Two decades on, this Sala Daeng institution still runs with Bangkok's coolest restaurants.
This review took place in October 2018 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
Open since 1998, Eat Me is one of Bangkok’s enduring success stories. The two-story restaurant is a cool, yet cozy, melange of modernist and natural—part gallery, part sleek day spa offering refuge from the disorder of Silom.
For the best part of a decade the kitchen’s been helmed by American chef Tim Butler, whose creative, flavor-packed dishes across a wide price range have made Eat Me a fixture on regional restaurant lists, seducing diners and reducing critics to incoherent wrecks.
Descriptors like “bold,” “fresh” and “East-meets-West” often ring hollow, but here they’re on-point. Butler and co. pull off Thai-but-not-Thai combinations like a black chicken salad (B390) that’s elevated to new heights by the addition of red papaya, toasted coconut and betel leaf.
A starter of mixed clams in a lime broth (B750) is another celebration of excellent (and sustainable) produce which also benefits from the genius addition of sour-salty naem sausage. Our first sweet and creamy mouthful of the oxtail and roasted bone marrow done up in a red curry flavor (kaffir lime, basil, coriander, B1,050) had us ready to proclaim a bold new direction for Thai food. Even the seemingly straightforward pappardelle with spicy rabbit ragu, black olive and nduja pork (B580) rewards with peppery, pad kee mao-esque undertones.
Eat Me is just as highly regarded as a bar, its fern-enshrouded outdoor zone made for after-work drinks. In mixologist Buntanes “Pop” Direkrittikul, Butler has a worthy accomplice. Pop’s gastronomy-inspired creations contribute to the sense that Eat Me is never standing still. The vodka-based Laab-Moo (inspired by the spicy, herbal pork dish from Isaan, B390) comes topped with a crispy strip of Serrano ham, its rim flecked with with a crunchy mix of cilantro, rice and mint flakes. Gimmicky, sure, but delicious.
Not everything will blow your mind, however. The heirloom carrot confit (B390) with warm goat cheese, pine nut and balsamic vinegar is only the sum of its parts and, dare we say it, even a little bland. The dishes labeled “spicy” also tend to err on the side of caution.
In the boisterous dining room, rammed tight with tables, you’re as likely to rub shoulders with glamorous local socialites as you are with tank-topped Asian tourists. That doesn’t always make for the most intimate of meals, but you still feel at the center of something important.
After all this time, Eat Me serves up a slick package that’s conducive to good times, with diligent, five-star service to boot.
|Address:||Eat Me, 1/6 Soi Phiphat 2, Convent Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Open since:||October, 1998|
|Opening hours:||daily 3pm-1am|
|Nearest train||BTS Chong Nonsi|
|Reservation recommended, Parking available|
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