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It's "happened to be" a closet ./23

Address:124/1, Soi Sukhumvit 1, Sukhumvit Rd., Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110 Thailand

Service day:Everyday, Service hours: 08:00-00:00

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Official description

A real gourmand doesn't need to understand It's "Happened to Be" a Closet./23 to fall in love with its food.

No need to decode its name. Nor find a gastronomic classification for this unassuming eating venue set amid incoherent displays of fanciful, astronomically-priced designer couture.

After all, It's "Happened to Be" a Closet has since 2001 been a darling retreat for epicures about town (and of course gutsy fashionistas alike) thanks mainly to its kitchen flair.

www.bkkmenu.com/restaurant/Its-Happened-to-Be-a-Closet

Rating

Editorial Reviews

In the Closet, and loving it

A restaurant, and a name, that defies classification - but the food is to die for

Baked Maine lobster with handmade pappardelle in arrabiata sauce.

 

A real gourmand doesn't need to understand It's "Happened to Be" a Closet./23 to fall in love with its food.

No need to decode its name. Nor find a gastronomic classification for this unassuming eating venue set amid incoherent displays of fanciful, astronomically-priced designer couture.

After all, It's "Happened to Be" a Closet has since 2001 been a darling retreat for epicures about town (and of course gutsy fashionistas alike) thanks mainly to its kitchen flair.

But it wasn't until two years ago that the brand, previously based at a shopping plaza and arcade, found its permanent home.

A small, completely revamped residence in an upscale Soi Prasarnmit neighbourhood is the restaurant's new territory.

Apart from its shady front yard and a family-sized swimming pool, the homely place is decked out with vintage wooden furniture, vibrant wallpaper, multicoloured upholstery and warm yellow lighting to bring back the store's long-cherished mystic feel.

Every corner of the restaurant doubles as a homey dining facility and design-centric showcase.

The theatrical, two-storey space, which also boasts consignment corners of carefully-selected artefacts and decorative pieces, may seem a bit intimidating as an eating destination for fashion nitwits. But don't be scared away. Among its happy clients are also people in plain outfits.

Nothing but a gourmet calling brought me, a style-ignorant, there last week.

Dining-wise, this 120-seater happens to have some of the biggest menus in the city. It lists more than 300 dishes, from Western-style home-cooked classics and all-day breakfasts to gourmet meal faves.

Dishes are prepared with top-quality produce -- an impressive inventory of fine ingredients such as Japanese wagyu, European charcuteries, catch-of-the-day seafood and imported seasonal mushrooms. Price-wise, it obviously is cheaper to indulge your taste buds here than foster your sense of fashion.

From a sweeping collection of salads, I found charcoal-grilled Iwate beef with goat's cheese, baby spinach, wild arugula and vinaigrette (1,450 baht) as heavenly as it was healthy.

The al fresco dining zone.

On a bed of fresh greens and herbs was a generous portion of the wagyu steak, a cross breed between Japanese Shorthorn and European Holstein, that yields a perfect ratio between rich-tasting lean meat and delicate fat. The steak, medium-cooked and sliced in nice juicy strips with its creamy-hue fat intact, went awesomely with fine crumbs of fresh goat's cheese, roasted capsicums, roasted garlic and house-concocted vinaigrette dressing.

Connoisseurs of shellfish can't miss sampling seasonal special vongole veraci (1,250 baht). The Italian carpet clams, exhibiting pleasantly-chewy and mild-tasting firm meat, arrived at our table in pungent garlic butter and jalapeño pepper sauce and proved truly addictive.

Those looking for a soothing kick off, I recommend they go for the restaurant's all-time best-selling French onion soup (490 baht). The dish, which retained its piping hot temperature for an amazingly long time, boasted a rich content of soft caramelised onion consommé underneath a buttery puff pastry cover.

The Closet's 70 options of pasta dishes promise to enchant pasta loons as instantly as they would stupefy undetermined diners.

Charcoal-grilled iwate steak and goat cheese salad.

Of it, the squid-ink spaghetti with Australian lamb rack and ikura (1,450 baht) was lip-smudgingly delicious. A hefty serving of pasta came thoroughly leavened in pitch-black, squid-ink cream that intermingled remarkably with cubes of the charcoal-grilled lamb. However, this lovely dish did have a drawback, and it was the ikura (salmon roe), of which the fishy taste and popping mouthfeel were out of place. I'll definitely order it without the ikura next time.

A variety of fine beef steaks, glazed BBQ pork ribs, lamb racks, lamb shank, confit duck and roasted chicken make up the main meat and poultry menu. While French scampi, crabbed egg, Hokkaido scallops, French amandes clams, Canadian lobster and Thai river prawns are among the seafood highlights.

Fish aficionados won't be left unfulfilled thanks to a daily stock of Dover sole, red mullet, cod, salmon, sea bass and snow fish.

We had baked Maine lobster with handmade pappardelle pasta and arrabiata sauce (1,950 baht). A whole, jumbo-sized crustacean provided firm and naturally sweet meat enhanced by spicy tomato sauce. Adding a pasta-ish punch to the dish was the ribbon-shaped pappadelle, which was properly cooked to al dente perfection.

Italian marbled clams in garlic butter and jalapeño pepper sauce.

The repertoire of desserts is plentiful here (well, it seems like the owner would never settle for anything less). Approximately 12 choices of home-made cakes, tarts and pastries are available each day. My favourites were the Shiny Orange light cheesecake (165 baht) and the silkily soft taro chocolate cake (180 baht). And if you're a coffee buff, affogato with fine vanilla ice cream (295 baht) is a luscious choice to wrap up.

Other drinks worth having are Mariage Frères Marco Polo iced tea with berries (195 baht) and Lavazza iced coffee cube latte (195 baht).

The restaurant has three individually decorated private dining chambers with seating capacity ranging from four and 10 to 25 people. A band perform live on Fridays and Saturdays, from 7.30-9.30pm.

Service was always on point and very friendly. The ventilation system was flawless.

It's an enchanting eatery.

The squid-ink spaghetti with Australian lamb rack and ikura.

Location

124/1, Soi Sukhumvit 1, Sukhumvit Rd., Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110 Thailand

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