Since opening toward the end of last year, Ocean Bangkok has quickly carved out a niche for itself as an all-day dining hotspot that reinvents itself after the sun goes down. It’s a crowded market but the proprietors of Ocean have taken several steps to ensure they stand out and, indeed, there’s nothing else quite like this place in the capital.
After taking over the old Livingstone’s on Sukhumvit Soi 33 – admittedly not renowned for its upscale hang-outs – Ocean incorporates a swimming pool into its lay-out, allowing drinkers to dip their toes in while knocking back cocktails. It is, as the promotional bumph has it, an ‘urban resort’. This all-in-one concept has appeared elsewhere in Bangkok but Ocean seems particularly committed to it, combining all aspects of hotel, restaurant, bar and lounge.
There’s a striking indoor-outdoor lay-out, immaculate white walls and seating offset by some welcome greenery. The main bar area at the front of the venue is more in line with what revellers expect from a cocktail venue, while there’s also a downstairs nightclub and the dining stretch along the pool.
The challenge for Ocean will be to appeal to different crowds without spreadly itself too thinly and they’ve invested heavily in their menu to make sure visitors have plenty of good reasons to return. Chef Jacob Astray, one of the partners, made his name at Spain’s elBulli, which was voted the world’s best restaurant five times last decade. The drinks, on the other hand, are the work of the ubiquitous Joseph Boroski, who seems to have designed at least half of the cities best cocktail menus.
Ocean’s pintxos and tapas are certainly eye-catching – if you’re starting bite-sized, try the deconstructed Spanish omelette and spicy chorizo (B110) or the pork teriyaki in a sesame cone (B70). Then move on to the tapas, like the prawn ceviche with mango, avocado and ginger oil (B280). For more substantial fare, head down for breakfast (B380) and choose whatever appeals – maybe the prawn and mushroom omelette or the chorizo and chips with fried duck egg. If you’re after an evening meal, it’s hard to go past the slow-cooked salmon (B440), served with couscous and yoghurt sauce.
The cocktails are also a triumph – highlights include the Poolside Passion (B250), which combines gin, pineapple and passionfruit, with palm sugar and lime.
7 Soi Sukhumvit 33 | 02-261-2800
oceanbangkok.com | 10am-1am