Bang Sue might be a major junction station in Thailand, but here in Toronto, it’s also a new cocktail and snack bar with a connection to Khao San Road.
The new second-floor spot sits upstairs from Monte Wan’s newly relocated Thai restaurant.
It’s kind of concrete jungle meets tropical jungle. Graffiti covers the walls while the bar is framed with grass canopies.
While Khao San Road has never been much of a drinking destination (unless you really love Singha), upstairs the selection is more varied. There’s a rotating list of draught beers that favours hyper-local brews while the signature cocktails are inflected with Thai ingredients but presented in familiar formats.
“Not everyone will like everything but there is something for everyone,” says Joshua Leblanc (ex-Montauk) from behind the bar.
One bevy pairs white rum with coconut cream, chili syrup, lime and basil, while another blends Mezcal with Ancho Reyes, chili tincture, and ginger syrup.
The fuel your thirst, addictive bar snacks like mixed pickles, tom yum peanuts, and Bangkok caramel corn are priced accordingly at under $5 per order and doled out generously.
More substantial, Sriracha fried chicken that’s brined in the cult-favourite hot sauce and then seasoned with a blend of spices inspired by KFC’s secret recipe (the Southern kind) and twice-fried like the other KFC (Korean-fried chicken).
Grilled pork jowls are unctuous slices of meat served alongside “crying tiger sauce” a sweet and tangy dip.
The kitchen here will operate later than downstairs too offering another late night option in the King West area.
Address: 11 Charlotte Street, Toronto