The buzz: Within barely a month of opening, Fatbird has earned a reputation as a comforting hangout. Owned by a group of friends, led by M.L. Nipanoppadara Yugala, the restaurant features the owners’ decorative pieces collected from all over Europe and New York. Food-wise there are classic Western recipes to match and a few Thai options.
The décor: The renovated shophouse stands out with its striking green façade, while inside there’s a very hip and homey vibe courtesy of vintage knick knacks hanging on pale wood walls. A slight English country manor chic is provided by the vintage-inspired furniture and light fittings, while the front windows let in plenty of light. Fatbird is forging a name as a go-to place for both groups and dates. Take some friends to the 2/F for more space, bigger tables, and a terrace with a swing.
The food: Mostly simple Western dishes—think spaghetti carbonara, calamari and steak. The owners are proud of their grilled chicken liver with olive bay leaf, bacon and rocket (B200) that comes with a topping of flavorful cherry sauce, and the light agedashi tofu with ponzu sauce (B120). Mains include the mini minced pork burger with teriyaki sauce (B160) or khao kraprao (sirloin beef topped with chili and garlic and served with rice, B220) along with vegetarian options like the grilled portabello mushroom with white sauce and grilled vegetables (B280). Some dishes are derived from the Yugala family’s recipes, like the chicken stew pie with tomato soup (B180). And do order the dark beer chocolate cake—it’s not on the menu, but it’s totally delicious.
The drinks: The bar sits on the 1/F with a list of classic cocktails starting from B200 while the highlight seems to be the refreshing Fatbird mocktail (blue soda, apple, lime soda, cherry, cranberry and melon, B160). There’re nine selections of beer including Beerlaos dark (B110), Hoegaarden (B210) and Singha (B100).
The crowds: Young expats on dates, groups of pretty chic girlfriends meeting after work and some celebrity friends of the owners. The place is planning to open earlier soon so might attract some office crowds for lunch.
Fatbird has quickly forged a reputation as a comfortable yet cool hangout spot. And it’s easy to see see why. The renovated shophouse radiates a very hip and homey vibe, with its vintage furniture, dangling light fittings and retro knick-knacks strewn across pale wood and exposed brick. The result is something approaching English country manor chic, all backed with a nice, not-too-challenging indie soundtrack. Food keeps things comfy, too, covering simple Western dishes, a few Thai options, and some hybrid dishes derived from one of the owners’ family’s recipes. While the menu looks to keep things simple, there are still some surprises—not all of them pleasant. The Caesar salad (B220), for instance, is pretty unusual in that it demands to be eaten with your hands. It’s a fun touch but once the novelty wears off, you’re left with sizeable Romaine leaves topped with a bland, sludgy dressing, a sad sprinkling of parmesan and bacon flakes, and a pile of soggy croutons. It’s not the only example of the kitchen’s heavy-handedness. Previous visits have given us the dry, overcooked beef of the khao kraprao (sirloin topped with chili and garlic, B220) through to the runny, flavorless tartare sauce served with the fish and chips (B280). The latter is a shame because it detracts from what is otherwise a decent dish, highlighted by nice and flaky pieces of fish. The home-made chicken stew pie with tomato soup (B180) is worse, though. The dish has a certain nostalgic appeal, sure, but ultimately tastes like watered-down alphabet soup thanks to the hunks of undercooked carrot and potato swimming alongside assorted chicken bits and a rather random quail’s egg. Though pleasant to look at, the chunky crust tastes of cheap margarine and quickly becomes soggy. The rather more enjoyable salmon laab (B220), a Thai favorite, demonstrates that the problem isn’t down to a lack of good produce, with large chunks of fleshy, fresh salmon accentuated by a nice assortment of Thai herbs, even if it does lack a certain zestiness. Where the place does excel is with the drinks. Their classic cocktails, starting from B200, make up for the lack of craft beers with their refreshing potency. This and the chill ambience mean that if you bypass the below-par menu, Fatbird is actually a very inviting spot for groups of grazing hipsters and couples on indie dates. Corkage B500.
|Address:||Fatbird, 36/9 Phahon Yothin Soi 7 (across Ari Soi 3), Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BBB|
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun 6-11pm|
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