The buzz: Phuket’s 2W hostel group has brought its chic bed and breakfast concept to Bangkok’s Chinatown—and unlike at so many tourist haunts, the owners here take the breakfast part very seriously at the downstairs cafe.
The decor: Designed by Harvester Design Studio, the minimal space speaks to hipsters with its raw cement walls, floor and bar, loft-like industrial furnishings and splashes of greenery. The kitchen sits behind a glass screen right next to the coffee bar, meaning you can watch both the barista meticulously preparing drip coffee and the cooks hard at work. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow plenty of natural light.
The food: Chef Phunchita Kamonto lived in Melbourne for more than 15 years and takes inspiration from the city’s cafe culture in simple dishes like smashed avocado on toast (B220) and the breakfast plate (egg, sausage, bacon, tomato, mushroom, hash and toast, B280). Where the chef really shines is in adding her own twists to the likes of chia pudding (B160), which here features coconut milk and tropical fruits, and the skillet pancake (B180), which mixes the Dutch-style crispy baby pancake with America's thicker, fluffier interpretation. More intricate flavors can be tasted in dishes like soft polenta (B250) topped with braised mushrooms, chorizo and poached pear, and the eight-hour-braised pulled beef burger (B240), which features a nice kick from Cajun spices.
The drinks: Coffee beans are sourced from a Chiang Mai roaster. On top of espresso (B70) and drip coffee (B100), you can also find creations like The Metro (espresso with tonic and orange juice, B120), Ready Cocoa (cocoa, frozen banana, coconut and roasted coconut, B140) and avocado smoothie (B140).
Why you should care: Located not far from Chinatown's rising hipster hub of Soi Nana, Wanderlust’s interestingly flavored brekkie dishes are an easy excuse to again wander these picturesque streets. Natcha Sanguankiattichai