Eat Me Turns 20: We asked chef Tim Butler how the award-winning eatery keeps it fresh

Photos: left and right, Facebook/Eat Me, center: Coconuts Media

It’s hard to believe that Eat Me, a restaurant with such a modern menu and design, has been around for two decades. They hosted a huge bash to celebrate last night and, today, it would be hard to find an F&B heavyweight in the city that isn’t thoroughly hungover.

Each floor featured several different bars for the occasion: beer and Aperol on the ground, wines on the second, gin and whisky on the third. They also served up many of their signature dishes and a three-tiered vegan dark chocolate mint cake.

Eat Me opened its doors on May 19,1998. Notable travel writer Joe Cummings was on site at the party, recalling that he had been there when the restaurant first opened — back in the days before it became a staple entry on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and operated as a gay art gallery that also served snacks.

I hadn’t known that. But it does help to explain their cheeky name and the scantily clad, muscular male models walking around the party posing for photos and holding signs that said things like “Blow Me,” “Eat Me,” and more.

The restaurant has always been a bit provocative — pumping EDM beats into the air as guests eat their meals, eschewing the lunch crowd, and welcoming diners as late as 1am.

The narrow venue off Soi Convent has continued to stay fresh and relevant in Bangkok’s ever-shifting fine dining landscape. We cornered chef Tim Butler to ask what he thought contributed to the spot’s success, and he explained that the team behind Eat Me (which he has been a part of for about nine years) makes it a point to reinvent itself in all aspects of the business — from the interior design, to the food menu, to the always-unusual cocktail list.

When asked about its evolution from art gallery to fine dining, Butler said they are still deeply involved with artists, and work closely with the curators at H Gallery, who consult with the restaurant and provide a rotation of pieces that fit the mood of the season, menu, and space. The converted shophouse features three eating levels, a bar, two balconies, a garden, and a small loft area suited to intimate cocktails.

So, new food, fresh drinks, edgy art, and unforgettable concoctions like their Larb Moo, a spicy, boozy cocktail made with rice and ham, help keep diners coming back for more, decade after decade.

The scenery doesn’t hurt either.

 

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