero Waste to Landfill, invites anyone involved in F&B to collaborate on sustainable initiatives, and that’s reason enough to return.