WINE ME DINE ME
Besides the letter “f”, fragrance and food have more in common than you may think. A really good dish can make you stop in your stride with its look and smell like a good bottle of eau de toilette. The recently opened Perfume tries just this — to fuse flavours, fragrances and fancy presentation on its plates. Once inside, you can smell mystery and class in the air. There are shelves built around a column to display collections of small liquor bottles and perfumes. Pictures of beautiful and ethereal women are painted on a white wall. The ceiling is high but the room is filled with a scent as if you’ve walked into a spa (or fallen into a big jar of potpourri). If that doesn’t smell good to you, there are seats out front. The overall feel suggests a long dinner for a girl’s night out or a romantic date. The usual crowd consists of Thai ladies with a taste for cocktails, Japanese housewives and expats.
Conceived like a real perfume, Tuna tar tare (B360++) opens with a top note of ebiko, follows with tuna cubes as a middle note and ends with mango salsa at the bottom for a good impression. Like a perfume that comes in an attention-grabbing bottle, Tiger prawn saffron risotto (B450) is served in a bowl that arches skywards. It then lures you in with its aroma, buttery rice and juicy but crispy prawns. Orange the shadow (B250) entices with different elements, one of which leaves a bad stain on your palate, unfortunately. While the mildly sweet cake offers just enough orange scent, the artsy tower of sugar caramel on the side smells like air freshener gel. Smoking aces (B380) may blow your expectations away. The drink is served in a glass dome with smoke trapped inside. The drink has a prelude of mellow foam before light and clean sips take over, without a bitter aftertaste.
The bar recently held “liquid chef table” to introduce new drinks, three of which joined the menu while the others were one-off items experienced by a handful of guests. Follow Perfume’s Facebook page for updates on their upcoming exclusive events.
Social Media Moments
The food and drink here are likely to make you go ooh-ah with their artsy presentation and are definitely worth cluttering your timeline with. Ladies may want to lounge on leather sofas with a fancy cocktail or perfume bottle in hand for a sophisticated snap.
Value & Verdict
The pricing isn’t outrageous considering the effort behind the fancy aesthetics. The bill here may be equal to the price of a bottle of eau de toilette. However, like a good perfume, it leaves a lasting impression.
Perfume: Fragrance Bar and Aromatic Cuisine
European Ei8ht Thonglor Building, Thong Lor Soi 8 Open 10am-1am 02-714-8071 facebook.com/PerfumeBarAndRestaurant
Orange the shadow
While the grass at the shopping area on Thong Lor is finally starting to look a little greener, its latest addition, Boyy Cafe, completes the picture nicely. Although we’re considering the ground floor cafe aspect of the two-storey premise here, it’s actually the flagship store of hot accessories label Boyy, the style child of creative power couple Jesse Dorsey and Wannasiri Kongman. While upstairs flaunts the popular fashion musings of the brand, downstairs the coffee flows along with the fashion-savvy crowds. The place is the result of personal experiences of the couple, taken from their globetrotting lifestyles over the years, with a strong Italian streak. The floor is mosaicked with tiles, which are imported from Tuscany, as is the crockery. Little touches such as the recycled timber counter, authentic French train station clock and sturdy light fittings complete the industrial rustic chic that’s done here (again) but with a little extra panache. A big table of recycled timber outside would be perfect to host a heady lunch for a group of 20, complete with original wooden chairs from an Italian cinema.
Continuing the refined aesthetics of the place, the menu is a well-considered assortment of straightforward cafe goodies with about 25 plates to choose from. Chicken diablo (B200+) is a crusty ciabatta roll filled with juicy blackened chicken and tasty homemade mayo with an arugula cheese/jalapeno kicker. Shrimp avocado salad (B300) is a mountain of green goodness and generous non-leafy extras with a tangy dressing. Puttanesca (B250) is a straightforward take on the southern classic (named from its origins of ease), and a good, salty hangover antidote. The coffee (B60-B110) is imported and roasted locally. Mariage Frères teas are on offer (the only place in town apart from the Mandarin Oriental). There’s even homemade ice cream (B130-B180).
It’s a great spot to get your Thong Lor on, stick a seat and watch the self-conscious go about their weekend. And the hearty F&B is a tight bonus. The guys are setting up in Central Embassy too, when that opens at the end of the year, so keep your eyes peeled.
Social media moments
With the fashion association, everything looks good here, people included, so get your cameras ready and check in here before your friends for extra cred.
value & verdict
While Greyhound pushed boundaries with their mixed-purpose cafe-ish venues, Boyy actually delivers a real cafe, as on point as their fashion musings. Prices are mid-range for the area, and it’s perfect if you’re hungry or need a decent coffee fix and in a people-watching mood.
European Grass, Thong Lor Soi 10 Open 8am-midnight 02-715-9412 boyycafe.com
Shrimp avocado salad