Chu is a favourite with Bangkokians when it comes to casual brunches and cakes. Just a few minutes from the Asoke junction on Sukhumvit this popular cafe focuses on using quality ingredients to create delicious treats, including a potential winner for the best hot chocolate in the world. Open weekdays from 07:30 and weekends from 09:00 Chu’s laid-back coffee shop atmosphere is ideal for those looking for great breakfasts, sandwiches and enough dessert options to satisfy the sweetest tooth around.
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Situated in Exchange Tower opposite Terminal 21 and easily accessible via the Skytrain walkway, Chu makes a cheery mark on an otherwise pretty colourless office block. Take a look at their open kitchen; serious baking involving large melted bowls of French dark chocolate is going on and the glass display cabinet is full of brownies, muffins, truffles and cakes – a sophisticated chocolate factory.
The comfortable sofas and a television in the corner showing everything from cooking shows to classic movies means you lose track of time; it’s very easy to watch the entire of Casablanca on mute whilst you lounge around or flick through the great selection of English reading material on offer (magazines, The Nation, Bangkok Post and others). Free Wi-Fi is also available if you need to stay connected.
Chu can get busy, but you don’t usually need to book ahead; we arrive late morning and there are still plenty of seats, so we pick the battered leather sofa in the corner. The only downside of this place is the rather severe air-conditioning so I order their 70% dark hot chocolate to keep me warm. Perhaps the cool temperature is a ploy to make people order more hot drinks? The hot chocolate tastes rich, creamy and semisweet and comes in a variety of flavours including American marshmallow, chilli, raspberry and white Matcha green tea.
In keeping with Chu’s promise of quality, the coffee is strong, with the beans being sourced from Chiang Rai and the choice doesn’t stop there, with a variety of teas, sodas, juices also on offer. If you’ve had a tough day I recommend coming in the evening for one of the dessert-inspired cocktails; the Jack Daniel’s milkshake goes down far too easily and the cherry cheesecake martini is definitely meant for grown-ups.
It can be hard choosing from the menu as Chu makes some great classics including American pancakes, a big breakfast and eggs Benedict. In a bid to be more adventurous we order the egg white frittata and stuffed French toast with berries and cream cheese. Oven-baking the omelette removes any greasiness, meaning you can really distinguish the taste and texture of mozzarella, smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes and peppery rocket salad with the resulting good balance of flavours. The French toast is light and fluffy and the sharp flavour of the berries prevents it from being too creamy. The best thing about brunch is that by combining two meals you have the excuse to eat more, so we finish by ordering the dish after which the cafe is named, freshly fried churros with cinnamon, which you absolutely have to save room for.
The prices aren’t cheap; around 120 baht for one of the chocolate drinks and between 200 and 250 baht for a brunch dish, but the quality and the flavours are worth it.
Chu Chocolate Bar & Cafe
- Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 07:30-21:30 and Saturday - Sunday: 09:00-21:00
- Location: Enter Exchange Tower via the walkway from the BTS
- Address: 2nd Floor Exchange Tower (Asoke Intersection), Bangkok, Thailand 10110
- Tel: +66 (0)2 663 4554