80/20 Bangkok (Eighty Twenty) is a fun cost restaurant connected to Old Town hostel with a lot of style and a great cuisine in an area where not many modern restaurants have yet tried to make a name for themselves. Usually modern cuisine chefs love Thonglor and Sathorn area so it’s good to see new locations coming to life. Oh and in cases you wondered, the name mean that 80% of the ingredient are locally grown.
The restaurant is fun and attractive in design, darker than average and in a good way, it creates a welcoming atmosphere, perfect for romantic dinner or small groups of close friends. The open kitchen is buzzing with an upbeat activity and you can tell they have fun and passion. Above it is the usual blackboard with all the specials of the day since it relies a lot on local fresh products.
Menu is promptly brought to you by a team who obviously know what treat your customer special means. All along the evening waiters, waitresses come and visit you to check on food, drinks, meals, taste, needs. It’s almost a bit much but better than the opposite.
Menu is fun, attractive and surprisingly well described. Often modern restaurants menu are very mysterious but here you can almost taste the ingredients. They even make a distinction between Vegetarian and Vegan (which I’m not). Making a special effort on local produce they give on the menu the list of their local suppliers.
We ordered a few drinks first, including a beer from Chiang Mai i haven’t heard of before called Red Truck, 180 baht (I’m probably the only one who doesn’t know), a bit hoppy since it’s an IPA and quite good. The cocktails were a bit too sweet and stronger in character than expected: 80/20 Pickle Sour, 250 baht and Warm Beach (290 baht).
We ordered a lot as always: but the most creative was without a doubt the ‘Lamb Tartare in Issan dressing with crickets crumble on top (290 baht)’ actually none of us spotted the insects crumble on the menu, but the chef described the dish very precisely. Luckily we were all familiar with eating insects and this dish was actually one of the best. You wouldn’t be able to say ‘Oh that tartare tastes like crickets’, but as often in modern cuisine, the taste of combined ingredients come together in a superb way.
Charcoal Grilled Squid with Fingeroot Glaze: 320 baht, No1 Tea Smoked Duck breast 480 baht, Chicken Breast 380 baht, Braised and Charred Pork Jowl 380 baht. Desserts were good but less of a blast: Pumpkin and Basil, 220 baht, Coconut and corn ice cream 220 baht
Apart from the cricket anecdote we won’t describe the taste of each dish, it’s such an experience you have to come and try it for yourself (obviously). The food is definitely great and superbly crafted, fun to eat full of surprises. It may be less delicate and the taste is a lot bolder than in other of the same league, and the cocktails and desserts might be a little weak but it is absolutely a great experience and we will be back.