About Eatery Bangkok is trailblazing the concept of natural wines in Bangkok, and they are recruiting more and more people on to this growing world trend with great food and fantastic wines. The grand idea has been to make a casual hangout that is affordable to just about everyone, while promoting ecologically sound food and drinks.
The first question on most people’s lips is, ‘what is ‘natural’ wine?’ Natural wines are categorized as being organic, biodynamic and produced using no additives, preservatives or pesticides – basically, the ancient way of making wine.
What’s clear at About Eatery is the lack of pretence often associated with wine bars. This is as easy-going as it gets, which is helped by the wine list. Gone are long lists of labels and vintages, most of which mean nothing to the average diner. At About Eatery, the wine list uses easy-to-understand icons and simple descriptions so even newbies to the world of natural wines will feel right at ease.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
Located in the Asoke area of Sukhumvit Road, a few hundred metres behind Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, it is hard to define About Eatery Bangkok as it uses a large space to appeal to different groups. For a few drinks you can sit up at the bar or out in the smoking area, for large groups there are standard dining tables, and you can even sit around the open kitchen and have your Italian and Mediterranean dishes handed to you by the chef personally. This restaurant is extremely vegetarian and vegan friendly, with around 50% of the dishes suitable for vegans (along with 100% of the wines).
Pretty much all of the wines available are exclusive to About Eatery in Thailand. Sourced personally by Giulio Saverino, the sociable and knowledgeable manager who is on hand to explain, recommend or even just shoot the breeze about his favourite topic – natural wine.
As he explained to us: “With natural wines, never look for perfection. Just as with people, it’s the unique characteristics that make us interested in one another, and so it goes with naturally produced wine – the true flavour should come from the grape and soil only.”
Our favourites include an orange wine (a white wine made according to red wine principles, with the skins being left with the grape to ferment, resulting in a something halfway between a typical red and white) called Clockwork Orange 2014, Central Otago, New Zealand (195 baht per glass; 925 baht per bottle). It is a mix of pinot gris and chardonnay grapes, which has the feel of full bodied red yet the freshness of a crisp white. We also tried the Il Frappato 2013 Occhipinti from Sicily (200 baht per glass), a complex red wine which had a pungent smell and a mineral taste; it is certainly interesting, a bit too much as a sipping wine but works well when paired to a meat dish.
It is thoroughly enjoyable trying these exclusive wines, and thanks to the excellent prices (prices start from 160 baht per glass; 750 baht per bottle) it is no more expensive than drinking domestic beer. There are currently eight by-the-glass wines, and more than 30 labels by the bottle.
In fact, the ‘natural’ philosophy at About Eatery can be found throughout the venue, right down to the eco-friendly water bottles. The craft beers and small batch spirits on offer were again picked because of their adherence to natural production methods, while the concise food menu offers clean, healthy southern European fare, from tapas dishes (120-200 baht), to lentil soup, beetroot tartare (raw beetroot served with a homemade mustard, olive oil and pungent basil leaves for 270 baht), homemade pasta (the garganelli with beef cheek for 420 baht is a rustic, filling plate of food that goes great with a heavy red wine). Plus there are more hearty mains, such as grilled octopus with asparagus and balsamic dressing (780 baht), and, best of all, Ibirico pork a la plancha (the succulent, oily meat is slightly charred and seasoned and served with piperade and grilled tomato for 829 baht). Vegan chocolate-coconut mousse (190 baht) is a popular dessert, along with gluten-free chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream (259 baht).
Whether or not Bangkok is ready for a natural wine bar is uncertain, but Guilio’s passion is infective and, in our opinion, About Eatery is destined for big things.
About Eatery Bangkok
- Opening Hours: 11:00-01:00 (Closed on Sunday)
- Location: Sukhumvit 21 Soi 3, Ocean Tower II
- MRT: Sukhumvit
- BTS: Asoke
- Tel: +66 (0)2 665 2772