Even if you haven’t heard of Ashley Sutton, chances are that you will have visited one of his other world venues that are dotted around Bangkok. The brains behind some of the most unusual bars and restaurants in the city is once again expanding his empire, with an opening this month on Sukhumvit 22.
Bangkok Betty, located on the ground floor of the recently opened Holiday Inn Hotel brings together military chic and assembly line dining, with large silver bombs and a 1950s Americana vibe. Cocktails come courtesy of Joseph Boroski, who creates the impressive drinks list for many of the other Sutton projects and always manages to surprise.
In honour of the latest Ashley Sutton Bangkok opening, we take a look back on his greatest hits so far.
Mr Jones’s Orphanage
If you do have the misfortune of being an orphan, you’d definitely want to be sent somewhere like Mr Jones. To really enjoy the place you have to unleash your inner child, otherwise the toy soldiers, teddy bears and M&M Kit Kat cake may seem faintly ridiculous. We appreciate that the enamel cups have been replaced with proper china for tea, which was a step too far into poverty chic territory.
There are two branches of Mr Jones, and although the Siam Center version is handy, we far prefer the atmosphere of the original on Thong Lor 13. We also suggest shunning M&M gateau for one of the more original options on the cake-filled menu like the giant marshmallow or the honey and pistachio bake.
Ground floor, Seenspace, Thong Lor soi 13, Bangkok, +66 2 185 2378
Sukhumvit Soi 38 might be better known for street food, but if you continue past this you will find one of our favourite bars in Bangkok. Step through doors on the ground floor of Ashton Suites and you enter a book emporium straight out of a fairytale. Tomes float up and down suspended on wires and swirling staircases lead to overstuffed bookshelves.
The monochrome theme is great and the cocktails are strong but the best thing about this venue is that it is the most undiscovered of the bunch, so the crowds are absent.
The Bookshop, Ashton Condominium, Sukhumvit Soi 38 Bangkok, +66 2 1874949
The Iron Fairies
Recently revamped and with international branches opening soon, the first Ashley Sutton Bangkok venue has managed to retain its dark and magical vibe when it moved, doubling the space but keeping the fabulous spiral staircase. The food menu is still limited to burgers, but most people come here for the cocktails and live music.
There might be more space, but it’s still packed at the weekends, but the original definitely remains the best, and despite many Bangkok venues trying to recreate the buzz, none of them quite have the same touch of fairy dust.
404 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lor) Bangkok, +66 2 7148875
This underground bar is easily the worst kept secret in Bangkok, but it does its best to hide from the crowds on Silom. The unremarkable door leads into a Shanghai noodle shop, which then leads into what appears to be a gentleman’s club in an abandoned bank vault, complete with bartender behind a money counter and hostesses who look like they’ve stepped out of 1920s Shanghai.
Settle into one of the leather sofas, either in one of the small private safes or in the main lounge. From 22:00 live jazz gives the space extra ambience.
Underground at Hotel Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom, 320 Silom Rd, Bangkok, +66 2 6356055