BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Hot Rod

Designer Ashley Sutton's Thai restaurant is Blade Runner meets Indiana Jones.

Form the same designer behind the Dickensian-themed Iron Fairies (nearby, on Thonglor) and the 1930s Shanghai-inspired Maggie Choo's (on Silom Rd.), this small bar and restaurant dishes out a sophisticated menu of creative or rare Thai dishes (created by the head chef from Smith) and elaborate cocktails. Join the dozen happy few who can fit at its circular bar and nibble on Northern-style terrine while sipping on a mix of rum and jackfruit.

The buzz: You know designer Ashley Sutton for his whimsical, themed-bars like the Dickensian Iron Fairies and the 1930s Shanghai-inspired Maggie Choo's. His latest project, Hot Rod, is a small circular bar and restaurant dishing out a sophisticated menu of either creative or rare Thai dishes and elaborate cocktails to the dozen happy few who can fit at its circular bar.

The decor: The circular zinc countertop and Mies van der Rohe chairs have a sleek, urban, almost Blade Runner-esque vibe despite the ceramic relief supporting the bar, an assemblage of glazed tiles with patterns from sacred Thai tattoos. It all feels as if it's about to be overwhelmed by its surroundings, a mix of dense tropical foliage and a massive Angkor Wat-like head embossed with lizards. Finally, a place where Rick Deckard and Lara Croft could share a drink,

The food: You might know Chef Peter Pitakwong from Smith, where he was one of the first to bring home the Western nose-to-tail trend. It's a pleasant surprise to see him doing a Thai food menu, particularly one with so many unusual dishes. How does the keang kradang, a Northern-style terrine of pork and curry (B160), sound? Or how about the namprik kungseab taohoo (B160), a prawn relish with silken tofu, toasted bird's eye chili, shrimp paste and tamarind? Dishes are actually rather homey and substantial, despite the bar seating. Order a nua romkwan namprik khai (smoked beef brisket with galangal chili relish and grilled mushrooms, B160) and the tomklong kung (roasted aromatics soup with dry fish, B160) and you won't need to swing by a restaurant after your second cocktail.

The drinks: The cocktail menu (B220) is currently very fruit-forward (as the wine drinkers say). The You Don't Know Jack mixes Captain Morgan Dark Rum, crushed jackfruit, coconut liqueur, palm syrup, pineapple juice, citrus and tops it all off with a Singha beer float. Just as tropical, the Two Smiles is potent blend of Tres Magueyes blanco teuqila, orange liqueur, passion fruit, fresh lime juice, kaffir leaf, served in a glass rimmed with chili, sugar and salt. We kicked up a fuss and demanded they add a couple of boozier cocktails, too.

The crowd: Sutton has a devoted fanbase of succesful businessmen with trophies dangling from their arms. But as long as prices remain this low, this is our chance to go mingle with the BMW set.

Venue Details
Address: Hot Rod, Room A103, G/F, Park Lane, Sukhumvit Soi 63, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-714-2575
Website: fb.com/hotrodbangkok/
Area: Ekkamai
Cuisine: Thai
Price Range: B - BB
Open since: October, 2014
Opening hours: daily 4pm-midnight
Parking available
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