An exotic meat menagerie arrives in Bangkok
Arguably the most unique restaurant to open so far in 2017, Wild & Co., takes the Thai taste for “forest food” (aahaan paa) and fuses it with the Western yen for grilled meats. In this case the meats happen to be wild or farmed game, for the most part.
Tucked away down Soi Farm Wattana, off Rama IV Road near the Kluay Nam Thai intersection in south Klong Toey, the location will be familiar to regulars at Stu-Fe, a bar-café run by Thai band Monotone in the same 70s-era compound as their music studio. The studio is still there, now run by one of Wild & Co.’s musician partners. The rest of the compound has been substantially upgraded.
“When my partner and I found this spot, we wanted to do something different,” says owner Pete Tanawatana. “We wanted to preserve the trees and garden that were already here, and that inspired us to think about a jungle theme.”
With a local architect, they designed a stunning glass-walled dining room which afford views of the greenery outside. Pete’s experiences traveling in South Africa and enjoying such exotic meats as kudu and springbok—both antelopes native to Africa—inspired him to serve game to complement the jungle theme. Restaurant consultant Chatphon Thavornvanit created the menu and outfitted the kitchen areas. A big, black, hickory-fuelled smoker grill he had custom-built for the restaurant is the open kitchen’s hallmark.
We start with Quail salad (B390), a light combination of seared local quail, poached quail eggs, organic daily greens, and balsamic/berry dressing, which turns out to be one of the most memorable dishes of the night. Next up was the Rabbit Roll (B690), baked French rabbit wrapped in bacon and stuffed with kidney and liver. This meat-lover’s dream came with organic fresh greens, green peas, and rabbit jus.
The house smoker flexed its muscles on a mighty portion of Beef ribs (B2,990) which had been rubbed with sea salt and basted with apple juice every half hour while slowly searing in hickory smoke for eight hours. The tender rib meat, which hails from the Northeastern province of Sakon Nakhon, was served with stellar homemade pickles and cole slaw. Meanwhile, a wine list and full bar ensures everyone stays well lubricated while chowing down on exotics.
Like its predecessor Stu-Fe, Pete and his partners are serious music fans, so over half the compound is given over to a brick-walled pub called Black Cabin. The lineup eschews the mainstream Billboard 100, focusing instead on live bands. Before and after the bands play, resident DJ’s spin vinyl, relying on personal collections rather than playlists.
Occasional special gigs by touring bands are scheduled, while regular local performers include The Jukes (Tuesdays), Supergoods (Wednesdays), Stoic (Thursdays), Nerd Alert (Fridays), Assemble Zui (Saturdays), and Motherfunky (Sundays).
Wild & Company
33/1 Soi Farm Wattana, Phra Khanong
Open daily: 5:30pm-1am | Tel: 061 515 6989