Dining in Sukhumvit Soi by Soi
If there's a particular kind of cuisine you fancy, chances are you'll find it in Sukhumvit. To prove it here's a quick soi-by-soi guide through this gastronomic wonderland.
Soi 4 Nana Plaza
The well-known entertainement complex/sleaze pit has a number of local good value eating places. Jool's Bar & Restaurant, a British-style just past Nana Entertainment Plaza, has a dining room above the downstairs bar serving hearty English food. Excellent French cooking at Le Banyan located along Soi 8 in a charming Thai style house.
French classics and excellent wine list. Not cheap but good quality. Maharajas also offers top notch Indian dishes at half the price found elsewhere. Lots of Thalis here and a good vegetarian selection.
Mrs Balbir's, hidden away in Soi 11 next to the Swiss Park Hotel, serves home cooked north Indian dishes with lots of masalas, vindaloos and vegetarian food. Closed on Mondays. Pasand in Soi 12 also has northern Indian food. Govinda (Soi 11), an unusual Italian vegetarian restaurant, serves the standard Italian fare, plus vegetarian dishes catering also to vegans. Pizzas come fron a genuine brick oven.
De Meglio, opposite the Grand President Tower, also offers Italian regional food with a good selection of vegetarian entrees. In a small, vibrant shophouse, Tapas serves delectable tapas and decent Sangria. Just duck down the first alleyway on your left if coming from Sukhumvit Road.
Also contains one of Bangkok's most famous restaurants - Cabbages & Condoms, an established attraction on the Bangkok dining circuit with its imaginative menu and free condoms. Profits go towards family planning and AIDS prevention programmes in Thailand. A little further down, Crepes & Co has crepes (of course) continental breakfasts and Mediterranean, Moroccan and Spanish for lunch and dinner.
Sois 16 - 20
Sukhumvit has many first class hotels that offer excellent dining options. At the Rembrandt Hotel in Soi 18, is Senor Pico's, a cheerful looking restaurant that offers tex-mex favourites like fajitas, carnitas, nachos and combination platters. Also at the Rembrandt Hotel, Rang Mahal, a rooftop restaurant, offers a combinatin of city views and Indian Royal cuisine. Sumptuous Indian buffets from 11:30 to 15:00 on Sundays. Still up there with high views is the rooftop Tycoon Fine Indian at The Windsor Suites Hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 20.
The well estblished US expat favourite Bourbon St Bar & Restaurant (behind the Washington Theatre) with its Cajun and Creole cooking, great service and US Sports. It's also open for breakfast. Larry's Dive Center, Bar & Grill located in a bright yellow building has more US favourites plus a touch of humour in the kitch decor and newspaper menu.
Sukhumvit naturally has its fair share of Thai restaurants including places specialising in seafood where your dinner is freshly caught from the holding tanks and cooked any way you choose. For a gargantuan feast try the Seafood Palace (opposite Soi Asok) or the huge seafood restaurant way down Soi 24.
For tasty Thai, Laicram in Soi 23 offers house specialities like 'haw mok' a delicious kind of fish mousse, and 'Gai hor bai toey' (chicken wrapped and cooked in pandanus leaves). For great Vietnamese try Le Dalat (see review) which has established quite a reputation among locals also in Soi 23.
A home to the upmarket yet unpretentious Emporium Shopping Centre - with several good value restaurants on its 4th, 5th and 6th floors, including an excllent food court with a wide choice of Asian and Western food. On the 4th floor, the Greyhound Cafe has become a cool place to hang out for local expats with a menu that includes Thai, Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Also in Soi 24, Thailand's first microbrewery, Brauhaus-Bangkok, located on the ground floor at the President Park Hotel, German food and draught beer are available in a huge air-con dining room or at outdoor tables.
Thinking of a special night out? Thai food and ambience can be found at restaurants like Lemongrass and Baan Khanitha (see review). Both are located in old Thai houses with interiors full of artifacts and antiques.
Soi 33 and 33/1
The Japanese community in Bangkok has quietly settled in over the last few years making their mark on Bangkok's culinary map. You can find clusters of Japanese restaurants all over Bangkok but here on Sukhumvit Sois 33 & 33/1 you find Japanese restaurants, Karoke places and sushi bars patronised largely by expat Japanese.
Close to Soi 33 is the Londoner Brew Pub and The Bull's Head Pub serving a diet of British standard pub grub plus sports and beers on draught.
Sois 34 & 36
If you've already tried the incredibly spicy food from north-east region often found around the markets, try some new specialities in the Lao restaurants around Sois 34 and 36. You'll find favourites like 'larb' (minced pork/chilli/mint/lime salad) among some of the more esoteric dishes at places like Vientienc Kitchen (Soi 36) accompanied by 'mor lam' (rythmic north-eastern Thai country music) every evening.
If you just want to eat outside for a quick snack, there are lots of 'quick stop' places around Hualampong Railway Station located on Soi 34, but easier to access from Soi 26.
Soi 55 (Soi Thonglor)
With its cool clubs, trendy bars and small eateries is becoming a local alternative to the city centre. The Soi stretehes a few kilometres so take a taxi to The Witches Tavern - pub grub and good rock & roll bands, The Tasman Pub - Aussie fare and lager and a number of local restaurants in the small sois.