I seem to have an unreasonably negative prejudice against cafes in shopping malls...But not anymore after I went to this one in Bangkok...
|I'm prejudiced no more...|
I am a skeptic when it comes to cafes in shopping malls, because from my personal experience, these places do not offer as much substance in their coffee as much as the price tags they charge. Also for many other reasons, I don't fancy paying for parking space by the hour, when i plan to stay for quite sometime at a spot whether to work or to enjoy my cup of coffee. Besides that, the shopping malls are usually packed, especially on weekends, and it's not quite possible to enjoy the present with so many people within 1 meter radius from me. Lastly, prices at the malls are usually higher than at independent / stand alone coffee shops, due to the high price of rent. So, my philosophy is, if I can get something better outside, why stay at the shopping mall?
Well anyway, my seemingly unreasonable prejudice (please don't hate me, shopping mall fans!) was recently uprooted by this cafe I visited in Bangkok. I went to the second outlet of Roast Coffee & Eatery, which is open at EmQuartier shopping mall. The high end shopping mall is connected to The Emporium (another high end shopping mall) and is accessible via Phrom Phong BTS skytrain. So getting there is not an issue.
|It's full house since Day 1!|
On the day of my visit, it happened to be EmQuartier's opening day, so the shopping mall saw quite a hustle & bustle even as early as 10am! Lucky that I came early, as Roast started to get packed even before lunch time!
I fell in love with Roast at first sight, firstly, the modern clean decor and interior of the whole place with beautiful natural lighting that come from the glass walls. I already got a good vibe from just being there. And in general, the crowd that flocks to Roast seem to be knowledgeable coffee drinkers, there was even a Thai celebrity (we think) who came on the opening day, judging from the throng of photographers and 'escorts' around her. She's most likely one of the wildly popular, pretty, barbie-faced petite Thai Instagram celebrities. Haha...why do I sound resentful? =P
|Some Thai celebrity...|
|Lady baristas at Roast|
|Hey cute stranger in hoodie!|
And then i saw the menu and that was the end of my cool & composed facade. It was literally the first time I saw a hybrid of menu/kinfolk (notice I didn't use magazine here). From the paper used, to the clean layout and definitely kinfolk-ish photos that adorn the alternate pages. Oh, what's even better is that every food items on the menu comes with a representative photo, so no more wild guessing about the unfamiliar food names. Inside the menu, there's are also stories about Roast, about the design philosophy, and even a nicely illustrated map of the 'community' that list a few other cafes / coffee places, restaurants, artisan bakery, bars, and what they dub as 'interesting shops'.
Another reason to love Roast, is their ready to drink bottled brews, that come in 3 flavours, priced at THB 100 each. Err okay, they're not cheap, perhaps costs more than Starbuck's bottled coffee. But hey this is real sh*t so do not compare it with Starbucks! As a gourmet coffee house, Roast brews serious coffee, The price for a cup of joe ranges between THB 80 - 180. The lower range is close to what we get in Jakarta, but the Affogato is THB 180, about 1,5x more than the price in Jakarta, phew! But I ordered it anyway, and I like it despite the price. If you have some extra Baht to spend, try the signature Iced Espresso Latte, a glass full of espresso ice cubes that comes served with a bottle of milk. Mineral water is not complimentary here and costs THB 40.
|Left: Affogato THB 180|
Right: Roots Coffee. Anywhere. White THB 100/bottle
|Iced Espresso Latte IDR 120|
|Left: Cappuccino THB 100|
Right: Vanilla Bean Shake THB 160
Another reason I fell head over heels for Roast is the food. Looking at the menu, i can attest that the food served here is as solid as the coffee it served.
The menu has Brunch items (available until 4PM daily) There are classic egg-based breakfast items, as well as modern 'hipster' twists, such as the Ham Hock & Croquette - with poached egg and pea puree, Corned Beef Hash - house made corned beef, sauteed potatoes & poached eggs and Roast Breakfast - 2 eggs any style, smoked salmon or prosciutto, coffee / tea.
Here's the eggs-y feast that we had (prepare for some #eggporn!) =P
|Ham Hock & Croquette THB 320|
|Corned Beef Hash THB 280|
|Roast Breakfast THB 400|
|Left:Lamb Ragu Gnocchi THB 320|
|Pulled Pork Burger THB 320|
All that feast above set us back a total of THB 3507 for 6 persons. That's pretty much what it would cost in Jakarta and only slightly below that in Singapore. Truth be told, although the price is not your average cafe's price, I am actually quite keen to revisit Roast, maybe I'll go to the first cafe next time when I come to Bangkok again (hopefully soon!)
*) Prices are subject to 10% Service Charge and 5% Tax
Roast Coffee & Eatery
Seen Space, Thonglor 13
BTS Thonglor Station
Click here for Map
Ph: +66 21852865
Open Hours: Mon-Thu:10am-11am | Fri-Sat:9am-11pm | Sun:9am-10 pm
2nd outlet (new)
1st floor, The Helix Quartier, EmQuartier
BTS Phrom Phong Station
Ph: +66 941763870
Click Here for Map
Open Hours: Daily 11am-10pm
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