As part of the return leg to Berlin after our extended dose of Australian summer earlier this year, we layed a few over days in Bangkok. The concrete mega-lopolis steamed in the April heat; traffic burned and clogged the chaotic-wired blocks, and we roamed about the endless sois of the ambassadorial Sukhumvit district in search of gastronomic respite.
Amidst modest street stalls dishing up hot pad see ew and duck soup to late morning locals, an oasis of Western decadence. Never fond of balking adventurous local fare in an exotic land, we couldn’t help but spend a few sessions in the newfound, somewhat culturally incongruous, though extremely well air-conditioned, Vanilla Bakeshop.
Vanilla Bakeshop is one of five Bangkok-based eateries under the Vanilla umbrella, including a cafe, a homecafe, a brasserie and cafeteria, all dishing up their own variation of decadent pastries, meals and drinks, amongst an indisputably modern, Danish-style decor.
The Japanese-styled cafe lurks in the garden right behind the Bakeshop, a more refined sit-down affair where you’ll find a curious menu of Japanese-Italian Fusion dishes and desserts. But it was the heavenly smells of the pristine Bakeshop’s handcrafted pastries & warm-baked desserts that lured us in.
Vanilla Bakeshop’s menus are printed on large broadsheet newspapers, replete with salacious pictures, including signature dish, ‘The Ring’: a cronut served with creamy custard sauce, topped with vanilla ice cream and glass caramel. We wanted it all, but first – hydration.
See that soda? That thing saved our sweating asses after traipsing through the the 39 degree Bangkok fug – a perfectly iced lemonade tea, with just the right amount of sweetness, and a thoughtful sprig of rosemary to boot.
The Bakeshop specialises in a range of amazing baked treats, both savoury and sweet, and to fill the late morning brunch hole there’s would be no passing up the Vanilla Bakeshop Italian sausage and four cheese souffle.
HK, meanwhile, settled on the equally declicious gravlax sourdough duo of smoked salmon, capers, creme cheese and row – the lunch of champion, folks, followed soon after by that most lip-smackingly and gut-engorgingly decadent cronut, with cosmic ice cream balls swimming in caramel and vanilla custard.
If you happen to be a bona fide dessert traditionalist and don’t dig the cronut vibe, there’s many other Bakeshop specialties, including ‘Dark Chocolate Self Saucing Cake’, an incredibly moist chocolate cake with chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries; and ‘Marshmallow Lava’ cake, created with Blonde Valrhona Chocolate and baked with marshmallow and macadamia nuts.
The iced lattes are well and truly recommended for a hot, bleary morning, so too the Salty Caramel Frosty, all served in these hipster artisan jars.
Fatter, happier, a little less sweaty, we hit the hot pavement back along the searing, shadeless backstreets of the big city, vowing return. Again and again.
If you happen to be in town, do yourself a similar favour.
+66 2 381 6120
53 Ekamai 12, Sukhumvit 63 Rd., Vaddhana, Bangkok
Open everyday 7am – 10pm