Sometimes you just want to seat down, get away from the heat, do some people watching and relax with a decent cup of coffee, occasionally do the sweep into a couple of Magazines and have a bit of something. The Sidewalk in the Silom area offers just that.
It was one of those hot days, humid as hell. I had finished my lunch some twenty minutes ago. I needed a coffee and a glass of water and stepped into The Sidewalk, located in the Bang Rak district of Bangkok on Surawong Road. It’s part of the The Tawana Bangkok hotel. It wasn’t part of my reviewing plan that day, but needs comes first and it looked inviting from the outside. Serving an array of coffees, chocolate beverages, iced & hot drinks, but also desserts and different pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The black coffee versions are good with no need of adding sugar. Quite well balanced and tasty. The milky versions needs a bit of sugar to get the flavors through. An espresso sets you back B70 while the cappuccino is B120.
They deliver a good foam and is careful with the use of cinnamon, and thereby avoid the dryness it can add to the coffee.
The Sidewalk is a pleasant acquaintance, and taste wise clearly above the standard served at the more known coffee chains like Starbucks, Coffee World and others. They also have tea’s.
The Sidewalk also make their own “Kiss me cakes”, that has a nice sour and sweet touch to it.
When visiting cafes, especially when being alone, two things are of importance to me, in addition to the obvious, the quality of the products sold. They need to deliver a hassel free, speedy and free wifi and a variety of magazines. If not, I can just as well hit the road with an iced take away. That’s part of creating a nice atmosphere, and cafes needs that. The Sidewalk delivers on both. A fast and hazel free wifi and a collections of magazines, a couple of international once and a few in Thai.
The Sidewalk is able to make a bit of and old style bistro feeling with the big windows towards the streets and the selection of lamps. At the same time it’s stylish and trendy. I’ve had many better cups coffees in Bangkok, but it’s good enough and it has both comfort and a bit of ambience. If in the area, I wouldn’t mind another visit, it satisfies most needs and is a nice and relaxing cafe to do some people watching or just reading a magazine. It’s also close to the Patpong night market for those who are in for some bargains.
Name: The Sidewalk
Food: Coffees and cakes, light meals (not tested)
Open: 7am – 11pm
Phone: 0-2236-0361 – Extensions 257 and 258
Address: 80 Surawongse Road
How to get there: The easiest way is to take the BTS to Sala Daeng and walk from there. Surawongse road is the parallel street to Silom road. It’s a short 5 minutes walk away.
The coffee corner
Back in the 15th century it was possible for a turkish woman to divorce her husband if he did not provide her with sufficient coffee. We have moved away from those standards, but it shed light on the importance of coffee historically. And coffee can truly affect the users. It’s obvious for most of us that there are good coffees and bad coffees, and also that it affects our energy level. But how does it work?
Adenosine is a biomedical by-product of all the firing neurons in your brain while you are conscious. You’re central nervous system constantly monitors the quantity of adenosine in your body. When there is to much of it, the brain slows down neural activity and causes blood vessels to expand or dilate, and this, in turn, makes us sleepy. Caffeine, which has a simular structure to adenosine, with it’s two nitrogen rings, binds to the adenosine receptors. This prevents the brain from detecting adenosine levels and leads you to feel as energetic as Muhammad Ali before the final punch in round 8 in the 1974 battle “Rumble in the jungle” in Kinshasa.
So what about the decaf. Here, the actual been stays pretty much intact, but the beans are soaked in hot water to open their pores and to get the caffeine molecules moving. Carbon dioxide is then added, which attracts the molecules, drawing them out of the beans. And yes, that’s how get your non-energizing coffee, at least from the large scale commercial decaffeination plants.