With a location right in the central business district, City Viva offers opportunities for worktime lunches, shopping sessions and some after-work wining and dining choices as well. The façade looks pretty similar to J-Avenue, but upon entry, you’ll be reminded of Palio in Khao Yai and a bit of Siam Square.
The food establishments cover everything from health foods and burgers to wine bars and beer bistros. Pordee Come (3/F) offers exotic drinks, like sugar-free teas extracted from water lily, butterfly pea, West Indian jasmine, and torch ginger flowers. They also do salad rolls (B89) with their original herbal dressing. The seating area is a bit too tiny, though, so take-away is also recommended. As for those who prefer heartier food, there’s Jurgen’s (3/F), a tiny burger stall that does a small menu of the classic pork (B99), beef (B109), and fish (B99) patties. You can order extra toppings like cheese (B10), sauteed onion (B10), or bacon (B20). A set of pork or fish burger, french fries, and soft drink is B139 and a beef set is B149. The signature here is a recipe of sauerkraut sauce, perfected over many years of house party cooking. Too bad there’s no seating area at all.
For a proper, sit-down dining experience, there’s V2 Beer and Wine Garden (3-4/F, 02-676-9669. Open daily 5pm-midnight), which also offers outdoor seating options overlooking the busy traffic on Narathiwas Road and daily live music. The whole floor is decorated with white furniture and astroturf. A wine list starts at B690 a bottle, and cocktails start at B99. Nice! The food menu is comprised of a few Thai standards. Bloc Beer and Bistro (3/F. 02-676-9595. Open daily 11am-2pm, 5pm-1am) does an extensive list of Belgian beers and Western comfort food served in a laid-back and slightly grungy atmosphere. The signature highlights are: the Bloc fried rice (B155) and their custom brewed Belgian beer, Bloc (B180). On tap are Leffe, Hoegaarden, and Stella Artois (B220/pint). For a more romantic experience, try Wine Fusion (G/F. 02-676-9576. Open daily 10am-midnight) which does Thai and Western food and some inexpensive wines by the glass.
Apart from dining, there are lots of shops covering lingerie, apparel, imported designer gear, shoes, fashion accessories, aroma products and even toys and gadgets. T-Sum (2/F), sells both in-house designed garments and other imported accessories from vintage earrings to designer scarves. There are some perfumes and cosmetics on the shelves as well. Prices range from B600 to B3,000, and best of all, you can try and bargain. Viva La Ville (2/F) imports most of their clothes, bags, and shoes from France, Japan, and USA. They have a wide variety of products from Miu Miu wallets (B12,500) to gorgeous heels (from around B1,290). Prices range from B990 for Mina green dress, to B18,500 for a Louis Vuitton Damier handbag. At Aromantra (3/F), you can buy all kinds of body care products like lotions, shower gels, essential oils and candles, with prices ranging from B149-499.
If neat gadgets turn your head, Taeta (3/F) sells all kinds of gizmos, like a digital slate clock (B2,990), an iPhone zoom-able lens attached with a tiny tripod (B1,200), and a Nikon lens coffee mug (B890). MD Shop (3/F) stocks Korean brand Marianne Kate gift products, and prices range from B300 to B700. There’re also some cute accessories like the iPhone and iPod diary cases (B890), flip flops (B1,500), and some cosmetic bags. You’ll definitely want to visit Len Kong Len (3/F), an endearing toy shop that’s not only for kids. The highlight pieces are the digital cameras with built-in games (B6,500), and a casino set consisting of cards, dominoes, chess, checkers, dice, and chips which all come in a cute dice-like box (B2,500). We also love the DIY Lomo kit (B1,500), the mini popcorn maker (B3,200), the stuffed dolls from Singapore and other childish playthings. Prices start at B40.
Corner of Narathiwas Soi 6, 02-237-9150. www.thecityviva.com. Open daily 10am-10:30pm