While it has become something of a Bangkok obsession adding the word “secret” to restaurants and bars, there’s nothing unknown about The Garret Secret Bistro Bar except perhaps why it decided to situate itself atop a Mini Cooper dealership on Ekamai Soi 7.
We were offered blank stares upon presenting that very question on a recent night at The Garret; our guess is that car sales were done so in typical Thai business logic – why not build a restaurant on the roof to generate more revenue. And there you have it.
Lots of good things have been said about The Garret Secret Bistro and Bar. While we give BK Magazine as much trouble as they deserve for selling out in the last few years, they had a brilliantly written piece on the venue. The Bangkok Burger Blogger gave The Garret’s cheeseburger a strong rating despite its Mini-inspired zeal for over-pricing.
The rooftop of the Mini dealership, surprisingly to us, is actually split amongst two restaurants: Fuzio and The Garret. And while they are separate in decor you can order off both menus in either establishment. Fuzio is Italian while The Garret dubs itself ‘American fusion,’ which to us seems like a huge oxymoron. What would American fusion food even be? Som Tom Cheeseburgers? Foie Gras Doritos? When it comes to American food, we don’t know how you can really fuse it with much of anything as its pretty much pilfered and then modified from other cuisines to begin with. But anyways. Whatever you want to call the cuisine, the food tasted more like up-market pub cuisine than well crafted and thoughtful culinary dishes. Which isn’t bad, just be prepared for more comfort food that delicate gastronomy.
The real draw for The Garret seems to be the outdoor terrace which some people have even called a “rooftop” (hard to feel like a rooftop when most buildings in your vicinity rise higher). But while the Ekamai skyline is not exactly inspiring, The Garret did a nice job of manicuring the foliage and setting a nice patio ambience with their space which is truly relaxing. One complaint would be the low-rise tables coupled with the high(er) rised chairs which affords mere centimeters between the flat part of the chair and the bottom part of the table. You have to either V your legs to dine or have a serious case of anorexia to sit comfortably.
We thought the cocktail menu and drinks came out very creatively and you can tell a lot of time and thought went into the concoctions. A splash or two more of alcohol could have helped our buzz, but you can tell the point of the cocktails were to please oppose to conceal.
The indoor design, music and bar reminds us of Hollywood’s interpretation of a ‘New York Bistro,’ which is just fine. Ultimately The Garret is a nice establishment to meet up with friends or head for a quiet meal, but its certainly not a restaurant you’d recommend to visiting relatives that were seeking a memorable Bangkok evening.
Location: 99/99 Sukhumvit Soi 63 (Ekamai), about 20 meters down from Nung Len on the left-hand side, atop the Mini Cooper dealership.
Mass transit: BTS Ekamai
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30pm, 6pm-midnight daily