D'ARK: Unlike any café you'd find in Bangkok
We first heard about D'ARK for its coffee. It's not as high profile as other good coffee joints in Bangkok - such as Roots, Roast, or Casa Lapin - and we only found out about it through browsing our Instagram feed; but it's definitely nowhere inferior. In fact it's possibly better, cause less social media buzz means less hubbub and a more relaxed experience.
A collaboration between Phillip De Bella, J.S. Gill and Phillipe Lassaux, D'ARK is not the typical coffee joint in Bangkok. Beyond its third wave artisanal coffee, D'ARK offers an extensive food menu that's like nothing you've seen before. It's headed by two Michelin-trained chefs with stunning accolades and experiences, who designed the menu with the idea of looking at everyday meals through a fine-dining lens: think quality ingredients and innovative interpretations on classics.
Coffee-wise D'ARK gets its beans from Di Bella's global coffee wholesaling brand Di Bella Coffee. As European as his name sounds, Di Bella's really Australian. And as serious as any Australian is about his coffee, Di Bella's coffee is a force to be reckoned with.
D'ARK offers 4 single origins and 3 blends for your daily cuppa. We especially liked how D'ARK gives credit to the coffee farmers by stating in the menu exactly where the beans come from.
Kenya AB Washed (THB150++)
This single origin that we tried, for example, hails from the Kisumu farm in South West Kenya. The full-bodied filter coffee had a great balance of flavours, with both fruit and nutty notes. Bold and strong, yet light and palatable, this made for a refreshing drink.
For their white coffees, D'ARK uses their Nero blend consisting of beans from Nicaragua, India and Cuba. We had a Cappucino (THB105++), Latte (THB105++) and a Flat White (THB105++) between the two of us and loved every sip of it. The steamed milk, froth, and microfoam are so expertly swirled and combined with each drink, resulting in a stunningly rich, nutty and smooth cuppa.
After hearing how D'ARK features its homemade chocolate sauce in a Mocha (THB120++), we tried one and were most impressed. The chocolate sauce was rich while not overly sweet, complementing the coffee and resulting in a mellow, bittersweet beverage. And did I mention they do amazing latte art?
If you fancy something light to go with your coffee, D'ARK has a small but splendid pastries/vennoiseries selection. From huge American muffins, to delicate French chouquettes and a variety of mignons, there's something for everyone.
We had a few small pastries to share. By small, I mean really mini. The Original Canele (THB40++) was barely as tall as my thumb, the Butter Croissant (THB60++) no bigger than my palm, and the Chouquette (THB40++) a mere biteful. While undoubtedly delicious, these were a tad too small to warrant the pricetag.
The Apple Turnover (THB60++) would be more bang for your buck. Distinctly larger than the others, the buttery pastry encased a generous filling of deliciously smooth apple purée. It was just the right amount of sweet and tangy - perfect with the fragrant pastry. If only there were a few chunky bits of apple in there.
D'ARK Pancakes (THB160++) - Served with whipped coffee cream and a topping of your choice (maple syrup or milk chocolate sauce)
It took about a full minute for me to accept that this was my order of pancakes. An avant-garde presentation for the traditionally hearty pancakes, complete with bright yellow meringue bits and frozen whipped cream. I liked the frozen whipped coffee cream that tasted deceptively like ice cream, as well as the meringue which gave a nice crunchy bite. However the dish fell flat and had no distinct flavour beyond being plain sweet. I'd pick the simple yet absolutely delish pancakes at Roast over this any time.
Eggs Benedict (THB160++) - Slow-cooked eggs, served with crispy bread, hollandaise sauce, freshly pickled cress
Taking a deconstructive approach to the classic breakfast dish, D'ARK's Eggs Benedict was a little too experimental for our tastes. We liked the toasted bread slices - very much like chips - that gave a wonderful smokey contrast to the dish. The overly cheesy hollandaise sauce however overwhelmed the eggs, becoming more like a cheese dip instead. This felt more like a reinvented Toasted Soldiers than an Eggs Ben.
We'd only tried 2 items off their food menu and weren't too positive to say the least. While the idea of having fine-dining spins on everyday dishes is appealing, sometimes it's the messy, rich heartiness that we so love especially in our breakfast/brunch dishes. That aside, the main courses on D'ARK's menu do seem very promising. If you're there for a meal, we do sugggest trying those instead.
Food aside, the coffee's spectacular, the pastries yummy, and the space absolutely gorgeous. If you're looking for somewhere with great coffee, perfect for spending an afternoon away from the hustle and bustle, then D'ARK is the spot to go.
It is slightly hard to locate. The Google Map data on their website isn't accurate, and typing the English address into Google Maps would not lead you to the right place either. Your best shot would be to refer to this location.
46/3 Soi Sukhumvit 49 (Klang)
Klongton Nua Wattana
+66 02 6627900