A corner bar on a nondescript street brings you to a different era.
Smalls in Suan Phlu Soi 1 is a little bit like mise-en-scene in a bar. Enter the revolving door and you are transported to somewhere in Montmartre, Paris. Under the dim lights, the quirky designs of the bar has a whimsical quality that makes you wish you had come in a 60s bright summer dress a’la Betty Draper. I wonder if most jazz bistro owners.
I wonder if most jazz bistro owners are eccentric as Japanese author Haruki Murakami. For the unbeknownst, Murakami wrote a lot about jazz bars and its eccentric patrons drawing from his experience of running one during his early years in Tokyo. Eccentric or not, the owner of Smalls sure has an eclectic taste – amidst the velvet curtains, an Ultra man figurine is suspended from the ceiling while a Chinese painting hung over the counter at the other side of the bar.
I always have a penchant for hole-in-thewall places with spiral staircases. Now that Opposite Mess Hall in Thonglor is closed, Smalls is perhaps of the few places left that has such charming features. The bar has three floors and be very careful when climbing the narrow staircase to reach the open roof sitting at the highest floor.
In a city saturated with open bars on skyscrapers, Smalls version of “sky bar” may have little to boast in terms of height but having a table at the rooftop terrace here may be the coolest way to unwind in the evening.
It is obvious that the quirky interior is the bistro’s best drawing point when patrons entering the bar are asked whether they have checked out all three floors before being seated by the waiter. Catering to a sophisticated, white collar clientele, Smalls is a happening place on “hump day” when guest artistes come onboard to play every Wednesday night. If you are looking for something edgy, the place offers a cocktail list that is just as eclectic.
Signature drink Chocotini is a favourite pick for first timers but I find the blend of Baileys, chocolate and Vodka to be too milky for an alcoholic drink. As with most drinking places, the food menu at Smalls is rather minimal. Do not expect to order a typical dinner spread but there are still other healthier options such as salad, smoked salmon and quesadillas other than the run-of-the-mill greasy pub food. It’s certainly worth a visit and offers a great array of eclectic entertainment.
To find out more about Smalls visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/smallsbkk
Soon Chen’s a news junkie with a day job in a media agency. She aspires to be a vegetarian one day.