A unique kind of marketplace

This weekend I visited the new Thonglor Commons, in Bangkok, a unique marketplace that aims to bring people together in an open-space environment to meet, dine and enjoy unique vendors.  What I loved about this space was the collection of artisan food vendors that were grouped together in a rustic warehouse type space on the ground level of The Commons.  It reminded me a lot of the Oxbow Public Market in Napa, the Santa Barbara public market or the Chelsea market in New York.  I really love the trend towards small outlets of high quality, small quantity food producers who come together under one large roof to bring diners an almost ‘food collective’. 

Chelsea market, New York

Chelsea market, New York

Cupcakes - Santa Barbara Public Market

Cupcakes – Santa Barbara Public Market

It was really fun to walk through the different parts of the collective and explore the different foods available – coffee, bakery, cupcakes, beer, wine, and more substantial meals.  It is a fabulous setting to bring together well known restaurants from across Bangkok who have smaller venues at The Commons, with perhaps a more casual or experimental menu.  The combination of indoor and outdoor seating areas, both common dining space to experience different food vendors, and more cozy, secluded spaces in certain vendors areas (such as Peppina pizza) made the space really inviting.

Lobster Lab

I enjoyed a Lobster Roll, Boston style from the Lobster Lab – who also offered the roll in different flavor styles, along with sides of chips and garden salad.  The roll offered big bites of succulent lobster along with a creamy tarragon and truffle mayonnaise dressing.  It was delicious!  Although the menu is short and fairly casual, other dishes available such as fresh oysters, clam chowder and seafood pasta all looked to hit the spot.

Lobster Lab - Lobster Roll

Lobster Lab – Lobster Roll

Lobster Lab Thonglor Commons

Several big name Bangkok restaurants caught my eye at The Commons – including pizzeria Peppina, highly talked about Mexican restaurant Barrio Bonito opening their first restaurant off Koh Chang, Soul Food Mahanakorn’s 555 outlet – which offered innovative and casual takes on traditional Thai fare, such as the Khao Soi burger (pulled pork in Khao Soi curry with sweet potato and mustard pickles) and Risky Chicken (fried chicken and somtam burger with sriracha mayo).  The atmosphere and unique vendors lends itself to a casual get together with friends, lingering over a few drinks and some tasty morsels.  The Commons is still in its soft opening, with some locations still under construction, including a grocery outlet – I look forward to visiting again when the place is up and running in full swing.  I’m really loving this trend of collective, delicious yet approachable and casual settings for food vendors that seems to be spreading to big cities around the world.

Thonglor Commons Outdoor space Thonglor Commons   Thonglor Commons

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