As noted in KohSpot’s Petra review, we are quite fond of Soi Arab (Sukhumvit 3/1). And after a large meal, there can be few more satisfying pleasures than kicking back with shisha and chatting with a few friends while the swirl of humanity engulfs ones senses and enhances your perspectives. This street is teaming with life and we love it.
Just across the street from Petra and a few doors down is Al. Ferdoss. Having puffed on the tabacco delicacy in such places as Bangladesh, Morocco and Jordan we like to think we know thing or two about the Mu’assel. We give the stuff Al. Ferdoss packs into the hookah two thumbs up as the tabacco is smooth not starchy and rich not syrupy – a perfect balance. An ebullient fellow named D’oh who serves the shisha (200 baht) and tops up the coals informs KohSpot that it comes from Egypt, and that’s why it is less harsh than that of some of the bigger name joints on Sukhumvit Soi 3. Leave it up to Egypt to provide the highest quality flavored tobacco while jump-starting a Middle Eastern political revolution. Those guys are busy.
Al. Ferdoss nails the puff, puff, pass mantra, but we were hoping that the range of flavors would be more robust (only mint and apple flavors are on the menu). This is a minor speed bump on the road to nicotine relaxation. Tea goes well with shisha, and like virtually every eatery on this soi, mint and masala (spiced) tea is available for 50 baht. The amount of sugar that is supposed to be added to these teas would put any consumer on the path to diabetes, but what fun is life if you aren’t abusing your body, right?
The crowd here is mostly families and some solitary Arab dudes wearing outdated car racing hats. We know…weirdo alert, but even these lonely souls conjure up enough courage to pose, puff and hold court in a dignifying manner . The way they take phone calls, observe others and order around the wait staff is borderline baller and in the words of Snoop, “Game recognize Game”.
KohSpot doesn’t want to pretend like you’re going to see something breathtaking on the street if you cozy up here for a few hours of people-watching. But the interplay between the Middle Eastern inhabitants, the Africans, the prostitutes will at the very least be amusing. We Guaranteed it.
Location: 77, 77/1-3 Sukhumvit Soi 3/1, about 30 meters down the soi from Sukhumvit Road on the right-hand side.
Mass transit: BTS Nana
Hours: 9 am-midnight daily