Marlin Café is one of the latest high profile openings on the main high street of Ari, found just past Pahonyotin Soi 7, a few minutes’ walk from Ari BTS Skytrain Station. This area is known for its cool cafés, restaurants and young, arty vibe, and Café Marlin fits the bill.
But there are a few surprises involved. First, this isn’t a café, it’s a part-restaurant, part-bar. Nor is there any marlin on the menu or any evidence of the famous deep sea fish in anything other than the logo (although there is impressive sashimi and sushi). These discrepancies are classic evidence of multiple partners all throwing in their ideas – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – as this large, stylish space can appeal to a wide range of people.
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The menu is a hodgepodge of different dishes: Hamachi sashimi (yellow tail tuna), rack of ribs with ratatouille, silver fish salad, pasta with shrimp roe. It is literally a world tour of food, which has the perhaps unintended benefit of making Marlin Café Bangkok a great place for large disparate groups with different tastes. Dishes range from 250 baht for sushi rolls, pasta, and salads, up to 1,500 baht for the Matsu sashimi platter, which is a true dream for fish lovers as the sashimi is all sourced from Japan.
Clearly lots of time and effort have gone into the design of Marlin Café. The décor is sparse but striking: brushed concrete, steel poles, bare light bulbs and brick walls. It’s an industrial design which is at first arresting. Many people will love the concept (it was designed by the same team that designed the popular Casa Lapin coffee shops a few streets away), but by the end of a whole evening here, you may be yearning for a little more warmth.
Although this is primarily a restaurant, the bar is no afterthought. Craft beers are available, as is a range of impressive signature Cocktails, characterized by sweet but balanced flavours best experienced in choices like The Marlin (350 baht): made with sake, midoro, sake jelly, apple and – the secret ingredient – Betagen yoghurt, and the Hayabusa: a vodka base spruced up with green tea syrup, lemon juice, Orgeat syrup and egg white for some added texture. On weekends, Marlin Cafe have an acoustic duo perform from 19:00-22:00, to further blur the line between restaurant and bar.
We don’t mind the somewhat fuzzy concept behind Marlin Café Bangkok: the menu is about as varied as it can be, yet the food is good quality, and if you are looking for a new, interesting place to take a large group, Café Marlin might be a good fit.
Marlin Café Bangkok
- Opening Hours: 16:30-24:00 daily
- Location: Paholyothin 7 (Soi Aree) between Soi Aree 4 and Aree 5
- Tel: +66 (0)2 023 3438
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/marlincafebkk