The street in the middle of the central business district is home to several high end condominium and serviced apartment buildings, swanky hotels, imposing, glass-covered office buildings, and fine dining establishments, but manages to retain its neighbourhood feel with charming community malls, cutesy coffee joints, and hard-to-find specialty shops. Not to mention the green lung that is Lumpini park, at the end of the road.
Start your walk at the top of the street at the Mercury Ville community mall. Catering to the many office workers in the area, the mall is a popular lunch spot joint, offering everything from fresh salads and sandwiches at Dressed, to traditional Japanese at Kagonoya and spicy Thai at Kalapapruek restaurant. For those with a sweet tooth, the mall is also home to a number of dessert and ice cream shops, such as Ya Kun Kaya Toast, a popular outfit from Singapore, and Fonthep Dessert, serving traditional Thai sweets for take away.
Continue down the street and the stop on your left side is The Portico, another community mall. Located on the ground floor is Lemon Farm, a grocery store, cafe and restaurant, ice cream parlour, beauty shop, and clothing store all in one. This is natural living taken to the next level, and the emphasis is on macrobiotic and organic food and products. The store is divided into sections with fresh produce, dried goods, clothing, and beauty products, and there is even a small sitting area for enjoying that organic, macrobiotic salad and aloe vera juice.
If the produce at Lemon Farm is a bit too healthy for your liking, head upstairs to Milk Solid on the second floor. Inspired by the rise of molecular cuisine, this small shops uses liquid nitrogen to cool fluid substances until they become delicious, creamy ice cream. Choose between chocolate, vanilla, and various strawberry flavours, pick a size and topping, and see the sexy Kitchen Aids do their magic in a cloud of smoke.
The Portico is also home to Spoonful, a medley of tasty coffee and everything cute, located on the second floor. Order one of the many coffee or tea based drinks and a scone or cake from the board behind the bar, and get lost in the shop’s many trinkets that include cups, bowls and plates, umbrellas, clothing, accessories, shoes, phone covers, paper, stationary, storage boxes, and a lot of other things you never knew you needed.
Asia’s Best Restaurant
Exit The Portico and continue down the road for about 100 metres and on your right you will find Thang Long. Don’t be fooled by its sleek, modern design – this Vietnamese-inspired restaurant is a Langsuan veteran that has served loyal patrons from this location for close to 30 years. Five years ago, owner Kraisit Tharom decided the Thang Long needed a facelift, and today the restaurant sports a dark, lustrous design, complete with black tiles, metal frames, rustic wooden tables, leather chairs, and a garden setting with water features. The food, however, is the same: Vietnamese fusion with a dash of Thai inspiration.
Further down the road also on the right, is what is perhaps Langsuan’s most famous venture; Gaggan, the eponymous restaurant of Gaggan Anand and a must-try in Langsuan. Prior to opening some five years ago, Gaggan spent two months training with the research team at the former three Michelin star El Bulli in Spain under the legendary Ferran Adrià. Here he was taught the deconstructive approach to cooking that dominates the food at Gaggan. Expect innovative, Indian-inspired dishes that appeal to all the senses, and a chef always ready with a story to tell. The restaurant was named best restaurant in Asia in 2015, but judge for yourself.
After al that food, perhaps it is time for some exercise. Continue to the end of the road and make a left to reach Culture Cycliste, a specialty bike shop. Residents and return visitors to Bangkok will have noticed an increase in people who brave the city’s treacherous traffic, weaving in and out of traffic jams on a bicycle. Thanks, in part, to Culture Cycliste. This impressive shop is a study in bicycle culture and accessories, offering everything you need to join the growing bicycle crowd. Choose a mountain or road bike of Thai or foreign make, kit it out with the latest accessories, buy a helmet, and off you go!
Bangkok streets not your thing? Not a problem; just across from Culture Cycliste is Bangkok’s famous Lumpini park, a sprawling green expanse in the middle of the city. Beautifully paid out with green spaces, patches of trees and sizeable lakes, it’s the perfect place to take your bike for a spin. Or join one of the impromptu yoga or aerobics sessions taking place at dusk and dawn.
- Milk Solid Ice Cream is Thailand’s first nitrogen ice cream outlet. Apart from being a spectacle, the ice cream is super delicious. www.facebook.com/MilkSolidIcecream
- Gaggan has created quite a name for himself due not only to his innovative food but also for his charisma and welcoming nature. Don’t be shy to say hello when at the restaurant, he is known to invite guests into the kitchen to see all the action first hand. www.eatatgaggan.com
- Thang Long is a bit of an institution on Langsuan, having served Vietnamese-inspired food for more than 15 years. The restaurant underwent a major renovation in 2014 but the food remains the same. www.facebook.com/thanglonglangsuan
- A bike geek’s paradise, Culture Cycliste offers everything to make biking in Bangkok an enjoyable experience. The selection includes locally produced as well as imported bikes. www.culturecycliste.com
- Get lost in all the little things on offer at Spoonful while enjoying a variety of coffee based drinks, sodas and home-baked goods. www.spoonfulzakka.com