The tiny Old Town shophouse that previously housed Seven Spoons has been given a Polynesian makeover.
A tiki-themed restaurant and bar serving simple yet unique pub grub. The Aussie wagyu-packed Mad Moa Burger comes in a homemade brioche with chipotle mayo, while the super-tender, three-day slow-cooked ribs with lemon and herbs are, frankly, some of the best we’ve tasted in Bangkok--the perfect pairing to one of their rum-heavy daily rotating cocktails. Take note: they also do a line of under-the-counter home-brewed beers that you won’t find on the menu.
That tiki trend never quite took off in Bangkok, huh? But don’t blame that on Mad Moa. The tiny Old Town shop-house that previously housed Seven Spoons was given a Polynesian-meets-Navajo makeover late last year, and its wood-paneled space, sparsely kitted out with colorful rugs and hanging plants, is unlike any other in town.
The menu of what they call “twisted bar food”—hot dogs, ribs and burgers—is more familiar, but the kitchen adds enough fresh touches to keep things interesting. It’s all in the details, whether it’s the piquant jalapeno salsa that accompanies the fried calamari (B180) or the seared pineapple and wasabi coleslaw of the rum-battered fried chicken (B180).
Don’t kid yourself, though; you’re here for full-flavored pub grub, so skip the meager salad offerings (spam and potato salad, B180, anyone?) and dive right into the three-day-cooked, dry-rubbed ribs (B320). Instead of the dense, sugary sauces commonly found in Bangkok steakhouses, this meat is topped with a thicket of herbs, including dill, and is some of the most flavorful in town. The sweet, house-made “pesto” and tangy pineapple salsa add a delicate edge to the dish, too.
The Aussie wagyu-packed Mad Moa Burger (B280) comes with a juicy medium-rare patty and a searing chipotle mayo for a punchy flavor combo. However, the extent of your enjoyment probably hinges on the sweet, homemade brioche bun, which is either a light and surprisingly airy handful, or a soggy, insufficient shell, depending on your preferences.
The food is great, but the drinks are even better. Wham Bhayungvej’s rum-heavy daily rotating cocktails (B220) stick to the tropical theme without being overly sweet, while the exclusive, under-the-counter beers from Udomsuk Brewing may be the highlight thus far of the city’s nascent underground brewing scene—order the crisp Mad Moa pale ale (B160), made with New Zealand hops.
Unlike Seven Spoons across the road (its chef, Joke Pairojmahakij, is also a partner here), Mad Moa feels more like a work in progress than the finished article, but the rough edges are a huge part of the fun. Easy to miss amid Lan Luang’s endless shut-up shop-houses, with barely room for a dozen seats, this hole-in-the-wall is as intimate as they come, and the menu, decor and service all brim with personality. Mad Moa is one place where you get the feeling “homemade” actually means something. Corkage B300