Fresh destination in Bangkok’s legendary late-night playground
The sands are shifting on Sukhumvit Soi 11. The sidewalks have been cleared, businesses are changing hands, and major development is underway. While the closure ages ago of stalwarts Bed and Q Bar ostensibly threatened the soi’s vibrant, offbeat late-night culture, its demise was greatly exaggerated. And if the opening of a venue like 8 on Eleven is any indication, even in the throes of urban expansion, the city’s clubbing capital might be getting stronger than ever.
Part gastrobar, part nightclub, 8 on Eleven promises unexpected twists to late nights in Nana. The venue is stripped down, spacious, and cool. Heavy metal chairs and dark VIP sofas sit on burnished concrete floors on both the first and second floors. The décor is minimal, the interior design industrial. The only contrasts in colour come from the glowing green Chinese characters on the walls encouraging “fa,” or prosperity, and the splashes of light that rain down on the floor when the DJs hit the decks. It’s not unlike a warehouse club in the UK, though on a more intimate level.
The music leans toward deep and tropical house, a shift away from the more mainstream and EDM-centred soundtracks that caught fire in the city in recent years. In the short time it’s been open, 8 on Eleven has brought in some pretty interesting acts, too, including Australian DJ Juliet Fox and Juany Bravo, who champions the thumping, 808-driven ghetto house sound that emerged in Chicago in the early 90s. And special events like speed dating, Latin dancing, and LGBT nights headlined by Pangina Heals, keep the weekly schedule fresh.
But it isn’t all dance tracks and dating games. The patio and first floor are set up quite nicely for casual dinners. With Western bistro fare, Japanese classics, and even Singaporean favourites, the menu offers a range of well-executed dishes. Start with light bites to share, like a tangy Quinoa salad (B330) that bursts with acidity, and a tender Tuna carpaccio (B280) topped with salmon roe. But don’t miss some of the standout mains, especially the Tuna capellini (B390)—angel hair pasta speckled with chunks of fresh tuna—and Nasi Lemak (B230), the mix-and-match plate of coconut rice, chilli, chicken, and peanuts so popular in Singapore.
The patio is also a fine place to enjoy a cocktail, like the Bite the Bulleit (B380), a mix of rye, peach schnapps, orange bitters and orange and cranberry juice. Or, for something less aggressive, try the Kingpin (B280), which blends Pampero rum with Martini Bianci, blue Curaçao, and vanilla, and gets smoothed out with egg white in the shaker.
From the looks of it, the dynamic 8 on Eleven is primed to leave an impression on the new blueprint of Sukhumvit Soi 11’s nightlife scene.
8 on Eleven
14, Sukhumvit Soi 11 | Open daily: 5pm-late
Tel: 093 421 1991 | www.facebook.com/8oneleven