Cafe Chilli: where Isaan fare meets fabulous cocktails. Following the success of their sister branches over at Siam Paragon and EmQuartier, the newly-opened Cafe Chilli (Isaan Rustic) has now joined the neighbourhood of Soi Ruamrudee, inspiriting this lively enclave with its pungent Isaan dishes and colourful ambience.
Embellished with multi-coloured ceramic tiles, a hand-painted wall, neon decorations and a game machine, the colour-flooded venue will deceive you into thinking you’re dining in a flashy Mexican restaurant. A dimly-lit bar and outdoor seating is also available for gourmands who look forward to pulling an all-nighter of food and booze until the darkest hour.
Cafe Chilli is flush with authentic Isaan dishes served in a fun and vibrant atmosphere. We got a chance to visit them earlier this week. Here’s a list of must-try dishes you need to order at Cafe Chilli.
Grilled Chicken with Rice and Sautée Mix Vegetables (THB 320)
First thing first, let’s get the party started with this grilled antibiotic-free bird. Although the venue is notorious for its wide array of yummy som tam, we recommend you first tuck into the Grilled Chicken and Sautée Mix Vegetables served with seasoned sticky rice. With the use of premium, hormone-free, and low-cholesterol chicken, the dish does not only taste good because of its heavy use of spice but also because of the chicken’s prime quality. The meat gets a shower of Mekhong and is set on fire before serving so that the meat gets extra golden-brown from the caramelization and gets that added oaky sweetness. Undoubtedly this is what set Cafe Chilli’s grilled chicken apart from the regular one at other restaurants.
Deep-fried Baby Back Ribs in Spicy Condiment (THB 180)
Here’s a joyous dish we absolutely loved. The baby back ribs get finely minced before being crispened in a bath of hot oil. Yet if you think that this is it, you are deadly wrong. The deep-fried meat then gets cloaked and coated in seasonings — much reminiscent of Larb condiments. Spicy and aromatic, the dish absolutely adds a delightful piquancy to the table.
Spicy Soup with Bouncy Pork Balls (THB 230)
This peppery, super-sour soup makes an excellent dish for when you crave for something spicy and refreshing; it is both soothing and sumptuously satisfying. Cafe Chilli serves theirs with spongy meatballs. Plumped up from the umami-packed soup they get cooked in, the meatballs are very juicy and have some bite to them – which will make you want to keep eating despite the spiciness.
Long Bean Som Tum with Crispy Pork (THB 150)
Who doesn’t like deep-fried crispy pork? No one ever. Tastes like som tum but instead of getting the shredded green papaya, you get the green long bean. Having that earthy, slightly sweet flavour, the long bean is a perfect complement to the fatty, crispy-skin pork.
Mango Sticky Rice (THB 250)
Mango Sticky Rice is a quintessential Thai dessert. It represents Thailand as the land of rice and pristine fresh produce like coconut and mango. Putting together layers of sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and coloured with natural food extracts like pandan, butterfly pea and turmeric extract, Cafe Chilli’s Mango Sticky Rice is a surefire luxe dessert to cap off the meal most elegantly.
As part of the “Mekhong Thai Spirit Cocktails 2018” campaign, the cocktails here are mostly based on the Thailand-born golden spirit, Mekhong.
The menu features a range of Mekhong-spiked cocktails and booze-like mocktails. What we would recommend getting tho is the Beefeater: a gin and tonic made from butterfly pea syrup and Mekhong. Frizzy and invigorating, this purple drink will quench your thirst as well as arouse your palate.
Cafe Chilli (Isaan Rustic), Plaza Athenee, 61 Wireless Road (Witthayu), Lumpini, Bangkok, +662 168 5152
Open: Mon-Sun, 11 am-11:59 pm.