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WINE & DINE
BANGKOK'S BEST SANDWICH BAR IN CHIC THONGLOR/SUKHUMVIT

Story By Natalie Roche

Bangkok’s gourmet scene is in constant motion – with the trendy crowd moving through new food concepts. But don’t be surprised if the newest craze will be gourmet sandwiches thanks to the heavenly creations from Harlem Shakers. 

Located in the basement of Ei8ht Thong Lor mall next to Foodland this soon to be multi-leveled eatery is bringing a new concept of deliciously delectable sandwiches and fresh juices to the masses, with style. After being recommended by friends about the seriously addictive fare at Harlem Shakers, we went to see if the new joint could stand up to our sandwich bar ideals found in London and New York. 

It’s located on the side of the mall bordered by Thong Lor Soi 8, then down the black spiral staircase. The entrance is New York style white-washed brick while the interior is industrial-chic with walls blasted with graffiti, custom-made furniture and oil barrels as tables, all encased in sleek white walls. Even the friendly staff is kitted out in American urban-inspired uniforms.

The menu, unlike some old-school Bangkok restaurant staples, is short and sharp. Based on just eight perfectly formed super sandwiches, they cover all protein and non-protein bases. From the vegetarian G.A.L (Get a Life) roasted Mediterranean vegetables, sundried tomatoes, basil pesto, fresh mozzarella and rocket, through to meaty treat, C.U.L.8.R (See You Later), 12-hour smoked pastrami, ruccola micro herbs, avocado, plum tomatoes, red onion, and mozzarella.

We had been tipped off in the direction of fusion sandwich O.I.C (Oh I See) where fresh prawns are paired with avocado, micro herbs and homemade Tom Yum infused mayonnaise. We ordered this with another sandwich, which is making this eatery a place of urban foodie legends – the R.K.O.B (Rich Kids of Bangkok). This is certainly one of the cities most decadent bites at 850 baht. The O.I.C was a delicious surprise. Large, plump prawns swaddled in zesty mayonnaise balanced with the creaminess of fresh avocado. Then we opted for the Wagyu beef rendition of the R.K.O.B (lobster is the other choice). Finest quality grass-fed Wagyu beef is paired with roasted red peppers and Italian tomatoes then topped with Truffle mayonnaise and melted Brie De Meaux. And yes it’s pricey – but we can attest that it is worth it. Another nice touch is all sauces are handmade on site with their own top-secret recipes.

Both came in Harlem Shakers custom-made sour dough multigrain bread, but you can also opt for traditional white sour dough. The bread style is purposely thin, so no broken jaws here trying to bite a mammoth roll! And toasted of course so the outside is crunchy but the inner dough is soft. We finished our choices with the L.T.N.S (Long Time No See). This is a moreish blend of 16-hour slow cooked pulled pork and fennel coleslaw. The dark-ale and spice marinated pork is meltingly tender, sweet and succulent. The pickle is the perfect foil to the rich meat while the coleslaw adds a satisfying crunch.

Overall the sandwiches are a triumph and we have and will be back for more. English executive Chef Sid Sivanandam has kept things simple - executed with aplomb and a focus on quality produce.

Their other focus is fresh juices, which works well with their grass-roots concept. We sampled ‘No Stress’ - green apple, grape, orange, parsley, orange zest and handmade yoghurt. This is a perfect blend of ‘healthy but still tasty.’ The ‘Green Juice’ is a cucumber, spinach, apple, lemon and ginger mix that is refreshing and revitalizing.

Again this is a no-frills approach – good product equals good food and beverages. And that is something to be applauded in a city where quality can be replaced with mediocre as long as the location is correct.

Italian General Manager Alex Caimi then recommended we finish our meal with their new drink offering – first-class coffee. Born into an Italian coffee purveying family, he knows his stuff. And the coffee speaks for itself.  Served the way Alex recommends - in a clear espresso glass - it’s strong, fragrant and smooth. He explains that this is his custom-blend of Brazilian, Venezuelan and Colombian beans blended and roasted in Italy. This is the kind of coffee that gives you a habit – it’s that good. And the price? Just 60 baht. 

“We want people to come here and be relaxed but always get first-rate service. They can enjoy delicious fresh food and drinks because we never compromise on quality. We want to take care of our customers like they are family,” Alex explains.

This is the perfect place for a health-conscious and incredibly delicious lunch or a pre-party dine out with friends paired with their inventive signature cocktails. The food is fresh, fast and friendly. So what about the ‘Bangkok’s best sandwiches’ claim? It is safe to say this gourmet sandwich and juice lounge has taken the crown.  

 

 

RESTAURANT, BANGKOK, THAILAND, NEW, FOOD, WINE & DINE, SUKHUMVIT, THONGLOR
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