One would think managing the hip spot, Badmotel, is enough to make the innovative owners proud.
By Laurence Civil.
The concept of Badmotel came from three friends who met each other while studying in Boston. In the wake of their success with two branches of Mellow Restaurant & Bar, they wanted to create something more than just another restaurant and a bar – preferably a space for lifestyle they liked.
They started by planting trees. They agreed that the heart of their special place should be the garden, viewed from the easy-going terrace or from the chilled rooftop. Some of the charm was granted by the actual location itself, a run-down shop, which they renovated with gentle care. The fore-gone architectural style intrigued them, and they decided to use it as a template for their cut and paste-aesthetics. So instead of hiding, they highlighted the rough texture of the original wall by spotlights. Instead of mimicking the international fashions, they ordered artistic lime-green versions of the plastic stools familiar from street food restaurants.
This however does not mean the atmosphere I feel in Badmotel is dull and old-fashioned; by no means. The other walls have received a creamy cover and now sport the top-art of the town. In fact, the core idea is to support local alternative artists, and introduce their work to the curious customers. In addition to visual artists, this includes DJs, who spin their records from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week.
One would think managing this hip spot is enough to make the innovative owners proud. Nevertheless, these three mates rush to thank their team, who helps them every day to build this up. Chef Charlie listens to their ideas about the food, and interprets them into a magnificent menu. Music Director Cyndiseul takes care of the tunes. Moreover, they even have an art director to consult them with best tips for new underground artists. Nothing is too fierce for these art-lovers, as they have housed everything from graffiti to students from the prestigious Chulalongkorn Univeristy.
What do these mates drink then? Badmotel serves classic cocktails with a Thai twist, such as a `Hahahaha´-martini. This marvelous drink has a blend of Kettle one vodka, homemade chili liqueur, galangal, and cumin powder. You may guess the spice hit my tongue like an electric bolt! But then it smoothly spread through my mouth, leaving a euphoric sting. This is the real party booster, not for party-poopers! The next one was a Bangkok Mule; a mix of bael-infused vodka, apple juice, fresh lime, Angostura bitters and ginger ale, playfully presented in a screw top jar with a handle. If this made you thirsty, then join their happy hours (buy one get one free) from Sunday to Thursday at 5-8 p.m.
For food I had a Nham Burger, made with aged pork that was tenderly grilled and served with ginger chutney, fresh spinach, and chilies. This international, yet Thai-influenced dish was something I enjoyed tremendously. To make sure the food is great here, I had to try another one: Kha Moo, which is pork braised and stewed plus Calamrata Pasta with vegetables. Great too. These dishes finished my stay in Badmotel, which I left with warm thoughts about clever and comfortably delivered Thai twists in food, drinks as well as art. And a hot tongue.
Next to J Avenue, Thonglor between Soi 15 and 17, Bangkok,