Sunday, July 8, 2012

Coffee Shops in Bangkok: Part Four -Library Cafe 24

Coffee break at Li-bra-ry
Sukhumvit Soi 24,  2 soi metheenivet
02 259 2878
Grade: 7 out of 10

This weekend, I have found myself lethargic and lonely in Bangkok - maybe too much noodles and rice and not enough exercise. The famous heat here makes it difficult to get motivated to go outside and walk. But yet, this is a walker's city. You miss all the interesting things if you just zoom by on the back of a motorbike. So today, to shake off the blahs and get some exercise and my blood pumping, I decided to just walk until I found a place that pleased me to stop for lunch. I walked about 8 sois up from where I live and ended up on Soi 24. I have a friend who lives at the end of the soi but she's traveling now but I had never walked it. The heat was not too bad so I decided to explore. I ended up here in Library 24, a very cute Japanese coffeeshop that may end up being a favorite for weekday working.

Food and Coffee: The coffee is strong and served in nice mugs and the desserts look normal but uninspiring. I ordered "hong kong noodles" as it was lunchtime and I was hungry but the food was rather uninspiring. Bland vermicelli with chunks of chicken thigh in a pasty sauce with little flavor. 

Style: Blond scandinavian furniture, tasteful taupes and browns and pastels, easy listening guy and guitar music with a hint of the ubiquitous lounge music that I am growing to dislike in Bangkok, a beautiful open book case with lots of books to read while hanging out in the coffeeshop, including a selection of Lonely Planets to plan your next trip, and two stories (no shoes on the top floor), with the polished concrete floor and the open exposed wood beams above the coffee bar, its a lovely light place to hang out. There is also a small garden. The upstairs is "Japanese style" which means that you must take off your shoes. This is a bit confusing as the toilet is also upstairs and who wants to go into a toilet barefoot (except Britney Spears). But there is a basket with a pair of slippers there. The upstairs is with small mats on the floor to sit and enjoy the low tables. It overlooks the cafe and has a lot of windows. Very lovely.

Ambience: I was there on a Sunday afternoon and it was filled with both lovely Thai people sitting silently next to each other with their iPads and with Japanese families coming in for some coffee with their parents. There were 7 people behind the counter shouting "SawadeeKa" when you enter but you still have to pay and order at a counter. They deliver your coffee and foods but services was slow to clear my dirty dishes - they all sat gossiping with each other instead of looking at the customers. 

Overall:  For style and coffee - a 7+ but for just food, maybe a 3. With delicious food all over Bangkok, don't waste your time eating here.

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