Checkmate Bar & Bistro

Average: 2 (1 vote)

Checkmate Bar & Bistro, just like its home Asiatique, looks to evoke bygone times with its bare brick exterior and industrial touches, which lend it an ever-so-slight loft-feel. Needless to say, the décor is largely chess-related, exemplified by the black-and-white checkered wallpaper. The main room is moodily lit with a sizable bar displaying a solid array of liquor to one side, a few sofas to the other and low dining tables facing a stage down the middle. There are also outdoor seats if you’re hankering for a little breeze off the river. But while its looks are every-inch fabulous, the kitchen doesn’t leave the same impression, and their fusion Thai dishes fail to wow. The masaman curry with shrimp tempura (B200), for instance, boasts great presentation with its thick red curry and fluffy batter-covered shrimps, but the tempura lacks that satisfying crunch. And the combination of oily flour and thick coconut curry makes the dish too greasy to finish. The gaeng som salmon (spicy and sour hot soup with salmon, B250) is more balanced but let down by the bland veggies which appear to have been boiled prior to being added to the pleasantly sour soup. Another Thai dish that falls flat is the deep-fried seabass with mango spicy sauce (B250). Again, it looks yummy—a couple of pieces of crispy fried fish blanketed by young mango—but the supposedly spicy dressing lacks any real flavor. While the Thai menu is thoroughly underwhelming, the kitchen does a much better job on inter dishes like Australian strip loin beef steak (B480), which is cooked almost to perfection with the meat still moist and tender (we ordered it medium rare). The seared Hokkaido scallop with garlic sauce (B320), too, is an aromatic success. As they have live music every night, Checkmate might be a good place to hang out after work, but it’s certainly not for food lovers cruising along the river looking for top eats.Corkage B300 (booking), B500 (walk-in)

Venue Details
Address: Checkmate Bar & Bistro, Asiatique The Riverfront, 2194 Charoen Krung Soi 72-74, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 086-977-8749
Area: Riverside, Charoenkrung
Price Range: BB - BBB
Open since: April, 2012
Opening hours: daily 4pm-midnight
Live music, Parking available
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