Roast

Add: 4/F The Commons, 335 Thonglor Soi 17, Sukhumvit 55, Wattana, Bangkok 10110 (see website for other locations)
Website: http://roastbkk.com
Hours: Mon-Thur 10am-11pm, Fri-Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-10pm (last order 45 min before closing time)
Price: ฿500-750 (~ RMB100-150)
Visited: May 2017
Will return: Yes

For a little change of scenery from all the sour and spicy flavors of traditional Thai food, I visited Roast for brunch during my brief stay in Bangkok. Arguably one of Bangkok’s hottest brunch spots, Roast is located on the top floor of the Commons in the hip, café-crowded Thonglor district.

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Roast’s dining room is a place that wants to be liked, an appealing combination of liveliness, indulgence, and laid-back Sunday vibes. The grand, open space is relaxed and inviting. Golden beams of sunlight dance off warm wooden tables jeweled with spots of greenery. The bracing air buzzes with conversation and energy.

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But from this casual, unassuming space can emerge flavors of unexpected finesse, something we realized as soon as we tasted the butter that accompanied a small trunk of warm baguette. The little knob was light and creamy and rich and fragrant all at once, telling us loud and clear that the kitchen means business.

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One of the most popular items at Roast is the slow-roasted fried chicken, which arrived at our table preceded by the invigorating fragrance of thyme and oregano. The tender flesh was enveloped in a crunchy, if slightly floury crust, but the dish drew its energy from an aggressive marinade of sweet, garlicky hot sauce. This generous plate of golden temptation was served with a joyfully refreshing bowl of red cabbage slaw, bright and tangy in a dressing of yogurt and cilantro.

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The house-made gnocchi was another standout. These light, fluffy pillows held their own admirably in a rich lamb ragu, bound together by the golden egg yolk.

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Desserts had their moment as well. The dark chocolate soufflé was a chocolatey cloud of pure delight, laced with a Grand Marnier sauce that livened up the richness with flecks of orange zest and a hint of alcoholic tang.

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Less exciting but just as pleasant, the passion fruit yogurt semifreddo produced a lovely balance of sweetness and acidity with some strawberries, cream, mint, and a rich mango sauce.

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Drinks can easily bore me, but the ones at Roast held my attention. The reason is obvious in the case of the iced caffe latte, with its espresso ice cubes topped with frothy milk foam and accompanied by a bottle of milk on the side.

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Less obvious was the source of excitement in the Roast iced tea and the pear sparkler, but it wouldn’t be hard to fathom once you’ve tasted the unexpected sweetness and depth of lychee syrup in the iced tea, or the pear juice infused with rosemary and ginger and lifted by an almost imperceptible fizz at the end.

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Part of the joy at Roast is that the restaurant knows exactly what it’s doing without seeming to try, a quality just as endearingly attractive in a restaurant as it is in a person. With its subtle but uncomplicated flavors and the relaxed but lively vibe, Roast hits all the right spots, making it a perfect destination for whiling away a casual weekend afternoon.

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PS: Afterwards, head downstairs to the ground floor and stop by Roots Coffee for a cup of afternoon pick-me-up.

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Brace yourself for the humid Bangkok air outside with a nice iced latte, or try something adventurous with their monthly “Barista’s Choice” specialty drinks, like this Black Rumba cold brew for June, infused with rum cordial, pineapple, vanilla, and cinnamon.

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Posted by:journeys of a gourmand

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