Meeting Room Asian Gastro
The buzz: This cool and compact eatery, located above a Max Value supermarket at J-Di community mall, borrows from the current trend of gastro bars—dark, woody décor and lots of drinks—but forgoes the carb heavy, Western comfort food and replaces it with Asian food. The result is something like Hyde and Seek meets Pedalicious, minus the bicycles and super hi-sos, and it’s been garnering plenty of buzz already. The décor: A small, high-ceilinged dining room with a bar and a few tables, and two balconies, reminiscent of the ones at Shades of Retro, with their moody lighting and mismatched seating options. The overall vibe, as a result, is super cozy without feeling pedestrian thanks to the wooden workshop tables and black couches and some hipster art drawn directly onto the walls. The food: The menu is slim but packs in the calories you’ll need to maintain your drinking. Expect greasy stuff like the Meeting Room fries which come spiked with sesame seeds and herbs, tenderloin steak with wasabi butter and egg noodles with stir-fried shrimps with curry powder. They do a few salads as well, like the buta shabu salad with shoyu sauce and one with crispy anchovies and vinegar dressing. The drinks: We are very happy to note that standard cocktails here, like the Cuba libre and gin and tonic, are a very affordable B150 each. Fancier cocktails include the classic mojito and a gin and tonic variation with lemon tea. Asahi on tap goes for B100. The crowd: The hat-wearing, rolled-cuff youth of Thong Lor. Mrigaa Sethi
We’d like to like the Meeting Room a lot more than we do. Located on top of a garish MaxValu supermarket, it’s a cozy space with black and tan furniture, some small couches, the lyrics to an Arcade Fire song on the wall and even some comfy seating out on their covered balcony. They play decent music and they have a very affordable drinks list, with lots of signature cocktails and basic options going for B150. The service, too, is smiling and welcoming. But unfortunately, Meeting Room falls short in its menu, an alcohol-friendly collection of Thai-Japanese recipes. Each dish checks at least two of these three boxes (booze, Japanese, Thai) so faithfully, that the overall feeling, and also the actual execution of the dishes, ends up very one-dimensional. The sticky and sour buffalo wings (B190), for instance, are an interesting combination of juicy, well-done chicken and potato wedges, slathered together in a sauce that’s not particularly sticky and a lot more sweet than it is sour. A perfectly interesting soba with tiger prawns and peppercorn sauce (a sort of pad krapao base, B220) is overwhelmed by unnecessary dancing benito flakes. And we’re not sure we agree with having slices of tonkatsu lined up next to some spaghetti in the wasabi cream pasta with tonkatsu, edamame and tobiko (B280). The juxaposition makes it feel like a children’s meal and the prominence of wasabi in the sauce means there’s very little else going on (save the occasional crunch of batter and edamame). Other dishes show promise but are marred by less-than-stellar cooking. The Isaan mayo in their diced steak dish (B350) is exciting—the flavors of jim jaew sauce cutting through the overwhelming creaminess of the mayo—but the pieces of accompanying beef can often be chewy and overdone (and narry a grill mark to be seen!). Still, we can’t say we won’t come back. Meeting Room has a decent following of regulars, and they’re constantly importing new and interesting drinks. Plus we really do think the space is adorable. So we won’t rule out going here with friends for several rounds of cheap drinks and maybe a plate of pasta.
|Address:||Meeting Room Asian Gastro, 2/F, J-Di, Thonglor Soi 18, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BBB|
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun 5-11pm|
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