Despite the preponderance of big screens showing sport and the jokey sign out front referencing errant expat husbands, No Idea clearly aims to be more than a run-of-the-mill Brit-style boozer. And for the most part it achieves this. The place lifts itself above its surroundings on the slightly sleazy Sukhumvit 22 through a stylish décor that has an almost hacienda feel thanks to lots of weighty studded doors, bare concrete, lofty ceilings, a grand staircase and an impressive al fresco balcony on the second floor. There’s even a decent selection of wines to choose from along with the usual pints.
Billed as a gastro bar, the food also looks to extend beyond the standard pub grub, with a fair amount of success. To start, there’s an interesting choice of tapas and entrees, like the meatballs (B180), which, though a little bland, are given a real punch in the arm by the spicy tomato sauce. Similarly, while the crispy salt and pepper squid (B180) could be crisper, it’s rescued by a pleasant palm sugar dressing. The bruschetta, which comes with either tomato and basil (B150) or avocado, bacon, walnuts and feta (B190), features good, fresh ingredients and lovely crusty bread. It also comes in sizeable portions—which is the case for pretty much everything here. It’s certainly true for the Wagyu beef burger (B340), from the all-day bar menu, a towering edifice jam-packed with fresh pickles, onion and tomato, and topped with bacon. It manages that tricky art of holding together while remaining juicy and messy.
From the more refined a la carte menu (available 12-3pm and 6-11pm), the Guinness-braised beef cheeks on mash potato (B590) features tender beef and a moreish gravy, even if the mash could be a little creamier. The double-cooked pork belly (B390) is another dish that nearly gets it right. The crackling is an intense affair, crisp yet gooey, but the rest of the pork seems a little unexciting and overcooked in comparison. The accompanying large pile of red cabbage is slightly over-sweet, too. It’s a recurring theme, decent dishes that could benefit from slightly greater attention to detail and more delicate portions. As a case in point, there are lots of intriguing-sounding desserts, too, like the moist chocolate and beetroot cake (B240) and young coconut sorbet (B160), but we’ve always been too full to try them.
Service is efficient and friendly and the atmosphere pleasantly relaxed and informal. All in all, No Idea is a solid spot to come and enjoy some good food at OK prices, especially if the only way your partner will leave the house is if they get to watch the big match at the same time. Corkage B300-500.
|Address:||No Idea, 8/3-4 Sukhumvit Soi 22, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 9-1am|
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