The buzz: Thonglor welcomes a new laidback hangout with both indoor and outdoor dining areas. Chef Thunchanok ‘Gigi’ Chumvorathayee puts the focus on fusion cuisine, while the place caters to both the brunch crowd and those looking to unwind after work in a chill open-air space.
The décor: The black piped ceiling is covered with dangling black plates decorated with eyes, lips and other facial features. Meanwhile, the black brick walls showcase colorful paintings and the long bar displays a big range of bottles. The white tables adorned with brown paper tablemats and small plants, surrounded by cushioned chairs, give the interior a modern yet cozy feel. The outdoor dining area distinguishes itself from inside with plenty of white furniture and greenery. Unobtrusive background music plays during brunch hours with slightly more up-tempo beats in the evenings.
The food: From the appetizers (or “hintpitizers”) up, the menu here showcases Western-Japanese fusion featuring produce sourced from both local markets as well as abroad, such as their beef from Japan. As is the trend at the moment, you can expect all-day brunch dishes like croquet madame waffle (B240), parma ham watermelon salad (B280) and ocean delight omelets glazed with bouillabaisse (B260). Other dishes include tuna tataki (B490) and seafood crepe served with passion fruit sauce (B250).
The drinks: There’s a standard selection of wine (B250-320 by the glass), while the happy hours from 5-8:30pm offer a good excuse to try cocktails like the Bobby Hint (Irish whisky, Drambuie infused with ginger and lime, B290) and Roma Hint (Beefeater gin infused with rosemary, pear and green apple, B290). Beers include Carlsberg (B140) and Hoegaarden (B220).
The crowd: Well-dressed locals and residen-expats coming to check out the newest addition to the Thonglor restaurant scene.
For all Thonglor’s countless restaurants and bars, it’s true that many simply blend into one another. Now you can add Hint Café to the list of venues that don’t quite lift themselves above the throng, despite some positive attributes.
Starting with the place itself, you can expect to dine in a rather predictable dark-hued, industrial setting; it’s far from unpleasant, though, with a long glass window separating the greener open-air outdoor section from the chic indoor dining room. Here, you can see the chefs hard at work in the open kitchen, slicing and dicing to an upbeat electro soundtrack.
In an area chock-full with Japanese joints, Chef Thunchanok “Gigi” Chumvorathayee supposedly puts the focus on Western-Japanese fusion, with wildly varied results. The tomato sauce in the spaghetti bolognaise with Italian sausage (B240) is all but flavorless, while the smoked duck and roasted pumpkin with balsamic vinaigrette (B220) packs a seriously sour punch. Thankfully, the latter is redeemed somewhat by the tasty and still aromatic smoked duck slices.
A complimentary offering on our last visit, the onion rings (B120) have a strangely sweet and sour taste from the overly-powdery seasoning.
Some other dishes fare better, like the seared salmon salad with spicy jelly cubes (B250), which matches the tanginess of the seafood sauce in the jelly cubes with a potent wasabi dressing.
The grilled pork spareribs glazed with cherry Coke (B320) are extremely tender, the sweet meat falling off the bone. The overall richness of the dish, though, makes it hard to finish. Similarly, while the recommended Gigi’s secret seafood crepe with creamy passion fruit sauce (B250) successfully blends the sweet and salty, your enjoyment largely hinges on how much you like the dense cream inside.
On the plus side, Hint Café does offer a decent choice of drinks from wine to whisky, plus they currently offer a daily happy hour on classic cocktails from 5-10pm. That makes it a decent last stop-off before hitting the clubs in the area, but food-wise there’s little that really demands a revisit.
|Address:||Hint Café, 308 Thonglor Soi 10, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BBB|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 10:30am-midnight; Sat-Sun 9-12:30am|
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