BKK is located on the third floor of Pacific House, a handsome heritage-listed building now home to four distinct venues, all operated by HQ Group (Arbory Bar & Eatery, Arbory Afloat).

Named after the airport code for Bangkok, the restaurant is tiny, lively, theatrical and stands among the city’s very best Thai eateries. The open kitchen occupies about three-quarters of the floorplan, giving about 30 diners on high stools front-row seats to the show of flames billowing under woks and sweating chefs transferring hot bricks of charcoal onto the grill several times an hour. Upbeat house and other club music set the infectious mood.

The barbeque-driven menu, by executive chef Nick Bennett and head chef Sungeun Mo (ex-Red Spice Road), collects dishes from several regions of Thailand. There are four kinds of laab/larb, a fiery chopped meat “salad” from northern Thailand, for example (they’re all good, but the raw beef is our pick of the lot), plus fragrant Chiang Mai sausage from the region’s unofficial capital.

From elsewhere there are small bites such as fish cakes, curry puffs and rock oysters with coconut cream and nam prik pao (a jammy chilli and shrimp paste). More substantially dishes include must-order barbeque pork skewers, a southern pork rib curry with krachai (a root similar to ginger), and a 500-gram T-bone with sweet and sour nam jim jaew sauce. The menu works just as well for snacking as it does a full meal.

To drink there’s a highly complementary list of aromatic white wines, dry rosés, chilled reds, crushable beers and tropical cocktails featuring fruits like pineapple and lychee.

Before or after dinner, it’s worth a trip upstairs to Her Rooftop, the building’s open-air bar with excellent city views. It serves a similar menu to BKK, in a slightly more relaxed atmosphere.

Downstairs you’ll find Her Bar, an all-day cocktail bar and eatery spearheaded by head chef Josh Rudd (ex-Asado) and serving French-inspired share plates, such as flank steak tartare with anchovy mayonnaise and French fries, duck frites and raclette-topped burgers. And also Music Room, a soundproof bar and listening space fitted with warm timber panels and cushy velvet booths, and stocked with a varied range of spirits and hard-to-find vinyl.

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Updated: July 21st, 2023

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