UFO descends on Soi 11, bringing vegan menu for all

Photo: Nicky Tanskul / Coconuts
Photo: Nicky Tanskul / Coconuts

Bangkok’s Soi 11 is one of the busiest streets for food and, depending on who you ask, nightlife. And now the area is home to yet another rooftop bar, but one that is full of color, trippy visuals and vegan menu. 

Meatless, you say? Now sure, it may not be on everyone’s palate because it ain’t meat but the staff at UFO sure know how to spin it in creative ways, and the fun upbeat ambiance ensures one will have a rollicking good time upon self-abduction into the bar.

At the top of the Uma Uma Building at the deep end of the soi, the “plantscape” UFO rooftop bar – which stands for “Uncensored Fun Only” – exudes bright and vibrant colors in contrast to the dark nightly city landscape at Soi 11. 

It is the spin-off venture from the team behind gourmet fine dining vegan restaurant Vistro, and they aim to make vegan food fun again. And while exposing oneself may not be the intended effect, there’s still a lot to love in this mothership of pure unadulterated fun.

The bar has yet to hold a grand opening but it’s currently prepping a delightful menu. But what’s clear is that there’s a funky space theme at the venue that reminded me of the ‘70-’80s space aesthetic of a B-movie. Groovy.

“We’re planning to have a grand launch party in late November when the weather is fantastic,” owner Navin tells Coconuts. “We really want the bar to have a chill vibe, good drinks, ambiance, get the crowd dancing for some uncensored fun. You make your own fun.”

Upon entering this spaceship extravaganza, there’s a round bar where the bar’s mixologists are ready to serve you colorful and unique concoctions. As they mix and serve drinks from the many available bottles on display, above them is a super-wide projection screen displaying all sorts of visual delights and trippy AI-stylized visuals the likes of amoebas turning into ‘shrooms. Add some house and techno music curated by NonNonNon’s Mae Happyair, and you get a mini party that offers a casual night out for party goers or epicureans looking for something refreshingly new.

“The best part is that people can come take photos and they’ll get good angles of themselves because our bar has a lot of backdrops,” Navin said.

There’s plenty of seating areas. At the back, you can sit and chill out next to the green flora. The seating up front is where you can dance and marvel at the mixologists’ handywork. Navin also suggests that should things get super fun, one can stand up on the seats and dance away. He hopes that one day there will be live DJs to provide some fun beats, hinting at the bar’s potential to become a party hotspot.

Plus, the venue even has a retractable roof to shield patrons during those stormy nights. Navin said they have done test runs, too, to ensure there’s never a dull and/or wet moment on the rooftop.

But while I could go on about why the bar is nicely decorated, let’s head straight into the food and drinks made by these food aliens.

At the time of review, UFO is still working out their menu and team, but it has a selection of signature cocktails, extensive wine selection and craft beers by bottle and on tap. Their cocktails are a galactic offering of a nice combination of fruits. Not a fan of alcohol? Don’t worry, as there are mocktails and coffee available, and the bar plans to add more non-alcoholic beverages down the line.

One drink that is in the works is the Reinvented Gazpacho cocktail. Think Bloody Mary, but crank up the salsa by 100, and it’s served with an ice block of tomato juice that slowly melts. The drink is especially refreshing with the tomato, but it also gives an extra highlight of the alcohol. Best to sip this if you’re planning for a long night out.

All the “meat” served in each of the food items are plant-based, but you’d be hard-pressed not to notice as the bar excels at combining flavors for an ultimately fun time of meatless taste exploration. The bar’s open-window gives a view of the kitchen and their team hard at work.

For appetizers, the Tempura Onion Rings (180) packs quite the crunch and comes with three equally delectable flavors and dip, the Original with Tartare Mayo, the spicy sprinkled Mala Sichuan Chili Powder and Remoulade dip, and the Nori Seaweed with Chimichurri Mayo. You’d be forgiven for finding yourself reaching for one to nibble on in between your convos.

Also try the Stellar Tuna Nachos (220). Think a nacho topped with layers of ingredients including tuna, avocado, edamame, sushi rice, garlic and seaweed chips. What you get is an universally amazing combo of exotic flavors in one single small bite. The portion comes with four nacho pieces.

Coming in pairs are the Space Cowboy Tacos (3200), and is quite filling as the tortilla is stuffed with pan-fried Beyond beef, creamy vegan cheddar, remoulade sauce, iceberg lettuce, jalapeno and pickled onions. Best shared with a buddy or date.

Alternatively, the Cosmic Chicken Tortilla (290) sent me to another dimension. The grilled tortilla is stuffed with grilled marinated “chicken”, fattouch salad, and spicy herbs and tzatziki sauce. I can’t believe it’s not chicken.

If you’re feeling like you need some greens, their Morning Glory Salad is great to start with. Served up like a green alien, its crunchy stems are so tasty and have the right level of moist and crisp.

The curry chicken skewers are also a definite recommendation, as they are easy to eat and great for in between sips.

And that brings my epicurean journey aboard UFO to a close. It’s an exciting place for people to pre-drink and warm-up before they continue to party elsewhere in Soi 11, or it can also be an immensely fun gathering with friends or a romantic date that offers an out-of-this-world vibe within the area.

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