Eat in or take-away – enjoy an array of international flavors at The Emporium.
Before other mega-malls in Bangkok, there was The Emporium. And even with the proliferation of new chic, trendy shopping centers, this luxury mall on Sukhumvit 24 continues to lord it over as a popular hub for high-class shopping, entertainment, education, and even gourmet for local residents and visitors. Why, you would ask, would people go to The Emporium for such in a city with many great dining options? Well, it has chic restaurants, an upscale Food Hall, and even a comfy, uncomplicated fast food court. The range of dining and take-away options can appease many whims and cravings. In the Food Hall alone, are 25 different restaurants visited by approximately 10,000 people on a regular day. Here are some to try:
By Percy Roxas.
Admittedly, I’m biased over Sunrise Tacos. I’m quite familiar with this popular Tex-Mex restaurant founded by Greg Lange even before its inevitable expansion (six branches in Bangkok now, one in Pattaya, and soon in Cambodia.). The atmosphere is easy and uncomplicated especially when there’s a full-house; and now I don’t have to go far from my office on Sukhumvit 26 to enjoy fresh, high-quality Tex-Mex food. Tex-Mex, which is really a Southwestern American cuisine inspired by Mexican culture, is characterized by the heavy use of cheese, meat, beans, and spices – and a typical meal combines all these elements resulting in a satisfying course that is perfect for those who wanted a full meal (such as during lunch breaks) but don’t have enough time; or groups who want something delicious to nibble while discussing business. Thus, tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, guacamole, margaritas and similar delights are the usual orders. One of my favorites is quesadillas, which looks like pizza, but instead of toppings is stuffed with chicken meat. Also don’t miss the nachos, which can either be a meal by themselves or something to fill longings for a heavier-than-usual snack. A plateful of this and other dishes are enough to make your hunger pangs growl. Even non Tex-Mex aficionados will not be able to resist these specialties because they always satisfy. At prices starting at Bt220 (Grande Nachos Supreme) and Bt240 (USA Cowboy Tacos) — for very generous servings, this branch certainly adds to the varied dining options available to frequent visitors to this luxury mall.
Of the many Japanese cuisine eateries at the Food Hall, one that has become an easy favorite of many diners is the 5-seater Saboten, considered the “tonkatsu” specialists in Japan. “Tonktasu” refers to the pork cutlets that are their specialty. This one at The Emporium is their second outlet in Bangkok. Why is the restaurant so popular among many Thais and expats? Try the recommended Saboten Special. Made up of breaded shrimp, a mini tenderloin, a half-size pork loin, and a creamy crab croquette, the set comes with rice, miso soup, shredded cabbage, pickled vegetables, green tea ice cream and green tea (hot or cold) – all refillable at no extra charge. In this and other dishes, sauces and sesame seeds are imported from Japan, but other ingredients such as pork and organic vegetables are sourced locally. One can argue that tonkatsu is all about the “wow” sauces, but the deep-frying process certainly has a lot to do with the final taste. This process – and the special cooking oil used for sure — elevates the flavor and texture of the meat cuts. The high-quality ingredients enhance your enjoyment further: tonkatsu meats, thinner than regular pork chops, are fat-trimmed; and sidedishes such as shredded fresh cabbage and Hokkaido tomatoes have a delicacy that make them a delight to eat. Even the breadcrumbs that “wrap” the cutlets are light and delicate, so even if you disdain breaded dishes, you will like this one. This dish is one reason why so many office workers and shoppers come here to eat “tonkatsu-style. Price of food at Saboten ranges from Bt280 to Bt390.
A famous bakery chain in Japan, Farm Design is now in Bangkok to indulge the growing appetite for its goodies. Farm Design is famous for cheesecake, cheesecake croissant, cream cheese brownies, and rare cheeses – not in the American but Japanese style. What’s the difference? The flavor is more subtle, perhaps less rich than an American cheesecake, but no less delicious. After a meal, you can enjoy a slice of cheesecake at around Bt100-120 or a brownie at Bt50, and pair it with their signature smoothie. You can enjoy them right on the premises (limited seating though0, or take them home to share with your family and loved ones, which many people do.
There are so many other options at The Emporium, of course, whether you’re in for a proper meal (in popular gourmet eateries such as Greyhound Café and Gingalapapreuk), a light snack amid an urban ambiance (such as at TWG Tea Salon where you can enjoy smashing macaroons and chocolate truffles, not to mention gourmet tea), a pick-me-up drink or dessert in the food corners near the Supermarket, and refined Thai street food at the Food Court on the 5th floor.
Whatever you fancy to eat and drink – from local to international flavors –there’s surely something for you at The Emporium. The shopping mall, located on Sukhumvit 24 and with direct access from the BTS Phrom Phong Station, is open 10 a.m. -10 p.m.