Moko Coffee & Eatery
Kult art gallery owner Martine Pailloux co-opened this airy, light-filled cafĂ© 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 itâ€™s more cafĂ© than gallery, as do stacks of magazines, tabletop herb pots, and friendly service. Italian chef Marco Rosatoâ€™s light, mod-Med comfort foodâ€”think sesame-crusted tuna and shiitake risottoâ€”makes use of fresh seasonal organic produce from Royal Project farms and features flavorful vegetarian options. Mokoâ€™s all-day weekend brunches have been a big hit (No website;Â 71/1 Sathorn Soi 10; 66-2/635-3673).
This cool little neighborhood cafĂ© brought some clean-lined Scandinavian style to gritty Sathorn Soi 12 when it debuted in 2013. Inspired by cafĂ©s in Stockholm, San Francisco, and Sydney, the ownersâ€”a trio of successful Swedish mixologistsâ€”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 youâ€™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 mallâ€™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 thatâ€™s exactly what Bangkokâ€™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 termâ€”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 thereâ€™s a DJ some nights, the focus is on the drinks. The ownersâ€”the same Swedish mixologists behind Rocket and longstanding gastro-bar Hyde & Seek â€”have been making the cityâ€™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).
Â This article originally appeared in theÂ December/JanuaryÂ print issue of DestinAsian magazine (â€śSizing Up Silomâ€ť)