All You Need Is Paco

Art and smoothie bowls make for a very colourful pairing

I may not be an art enthusiast/fanatic but I do appreciate any work of art when I see one. The amount of visual creativity and artistic effort one has put into something is quite admirable and rewarding for them. So when I stepped into Paco Bangkok, a small but cosy smoothie bowl cafe whose owners inject a bit of art into their desserts, you can colour me impressed with what I saw. But would I also be impressed with what I tasted? Read on to find out.

Named after the cute little paco bowl mascot seen on the front door created by co-owners Waan and Team, Paco Bangkok's tiny shop wastes no time in creating great first impressions. Art as well as retro vintage items can be seen in every corner -- from paintings hanging behind the counter to a glass case displaying Queen Elizabeth pop art, cans of Campbell soup stacked on top of one another and even hip-hop cassette tapes. A neon sign with the words "All You Need Is Paco" can be seen as a playlist of The Beatles can be heard too, setting the ambience. It's like a hipster's dream room, and you can be sure people will be posing for IG-worthy pictures for days on end.

Like a good book, we cannot judge everything from appearances alone and I dove straight into what they serve: artistic smoothie bowls. Fruits and nuts line up in perfect form as the fruit purée merge into each other, creating a wide palette of colours. And while this can be said for any other smoothie bowl cafe that have been popping up in recent years, there is something alluring about this cafe's blend of colours that pops out. It's like a water painting in a bowl but you can actually eat off of it.

All of their smoothie bowls are plant-based and gluten-free, made with real fruit and no artificial flavours. So if you're health-conscious, you can be sure you're getting the important nutrition. I'm sure some of you readers have eaten countless acai bowls so I skipped that and went straight for the colourful ones. Their Moonshine (B320) bowl, made up of bananas, mangoes, peaches and pineapple is rather sweet and will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. However, I found that the mango overtakes the rest of the fruit and it was quite difficult to distinguish each flavour from the other. If you want something a little more sour (and a lot more colour), go for their Super Magic Rainbowl (B390) of banana, dragonfruit, pineapple, raspberry and mango with a dash of blue spirulina. Its mix of colours give the bowl a sense of vibrancy and you can be sure I felt guilty eating it with my wooden spoon and slurping with my bamboo straw (which the cafe provides) as it ruins the art! If bright colours aren't your thing, then try the charcoal-coloured Black Magic (B290), which was very nutty but the flavour is well-balanced with its general helping of berries.

Paco Bangkok's prices are about the same as in other smoothie bowl places, but it's the visual creativity and the owners' flair for style and artistry that have curious onlookers coming for a taste. They too will colour themselves impressed, just as I have. 

Open daily 10am-8pm / Paco Bangkok, Sukhumvit 31 / bit.ly/2YNbc6w, IG: @pacobangkok, 061-919-9265