Tag Archives: Bangkok brunch

Toby’s coffee and brunch in Thong Lo, Bangkok

DO NOT walk from the BTS – that’s a rookie mistake.

On Google maps the distance looked way too short for a motorbike taxi, so a thirty-minute walk later we arrived hot and moist. We got to see how pretty Soi 38 is though: there were very few cars or in fact even people, there were fenced private properties with nice gardens, and stunning new developments. Before our destination there were actually a few more coffee places that looked very promising.

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It was a nice Saturday afternoon and we were about to meet a friend who texted us:”I’m there. Waiting for a table”. Whaaat? It’s either a coincidence or the place is THAT good, we thought. Toby’s has been featured on BK Magazine; I don’t know the criteria to be picked for their site, but it is a real boost for businesses in Bangkok. As many others, we wouldn’t have known about it otherwise.Toby's Bangkok

We ordered the “Smashed Avocado”, which was delicious! It was a lightly toasted sourdough bread with some gently seasoned avocado and a poached egg on top. Roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh tender leaf salad were also gorgeous – all the flavours and textures were perfectly paired as you can guess. The sad part was that I only had one bite as Auste “Hulk” Treciakauskaite ate the whole plate. It’s supposed to come with chorizo, but they were happy enough to cater for vegetarians, and it was still good.

Toby's Bangkok

The crafty lattes were silky smooth, and my guess is that they used proper full-fat milk as they were very creamy, without any of the coffee bitterness you get from many other places. Auste loves them, and I prefer the more roasty ones. The cake display was very tempting, as always is, but every item seemed to be different: bacon donuts, flourless chocolate cake, and the one I tried I forgot the name of. But it was like a chocolate chip sticky toffee caramel nutty datey “walk the plank” (is that it’s name??) pudding thing. It was sweet, but not overwhelming, and it had everything you can ask for in a dessert (except peanut butter!). Price-wise it was on the high end, but it’s Thong Lo.

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The exterior was very pleasing to the eye. It looked like a modern Norwegian terrace with red brick walls, brown wooden tiles reflecting the setting sun, and the tall grass moving to the gentle sea breeze. There was no sea though, just a humid downtown BKK waft. The interior was just what you’d expect from such place: high ceiling with hanging lamps, white walls with tiny plant inceptions, brand new wooden furniture and cosy seats with pillows.

All in all, we had a typical IG-friendly experience, but for me the most different part was the outdoor area giving a definite non-BKK feel.

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Casa Lapin x49 café at Thong Lo, Bangkok

BK Asia-city describes Casa Lapin x49 as “a gorgeous and thoughtful place well worth a visit, from the chic daybed out front to the lofty ceiling inside.” However we’re indecisive whether we’ll come back there again. Maybe we just had a less fortunate experience compared to other places we’ve been to.

Casa Lapin-1952

Even though it’s relatively close to Thong Lo BTS (Soi 49, opposite Samitivej Hospital), it’s too hot to walk in the heat. We took motorcycle taxis from the end of the street: I paid 20 baht, and Auste paid 30, but just because the driver drove past the hospital and had to drive back.

The coffee shop, which is also a bar/brunch spot, is actually easy to find, and sits on a quiet little alley off the main road. There are lots of potted plants outside the entrance, which feels like entering a cosy garden at your aunt’s or something. If it wasn’t for the plants, it wouldn’t be as lovely, as both the interior and exterior are mainly concrete and wood, with hanging warehouse-style lamps, and dominant dark colours.

Casa Lapin cafe tong lo

It was pretty dim inside, which made us sleepy, and everyone else around us seemed sleepy too. Usually we don’t mind the music too much, but it was just a weird sound-noise mixtape, and after a while it started to get irritating. The sleepy customers, dark colours with dim lighting, and monotonous music in the background created a strange hangover ambience. 

They do serve beer, as well as food – I saw someone having a meaty dish with eggs, which reminded me of British cuisine. The cake selection was rather poor, and they weren’t special in any way (it was the first time I was struggling to finish a piece of cake!). We had an apple tart, which was a tad dry, and a carrot cake, which was very sweet with an artificial aftertaste. They also had a chocolate cake and a cheesecake. They were like 120-140 baht each. Coffee was 90-100 each, which isn’t bad at all for Thong Lo.

Casa Lapin cafe tong lo

The coffee was good, including its presentation. We didn’t want to get too caffeinated, so we went for single-shot drinks (you can choose one shot, two shots, or iced). The caramel macchiato was very nice, however it would have been better enjoyed without having the cake, as it was sweet enough on its own.

After 30 minutes the music kind of got on our nerves and we moved to outside seating. Interestingly, as soon as we did, the music changed to some chilled-out deep house tunes and felt much easier on our ears. To be fair, the outside seats are much cosier with plenty of light and plants. However, the fan outside was loud AND there was a strong glue smell in the air, as if some furniture was being fixed next door. To top it off, some tired Thai couple sat down next to us and started smoking, so the little lounge area outdoor was soon filled with smoke.

Casa Lapin cafe bangkok

Our verdict:

The coffee is good and the outside lounge is cosy however, the interior inside, even though modern and tasteful, reminds more of a bar than a cafe. The cakes were definitely unimpressive (not sure about the cheesecake and chocolate cake though, they could be amazing, you never know). As for food there were no veggie options, so we didn’t try anything. I guess it’s a nice spot to hang out after a rough night, maybe have a beer or a fry-up and chat to friends. That’s not what we go to coffee shops for though… We were both unable to neither relax, nor do any work on our laptops. We felt like we wanted to leave as soon as we finished the cakes, and we did…

There are plenty of coffee places in the same area, like Rocket coffee bar, Starbucks, Blue Cup Coffee, including numerous interesting-looking ones right next to “Grease”.