BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Chu

Order the creamy, velvety, dark hot chocolate, which we believe is one of the best in town.

2
Average: 2 (1 vote)
Think churros, think Chu. This cafe veteran serves the traditional Spanish fried dough dessert with dulce de leche or a show-stopping velvety, dark hot chocolate, from its perch overlooking traffice-clogged Asoke. Aside from the decadent sweets, savory bites like chorizo scrambled eggs on sourdough bread and bangers and mash come in hefty portions that actually fill you up. 
 
Other branch: Sathorn, 02-636-8685

Chu landed in the Exchange Tower with a humble mission from its freshly minted Cordon Bleu graduate owner: churning out churros and hot chocolate. Chef Chirayu na Ranong then attempted to do old-school boat noodles next door before noticing that half of the town is making a killing poaching two eggs and serving them up with a side of smoked salmon.

So Chu did the smart thing. It expanded into the noodle restaurant (by then defunct), and rolled out its own trendy menu of breakfast dishes and sandwiches, all of it with the imprimatur of the twin houses of Joe Sloane, the butcher, and Maison Jean-Philippe, the baker, whose names feature proudly on the requisite clipboard menu.

But we miss the days when Chu was actually trying to bring something to this town, rather than just following the herd. In fact, we still enjoy the creamy, velvety, dark hot chocolate, there—one of the best in town (B135).

The food menu, unfortunately, isn’t all that exciting. The eggs benedict (B290, with salmon) were cold on our last visit; the Juicy Lucy burger (B350) overloaded with cheese (and tasting more like a Philly cheesesteak). You wouldn’t believe it from all the Pinterest-worthy quotes on the faux blackboards (did you know “desserts” is “stressed” spelled backwards?), but too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

The roast beef panini’s (B250) grain mustard overload isn’t quite as offensive, but the bread’s reheating has turned it into a rather stiff, stale affair—same problem with the butter cream muffin in the eggs benedict, which crumbles into a floury dust. Nor does the crab salad (B250) really work: the yogurt cream is too bland, the giant heap of salad too boring, the five walnut halves too stingy.

We also recall Chu opening with more ambition from its desserts. That has now been watered down to cheesecake, brownies and velvet cake—not exactly haute patisserie even if the execution is decent. You could say Chu has simply learned from what its crowd of affluent Fitness First gym-goers and ladies who lunch are telling it: “Food isn’t our first priority, as long as you look the part.”

And Chu has indeed improved on that front. The weird couches have given way to the obligatory wooden chairs, with a kind of paneling-meets-blackboard treatment on the walls. The service is fairly polished, too. As a result, the place feels hiso enough to make it a bustling brunch destination for expats on the weekends. Congrats, Chu, you’ve made it into the big league—even if we wish you’d gotten there a bit differently.

Venue Details
Address: Chu, Room 204-206, 2/F, Exchange Tower, 388 Sukhumvit Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-663-4554
Website: www.facebook.com/CHU.BKK?ref=br_rs
Area: Nana Asoke
Cuisine: Coffee shop, Cafe, Dessert, Western
Price Range: B
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-9pm; Sat-Sun 8am-9pm
Nearest trainBTS Asok
Parking available
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