Night out on Sukhumvit 51

7 08 2015

I discovered two great little places right next to each other in the tiny hipster enclave of Sukhkumvit 51 (just up from Thonglor.)

Waka is a Japanese izakaya, fairly nondescript looking from the outside, but within, lined with Japanese vinyl from the eighties and with a real inner city Tokyo shoebox vibe, like the kind of funky place you would find in Koenji or Kichijioji. I had a tasty light meal there with friends, watching the TV mounted on the wall playing an Indian drama on the life of Buddha dubbed into Thai, where all the male characters displayed conspicuously taut bodies under revealing court costumes.


Sadly, a sign on the wall in Japanese and Thai (the two operating languages, they don’t speak English) said that the bar was soon in danger of being evicted. With a hike in rent and competition from other Japanese bars in the area, including the J-expat sports bar “Woodball” and “Rastaman Woodball” ( a rasta Japanese bar, one for the list next time I’m in town!), I hope that Waka can survive too.

Just next door, is Studio Lam, the perfect little bar I have discussed much on the blog for it regular African and Thai luk thuung musical nights. I went on a rainy Tuesday night to sit with a couple of buddies in the cosy, bamboo-lined room, listen to great Nigerian funk and eat satay we brought from a street market washed down with Thai “yadong” liquor, falvoured with rambutan, pandan or tamarind.

If I still lived in Bangkok, I would be here all the time. Its just perfect.

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