WINE ME DINE ME
From the average to the cosy to the indulgent, Bangkok has had close to the full spectrum of brunch options to deliver your weekly fix of eggs and caffeine on lazy weekend mornings. The only thing missing it seemed was a venue that combined all the elements. That was until two months ago, when Rocket opened its doors in Sathon. And the owners have the measurements right, in perfect, Nasa-worthy proportions.
In front of house are the Swedish trio most known for their on-point cocktails over at Hyde & Seek. What have they been up to since their management contract finished there in December? Rocket, that's what. While they are distancing themselves from their past endeavours in some ways, the professionalism and commitment to every detail that has become the group's signature remains tightly intact.
Rocket is a merging of three "S"s familiar to the group - Sydney for it's almost religious status of coffee, San Francisco for its commitment to locally sourced produce, and Stockholm for its fika cafe-hopping culture.
Its interior is a Scandinavian soaked double shophouse with a convenient alley down the side that stretches the 16 seats inside by another 10 or so. The use of timber combined with copper and white-tiled floor quickly dispels any Def Leppard presumptions. There's plenty of natural light in the cosy room that is centred around the main stage where the baristas and food hands do their thing. It's a little cosy, particularly towards the back, but maybe that's part of the charm.
Regular customers have already materialised, dropping by for a takeaway coffee or a quick sandwich for lunch after being greeted with a smile and hello by the diligent hosts. Rocket already has 2,400-plus followers on Instagram. Weekends are seeing them do 200-plus covers a day. The Address residence across the road has just created hundreds of new potential diners. Other local residents and workers must be delighted also.
The menu is a tight spread of daytime staples as well as some notable departures of flair. Cold rock melon (B175), one of two soups, is a welcome return to cold soup with its Japanese rock melon base and delicious floating strips of prosciutto swimming around olive oil slicks - a big win for a sensitive morning palate.
House made granola (B110) is a popular and crunchy choice from the gym junkies in the area and gets a lift from goji berries.
Rocket's benedict (B185) features hill-tribe eggs that are sourced in the North and flown down once a week.
Roast veggies on beetroot sourdough (B135) is a deconstructed sandwich of more garden goodness and earthen Romesco sauce. For the all important bread requirement, the guys initially flew in a trusted baker from Sweden who passed the trade onto local hands that work upstairs during the night.
Trays of desserts line the south wall to cater for the snackers of morning or afternoon teas.
And then there are the drinks that cover a few trajectories - juices, smoothies, cocktails, and of course coffee and tea.
Juices are also creations unto themselves. Green smoothie (185) is a backyard blast of garden goodness, featuring spinach, spirulina and chia seeds, but tasting a lot better than it looks and sounds.
Aperol spritz (B195) is another measured daytime choice, perfect for an afternoon delight (or earlier?). A full list of wines (40-plus, old-world) indicates the commitment to a potential evening emphasis in the future, once the daytime activities have been nailed down.
These guys don't do things by halves - the self-confessed F&B geeks are running a hand-made Synesso imported from Seattle, feeding it fresh and locally roasted beans of single and mixed origins depending on style ordered. Death to commercial coffee chains and their overpriced crappucinos.
Finally Bangkok is growing up. It felt strange to have to travel to Vietnam to find the best cafes in the region, but no more! Never enough good coffee and egg options in a decent city, we say. Let's just hope they can find a little more room to fit us all in.
149 Sathon Soi 12
www.rocketcoffeebar.com, @rocketcoffeebar, #rocketcoffeebar
Roast veggies on beetroot sourdough
About the author
- Writer: Richard Mcleish