If the award-winning designer of Jim Thompson’s home textiles department opens his own space for eating, you don't expect it to be normal
Award-winning designer (and part-time Insta-hunk) Nappadol “Ou” Baholyodhin has been calling himself an On Nut local for a while now—to the fact that he’s been heading the design team for home textiles at silk institution Jim Thompson, which is headquartered in Soi On Nut 30, for four years. A coffee—latte in particular—addict, Ou found himself struggling to find a good place to buy coffee before going to work. He found his solution when he discovered that this odd-shaped shophouse near his office was being rented out—Ou decided to open up his own café.
The talented designer knew the moment he stepped inside the shophouse—once a ramshackle noodle shop—that he would be able to create a miracle and transform the space. And he did—starting out with the first two floors. The decor and the name of the place, Magpie, reflects Ou’s personality of collecting things. The first floor of this tiny, five-story building now boasts elegant décor inspired by an European orangerie—white walls have been hand-painted with green chinoiserie patterns, vases full of flowers, plants and ferns hang from the ceiling, and natural light filters in through huge windows—everything follows Ou’s dream of creating a lush, garden-like ambiance. The windowless second floor (actually a mezzanine) has been converted into some sort of lounge, with sophisticated sofas, Chinese porcelain and shiny mirrors. The third floor is now on its way to becoming a chef’s table-style supper club with five chefs taking over the grill on a rotating basis. The fourth floor will be an art gallery, while the topmost floor will be converted into a rooftop space.
Those in need of a caffeine fix may want to try the café’s signature coffee, (B95), brewed from the house’s exclusive blend, which combines beans from Doi Saket, Brazil, Indonesia and Ethiopia. “It’s the coffee we particularly designed for the Thai palate,” says the owner-designer. The food is made by a French chef who has been working with Ou’s family for nine years, and some family recipes have also been added to the menu. Highlights include croque monsieur (creamy ham and grilled cheese in soft-toasted sandwich, B185), Dottage pie (cottage pie-inspired minced duckmeat confit topped withpotato purée, B195), and mini meat loaf (B195) Some of the pastries are even baked at his house.
Everything sounds perfect. Is there a catch, you may ask. There is: you can’t walk from the BTS and parking is very limited. You would need to park along On Nut Road (risking an unpleasant chat with a police officer) or in the Wat Yang temple across the street (risking your life crossing the road). Grab Taxi or Uber should be the answer.
|Venue name:||Magpie Café|
Soi On Nut 28
|Opening hours:||Tue-Thu 11:00-21:00; Fri-Sun 10:00-21:00|