Black Box: Come for the darkness, stay for the breakfast

COCONUTS HOT SPOT – There’s no irony in the name for Black Box. It’s dark and painted all over in black with a bright yellow door and other highlights leaping out.

During the day, some light filters through glass windows, but not enough to light up the whole place. Quirky box-shape lamps provide sufficient lighting for each table.

Opened recently by the founder of Café Bicycle, who closed that place and relocated his whole crew just two doors down in Mahatun Plaza, Black Box is attracting faces familiar and new with its mysterious concept.

Often crowded with early birds trying out the new and original dishes, on weekends Black Box serves Western-style brunch along with its Thai dishes, packing the foreigners in on those days.

Anyone who visited Cafe Bicycle will find familiar dishes. The highlights are burgers and rice dishes added to please both Western and Thai palates; kao pad gai yang (THB110) was served with crispy fried sweet basil leaves, however the rice tasted far too sweet as if it had been cooked with sweet chilli dipping sauce. Thanks to the nam jim jaew (Northeastern-style spicy dip) the overall flavour was balanced out. A must-try grilled sea bass (THB270) came with roasted veggies; carrots, green & red peppers, onions and asparaguses, served in lemon cream sauce which were very well combined.

The veggie freshness and crispy sea bass skin will lift up your impression. For the brunch menu, don’t miss two eggs any style (THB 150) served with toast, sausages, grilled tomatoes, potatoes and a small bowl of salad. All of the vegetables were fresh; the grilled tomatoes were juicy, sweet and great enough to excuse the roasted potatoes, which were slightly too cold and dry.

Drinks range from caffeinated to herbal including  lime honey (THB85), which is strongly advisable for those with a sore throat still wanting something cold. The butterfly pea (THB85) or roselle juice (THB85) are refreshing breaks from the usual staple of lemongrass juice (THB85).

You may also notice an array of wine glasses on the shelf behind the counter, but not a single alcoholic drink on the menu. No worries, staff say a variety of cocktails and other alcoholic drinks will be available soon.

The dessert list isn’t on the menu, but there aren’t too many selection.s Only chocolate cake (THB65), brownie (THB65) and choc balls (THB20) which sat nicely behind the refrigerated display cabinet. The cake came with a moist texture yet a little dry filling; it’s also neither too sweet nor bitter, but it still tasted like those you could find from a typical market.

I’m not sure whether they are trying to create an impression and mood consistent with the name, but Black Box’s black-uniformed staff could be a little more cheerful. They’re professional but don’t expect many smiles or friendly suggestions.

Still it’s great to see familiar faces brewing coffee behind the counter again serving fare that is still up to their usual standard.

Black Box
7.30am – 6pm, Mon – Fri; 8:30am – 4pm Sat & Sun
888/8-9 Mahatun Plaza, Ploenchit Rd. BTS Ploenchit

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