Changwon Express at Flow House
This craft beer bar is a surfer's paradise.
The buzz: With its spacious, beach shack vibes, Changwon Express at Flow House is almost unrecognizable from its dinky sister bar in Asoke. But one thing is still the same—a dedication to delicious Thai craft beer.
The decor: Located above urban surf park Flow House, the upstairs bar feels like an inner-city oasis. Outside on the balcony, let the artificial turf, palm trees, wicker beach loungers and sound of rushing water whisk you far away from hectic city life. Pull up a stool at the long bar overlooking the wave machine and watch the tricks (and wipe-outs) below. Indoors, whitewashed walls, chalkboards and playful nods to surfing give it a rustic, laid-back charm.
The drinks: Showcasing Thailand’s burgeoning craft beer industry is the bar’s priority—out of the 30 taps, 20 are Thai. Changwon Express’ pride and joy is their own brew, the Asoke Pale Ale (B200/330ml); golden, hoppy and citrusy, it slips down nicely. Also worth trying is the Weisse Pearl (B200), a Thai wheat beer that is lighter than its German counterpart but still has the signature banana sweetness, or the exotic dark purple Stone Head with Butterfly Pea (B200). Foreign imports range from Scottish stout (B240) to English apple cider (B240) and Canadian raspberry ale (B200).
The food: Changwon breaks away from its Korean-Mexican origins to focus on beach bar essentials—a wide selection of burgers (B180-280), pizzas (B190-260) and pastas (B160-180) make for the perfect post-surf carb loading. For something to nibble whilst sipping on a beer, the juicy chicken wings with perfectly seasoned, crispy skin (B180) and the succulent grilled pork neck strips with a spicy chili dipping sauce (B120) are particularly yummy. Thai specialties such as papaya salad with seafood (B120) and a variety of fried rice dishes (B130-160) are also served. The straight-forward menu delivers a surprising amount of flavor, in hearty portions and at reasonable prices.
The music: Soft reggae adds to the tropical paradise vibes. Regular karaoke nights offer those not brave enough to take on the surf downstairs the chance to take the stage instead.
The crowd: Surfer dudes and craft beer enthusiasts.
Why we’d go back: Its impressive choice of Thai craft beers, easy-going atmosphere and good vantage point of the surfing below make this bar a great spot to while away the time. Plus, they promise recurring tasting events, and live music every Thu and Fri. Rowan Usher