I have been enamored of the restaurant finds I’m coming across while traveling. There have been great food finds, but more and more what I’m loving is this marriage of brand style and a dedication to a craft that far surpasses the usual. It’s been such an amazing treat that I’m compelled to share of some of these restaurants, even though I’m really not at all interested in doing reviews here on this site.
If anything this is more of a sharing. This is about menus, food, setting and ways in which people create something they love with a passion that translates into an amazing business and an amazing experience for the customer.
In Bangkok, there is a place called Roast. A Cafe Bistro, they also have a workshop called Roots, a few blocks away, where they work on recipes and roasting coffee, teach cooking classes and open up their coffee bar on the weekends to the public.
The food is really well made, the setting is clean, light, inviting and there was a 40 minute wait to get in – something I haven’t encountered in all of Thailand thus far. But there were details… behind the scenes attention that come together and shape the overall dining experience to something I wish we had everywhere:
Their menu is a monthly newspaper.
No, this isn’t new, though it’s not happening enough in my opinion.
Not only is it lush with well taken photos and a new recipe to try at home from the chef, but it also gives you an inside scoop into all the things that go into making Roast what it is. There are articles on how they make coffee and descriptions on the different types of coffees offered, both in reference to the making of coffee as well as the different beans used. It educates, but also serves to round out the picture of what exactly this establishment is about and what they hold dear in their craft.
Great for branding, excellent at drawing the diner into the ‘family’ and educational on the food, the recipes and all that goes into the experience that the diner is having. LOVE it.
The have an Experience Creator/Talent Connector.
Yes… this is a job title.
Somdej Luengthaviboon’s job is to create the atmosphere at Roast and to make each new experience special, which is about all the details such as the music, the lighting, the over all space design, the menu… you name it. He’s also in charge of finding talent to bring into the business, such as the divine woodworkers who made the furniture at the restaurant.
Seriously… any business with this kind of position is simply cool, and part of a new wave of businesses that are taking creativity, business and dining to an entirely new and elevated level.
Roots, a workshop
This for me translates into artistry. As in, they have an artist studio (my word for it) where recipes and coffee are worked on, perfected, invented. It’s a wholly other space to continue to improve upon what they already do, because it’s about the craft of good coffee and food, not just sales.
Surprisingly, or perhaps not so, this made me fall in love with Roast and it’s creators. It spoke to both the artist and the cook in me, and made it impossible to not only stay away, but to not write about them here.
If ever in Bangkok, Thailand, pay them a visit. If you’re looking at starting a restaurant, check them out, reach out and really get into the nuts and bolts of their philosophy and how they’re doing it. We need more places and craftsmen like this in the restaurant world.