Moko Coffee & Eatery
Kult art gallery owner Martine Pailloux co-opened this airy, light-filled café in May, decorated it with design objects, modish light fittings, mismatched furniture crafted from recycled wood, and a rotating exhibition of art and photography on the walls. Fruit bowls and cookie jars on the marble counter ensure it’s more café than gallery, as do stacks of magazines, tabletop herb pots, and friendly service. Italian chef Marco Rosato’s light, mod-Med comfort food—think sesame-crusted tuna and shiitake risotto—makes use of fresh seasonal organic produce from Royal Project farms and features flavorful vegetarian options. Moko’s all-day weekend brunches have been a big hit (No website; 71/1 Sathorn Soi 10; 66-2/635-3673).
This cool little neighborhood café brought some clean-lined Scandinavian style to gritty Sathorn Soi 12 when it debuted in 2013. Inspired by cafés in Stockholm, San Francisco, and Sydney, the owners—a trio of successful Swedish mixologists—created a very contemporary yet warm and welcoming space, with communal tables and a U-shaped bar. The main draws are their artisanal breads and pastries (baked on the premises every morning), great coffee from small-batch roasters, and wholesome, healthy dishes created from organic produce. Expect anything from daily-made vegetable soups (try the carrot-cumin if you’re there on a Thursday) to banana waffles with whipped mascarpone, strawberry-lavender preserve, and fresh strawberries. The formula has proved so successful that Rocket has already spawned a pair of offshoots: one in trendy Thonglor, and another at Central Embassy mall’s Siwilai concept store (Rocket Coffeebar; 149 Sathorn Soi 12; 66-2/635-0404).
Opened last March right next to Rocket, low-ceilinged Lady Brett, with its long bar and warm wood paneling, is a hip, cozy, contemporary take on the kind of relaxed New York neighborhood tavern where you can hang out all day and comfortably dine alone with a book. And that’s exactly what Bangkok’s locals and expats are doing. The fare is hearty old-fashioned comfort food with a twist. Follow the garlicky prawn bisque with a melt-in-your-mouth braised lamb shank with truffled roast pumpkin and cherry-rosemary sauce (Lady Brett; Sathorn Soi 12; 66-2/635-0405).
Just a few months old and still very much under the radar, this glam, dimly lit cocktail bar is a speakeasy in the true sense of the term—there is no sign out front and access is via an alley beside Lady Brett and then up a couple of flights of stairs. While there’s a DJ some nights, the focus is on the drinks. The owners—the same Swedish mixologists behind Rocket and longstanding gastro-bar Hyde & Seek —have been making the city’s best cocktails for the better part of a decade. Expect handcrafted cocktails, including many old recipes, made with premium spirits and housemade infusions, served in fine vintage- inspired glassware (U.N.C.L.E.; 149 Sathorn Soi 12; 66-2/635-0406).
This article originally appeared in the December/January print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Sizing Up Silom”)