Hot Rod Bangkok

Tapas style Thai food on Ekkamai

This venue has closed.

Hot Rod Restaurant in Bangkok offers Thai-style tapas dishes and a funky, unique vibe. It’s one of those places that suits adventurous eaters who want to try new food, whether Thais or foreigners. Inside is deceptively small, but there is a vibrant party atmosphere, with deep house on the stereo and a live cooking station with seats lined around the counter.

The design is courtesy of Ashely Sutton who has the Midas’ touch when it comes to designing bars and restaurants around Bangkok. Hot Rod is no different. Expect Thai tattoo designs, double-tailed gecko prints and interesting elements brought together such as plants growing up the walls and a shiny zinc counter. For larger groups there is a large terrace but we love the experience up close and personal with the kitchen team.

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Dishes are very reasonably priced at less than 200 baht per serving. Portion sizes are small but this allows you the chance to try plenty of the menu. We think three to four dishes per person will ensure everyone leaves stuffed, having tried some traditional Thai dishes with stylish, modern presentation.

The clam soup (Hoilai tom boran – 150 baht) is a must-try with a surprising depth to the broth. Plenty of Thai herbs have been used here, with a noticeable but not fire-inducing amount of chilli. The tom yum spare ribs (170 baht) are deliciously tender having been cooked sous vide for eight hours with lemongrass and kaffir lime on top.

The pork served with garlic, kale, spicy seafood dressing and an ingenious use of grape, turns a classic shrimp dish on its head and will delight both foreigners and Thais looking for a dish that is classic yet new at the same time. For dessert, there are some fancy Thai street food snacks picked from regional highlights around Thailand. Don’t miss the Thai-style donuts from northern Thailand with a caramel glaze.

Not everything on the menu reaches the same heights. The Egg noodles with shrimp (kuay taew Thai – 150 baht) is a nice enough and in keeping with the street food style, but is not as easily shared as other dishes – it’s good for a solo feed though. The deep fried chicken (kai tod nam prik som – 150 baht) is also rather commonplace, although the smoky Chiang Mai-style shrimp paste adds some pleasant overtones.

Cocktails are central to the experience at Hot Rod. We’ve tried several and it’s hard to pick a winner from the balanced and playful creations. The ‘Panda & Buffalo’ is a rum based drink with burnt rice, salt and a sweet pandanus flavour – Thailand in a glass. The ‘3 by 3’ is an interesting take on a mojito with basil instead of mint, while our favourite has to be the ‘Sukhumvit 65’, an expertly balanced mixture of gin, dry vermouth and orange. Highly recommended!

The modified tuk-tuk outside in the larger terrace and the seat belts on the tall stools are in homage to the name, but the food, cocktails and ambiance have little in connection with the name. Despite this, the experience of dinner at Hot Rod is fantastic. If you are looking for somewhere trendy to dine around Thonglor or Ekkamai before heading out for a few drinks, Hot Rod is one of our top picks.

Hot Rod is located in Park Lane community mall on Ekkamai Road and walking distance from Ekkamai BTS Station.

Hot Rod Bangkok

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