Here’s a fusion bistro that goes beyond pad kee mao spaghetti and kaprao burgers.
Sleeping Buddha Cafe and Bistro, which just opened earlier this year, is housed in a small shophouse tucked away in Sukhumvit Soi 49. The restaurant offers a wide range of original dishes and drinks, all created by 27-year-old chef Sun Boonsiri.
Sun’s creative recipes bring together iconic ingredients from local and international cuisines, and both menus are a reflection of her worldwide culinary experience, which covers eight years in cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, South Africa’s Cape Town, and Szczecin in Poland.
The chef’s passion for food and years of living and traveling in many countries around the globe have resulted in big flavors that take risks in which cuisines get fused together. We can’t say the same for many of the fusion food venues on Sukhumvit.
It’s difficult to characterize the menu offerings — though it’s worth noting that the dishes are all reasonably priced, and great for sharing — since the eatery aims to serve as a one-stop destination to fulfill different food preferences and cravings.
“A friend wants to eat sushi but others want pizza, they all can come to my place,” Sun said.
According to the chef, among the restaurant’s highlights is the Panang Sous Vide Beef (THB 269), tender medium-rare steak slices placed on top of rich Thai panang curry, garnished with fresh herbs from Sun’s own backyard.
For a taste of Japan, try the Ika Shiokara (THB 139) – raw squid fermented with salt and squid viscera. It tastes far sexier than it sounds, a briny umami bomb that really captures the flavors of the sea.
If you’re feeling something more carby, however, then the Okinawa Taco Rice (THB 289) is a satisfying mashup of Japanese white rice and taco fillings. Otherwise, move on to Korean cuisine with the Sous Vide Yukhoe (THB 169), a Korean-style ground beef tartare with a twist: It’s topped with sunflower seeds and green apple slices, reminiscent of the foundational flavors of bulgogi marinade.
On a recent visit, Sun served a special menu called Three-National Lamb Stew (THB 159). It’s a hearty dish filled with lamb from New Zealand soaked in thick gravy, served alongside India’s crisp papadum and Africa’s cornmeal porridge called pap.
And, we’re glad that we can now skip the trendy brunch circuit and its overpriced brioche French toasts. At Sleeping Buddha, the same toasts range from THB 119 to a little over THB 200 per plate. Sun’s homemade brioche toast with smashed avocado, smoked salmon and poached egg is THB 209, and delicious.
There are vegetarian options too, of course. There’s a Vegan Pulled Mushroom Wrap with pulled mushroom in a warm tortilla, with salad and fries (THB 149), Vegan Fish and Chips made with banana flower fried in tempura batter, served with chips and vegan mayo (THB 149), and a Grilled Peach Quinoa Mixed Fruit Salad (THB 189).
The cafe offers a variety of drinks too, from Vietnamese-style egg coffee (THB 75) and salted caramel coffee (hot, THB 75/iced, THB 95) to an apple Americano (THB 75) and mojito coffee (THB 75).
The offerings at Sleeping Buddha cafe — not to be confused with the “reclining buddha” statue at Bangkok’s popular Wat Pho — truly is fusion food done right.
Sleeping Buddha Cafe and Bistro is at 323, Soi Khlang and Soi Sukhumvit 49, Watthana
Delivery via Food Panda and Grab Food
Open 11am – 10pm daily, except Sunday
Phone: +66 96 784 4000
BTS: Phrom Phong