Siam Future’s latest project, Nawamin Festival Walk, is Bangkok’s newest open-air community mall.
Bewilderment is the initial reaction to Nawamin Festival Walk, located right next to Nawamin City Avenue, with its confounding layout and a design that reeks of some misplaced middle-American outdoor theme park (there’s even a giant windmill at the entrance). But get past the random, off-beat theme, and there’s reason to give it more than a cursory glance, with some old favorites and new finds. Crowds vary from Thonglor’s hip teens and university students to young office workers and hi-so moms. And like the myriad other community malls in the city, it, too, aims to meet all needs, boasting restaurants, cafes, clothing stores, late night drink spots—even a barbershop and skin-care center.
Hungry? Our stomachs started rumbling when we spotted Red Basket, a French-Vietnamese eatery, a rare find in Bangkok. Transport yourself straight to Ho Chi Minh City with recommended dishes like Vietnamese dumplings stuffed with shrimp and pork (B100). Set menus are also available, such as the grilled pork with vermicelli, fresh spring rolls, and fresh fruits (B140). For dessert, try their French apple crepe with vanilla sauce and ice cream (B140). Another restaurant that caught our attention with its familiar name was Cafeinteria by Black Canyon. The first Cafeinteria branch to open in Bangkok, it serves Korean, American, Italian and Thai dishes like Hokkaido Salad (B246) and New Zealand beef steak (B388).
You’re sweet tooth is bound to start aching with desert shops appearing on almost every corner. You can’t miss the packed Japanese-themed dessert shop Okashi by Pooni. Apart from the dozens of maneki neko (waving cats), what got us forcing our way into this tiny shop were the different flavored Japanese-style desserts. The fruity frosty cake (B165) seems to be the huge hit here; have it with their selection of teas from Earl Grey to Lemon Zinger Herb (B135) or one of several different fruit sodas (B175). If the heat’s got you beat, cool down at 77th Coffee Bar & Dessert Café with their homemade ice creams (B57 per scoop). Drinks like coffee, frappe, fruit smoothies and Italian sodas are also available (B57-117).
If that itch to shop starts to kick in, try some vintage dresses imported from Japan and Europe at Paris in Love. Dresses start from B2,500, and Japanese skin-care products from Pink and Ichikami are also available in the shop. For those seeking some serious, big-spending retail therapy, the store also houses a great selection of brand-name bags, from Louis Vuitton to limited edition Celine and Hermes. But maybe you’re just looking to get crafty; in that case you can’t miss Paper Mac. Although it looks a tad like a photocopying store, it’s actually a scrap-booking haven, offering pretty much every material you might need. Check out the ring binder maker (B2,000).
Still here in the evening? HOBS and Tell Me Wine are both solid choices, but we recommend a new spot called Thirst Day. Wine, beers and whisky are available, but what they really focus on are cocktails. Best sellers include signature cocktails like Die for You, a mix of gin, rum, vodka, tequila, cherry brandy, and sweet and sour mix with grape (B195). Beer deals include Singha and Asahi for B180 per pitcher and B340 per tower. A little tip: don’t spend all your cash or be prepared for a 5-min walk, as ATM machines are available only at Nawamin City Avenue.
77th Coffee Bar & Dessert Café. Room J104-105, open daily from 10am-10:30pm. 083-425-2777. www.facebook.com/seventysevencafe
Cafeinteria by Black Canyon. Room T110, open daily from 10am-10pm. 02-553-1120.
Okashi by Pooni. Room K109, open from 11:30am-9pm on Mon-Fri and closes at 10pm on Sat-Sun. 02-907-1129.
Paper Mac. Room T108, open daily from 11am-10pm. 083-254-1544. www.facebook.com/pages/Paper-Mac-Scrapbook
Paris in Love. Room K102-103, open daily from 11am-8pm. 02-907-1770.
Red Basket. Room L103-105, open daily from 11am-10pm. 02-907-1909, 084-109-0271.
Thirst Day. Room J107, open daily from 2pm-12am. 02-907-0456, 087-004-7321. www.facebook.com/ThirstyEveryday
Nawamin Festival Walk. 299 Prasertmanukit Rd. Sena Intersection Ladprao 10230, 02-660-9020. www.facebook.com/NawaminFestivalWalk