Thais are pretty quick to latch on to global trends, so it was only a matter of time before a café serving up high-end liquid cacao opened in Bangkok. In stepped Bartlomiej Czarnowski, a Polish native with several years of experience overseeing a chocolate lounge in Italy, realized this opportunity and opened up BiancoNero.
With a layout literally dripping with symbolism (there are chocolate tear drops hanging from the ceiling and a huge chocolate bar wall outside), Bartlomiej is serious about chocolate. Actually, he is just serious in general, but one cannot deny his passion for slanging the chocolate. With a wide range of cholate selections, percentages and even Chocolate cocktails the offerings at BiancoNero are a far cry from the yoo-hoo sipping days of 3rd grade. While KohSpot realizes there are other chocolate shops in Bangkok, BiancoNero seems to be the first to really emphasize the health benefits of dark chocolate (antioxidants, lower blood pressure, mood enchanter, etc), which have been known for some time now. And while Mr. Czarnowski is currently on a chocolate detox we were more than happy to indulge in a little chocolate feast…you know…for our health.
Will Thais dig it?
Of course, although Bartlomiej is quick to point out he doesn’t know how many of his customers actually know or care about the flavonoids, they just like drinking stuff that is relatively expensive, sweet and imported, BiancoNero customers are predominately local. In fact, in an odd coincidence, Bangkok Burger Company seems to be drawing mostly farang, as Bartlomiej points out, despite its expressed interest in Thai tastes, while BiancoNero has seen mostly Asian visitors despite foreigners’ undying love for the brown concoction. What a crazy world we live in.
Perhaps this café’s success can be chalked up to its menu of alcoholic chocolate drinks. People have always loved chocolate and booze, so why did it take so long to mash these two into a powerful tasty elixir? KohSpot can attest that the chocolate martini we sampled was delicious and would make the perfect companion during our morning routine of simultaneously lifting weights and fornicating. Bartlomiej also keeps a bottle of Polish oak-flavored vodka (there is actual strands of oak inside the bottle) stashed for those looking for more wood in their diet. BiancoNero also offers hot chocolate ranging from 50% cocoa content on up to 100%, with sweetness diminishing as you ascent the scale. KohSpot went for the 100%, and it was a long bitter ride, but our colon, heart and mind thanked us for it afterward. There are times in life that you have to make sacrifices in the name of good health.
Bartlomiej also makes pastries and ice cream and pretty much everything else that is good and right in the world. He sources his chocolate from all the big tropical supply countries around the globe, for those with a refined enough palate to be able to discern Ecuadorian beans from those of Cote d’Ivoire.
He’s also kept BiancoNero’s prices low initially in an attempt to get Bangkokians addicted, from 85 baht for pastries and hot chocolate with most alcoholic drinks under 200 baht, so stop in, take a taste and let us know what you think.
Location: 139 The Opus Thong Lor Soi 10, 2nd floor, same building as Bangkok Burger Company but in the back.
Mass transit: BTS Thong Lor
Hours: 10 am-midnight daily