TL;DR Great food, sketchy atmosphere
Picture the scene.
It’s a Saturday night. We’re hungry. Fancy a bit of a tipple. Don’t want to go far off the beaten track.
We decide on Bottoms Up Thonglor – the bistro and wine bar smack bang in the middle of Soi 55.
We know the food’s good – simply cooked and classically presented European fusion, no less – as we’ve popped in during the week before for a nibble and a sip.
You know, your classic Tuesday cheeseboard.
Bottoms Up is a slightly different animal at the weekend, however – while the food is still on point, the atmosphere is loud, brash and seemingly dominated by hiso Thai teenagers. There’s a lot of balloons – is it someone’s birthday? – and a live band alternating between Thai classics and Bruno Mars.
While the music is by no means bad, it is loud – pumped through speakers throughout the entire square footage of the restaurant. Although great in a bar situation, it becomes quite a dominant force while you’re eating and we find ourselves shouting at each other despite it being just the two of us sat next to each other.
We get stuck into the sake regardless and the ‘assorted cold cuts and cheese platter’ we’ve ordered for our appetiser arrived promptly.
It’s an absolute monster – we’ve got salami, parma ham, prosciutto, chorizo, brie, gouda, stilton, crackers, grapes, olives, sundried tomatoes, gherkins, cashew nuts and a cranberry sauce on the side.
No complaints here – it’s all fresh, crisp and flavourful and immensely satiating. I’m pretty sure it’s meant for a group of at least four people but we polish it off in an embarrassingly short amount of time.
Hogs on tour.
The quintessential Brit inside me would have enjoyed a nice quince jam to go with the cheese but the sweet tang of the cranberry worked well regardless.
There was a bit of a wait for the mains – owing, I assume, to the sheer busyness of the restaurant – but they were well worth the wait.
The crispy salmon was a triumph in textures – moist, flaky and velveteen pink fish with a delightfully true-to-its-name crispy skin. It came with a smooth mash and assorted vegetables, all sat on a balsamic glaze lending the dish a tangy flavour – an interesting alternative to the usual squeeze of lemon or lime.
The pork chop was similarly presented on a bed of mash and crisp vegetables with the meat itself richly fatty and full of flavour. It was also HUGE; and topped off with a creamy mushroom gravy.
We opted for a few more sakes rather than a dessert and probably would have tested out the large selection of wines on offer had it not been for the loud and rowdy atmosphere. The Bruno Mars/Thai pop alternations had started to wear a tad thin at this point too.
All in all, we would recommend Bottoms Up Thonglor on the strength of its bistro food and the wide variety of drinks and wine available by the glass.
That comes with a caveat – prepare yourself for an onslaught of noise and balloon-bearing teenagers if popping in at the weekend.