The Kiwi Pub , formerly know as ‘Soi 8 Pub’ is the closest thing I have ever had to a local Bangkok. Admittedly it was one of the closest pubs to my previous Bangkok home but the choice to make this my drinking HQ wasn’t purely down to location. In fact there is no shortage of similar styled pubs, taverns and bars within a 1 KM radius. However, what seemed to win me over with The Kiwi Pub was the genuine ‘local’ feel to it.
The Kiwi tradition
While similar British styled pubs in the area attract mix of young and old, expats and holidaymakers, this place just seemed to raw in a crowd of characters, with the vast majority being western locals and seasoned Bangkok travellers. More importantly, while other pubs crank up the music to attract the young weekend crowd, The Kiwi stands it’s ground as a traditional tavern where food, drink, and quality banter take priority over the Saturday night sound system.
Located on Sukhumvit Soi 8, the chilled and friendly vibe of the Soi is carried into the bar, though the pub also has terrace seating for those looking to do a spot of people watching. The exterior and interior are also very much traditional pub style, with lots of walnut paneling and low tables and chair outside, a classic long wooden bar within, and plenty of high stool seating and padded booths for you to choose from. The bar is also very well staffed and you are likely to find yourself welcomed by one of the waitresses on entering.
As with any good pub there’s also plenty of entertainment beyond drinking and exchanging bar gossip. The pub has two reasonably well kept pool tables which are free of charge for customers, an array of well positioned widescreen TVs covering all the big sports action (I regularly pop in to watch the Sunday night premier league games, and always seem to find a good seat even when showing up late), and a small area of the bar dedicated to live bands and DJs, with live music taking places at least two or three times a week.
Eating and drinking
Now what really makes a good pub great is the drinks menu, and The Kiwi has a decent one. Draught beers start with the well-priced 100 Baht for a pint of Chang, but my personal favourite are the chilled bottles of Bulmers Pear Cider at 240 Baht (it may sound expensive but bear in mind these are 568ml bottles – so more close to a pint and a quarter). There are several other beers and stouts on tap, as well as wine and all the usual spirits, though admittedly I am yet to explore much beyond the cider here. As far as the food menu goes it’s pretty much as expected; a small selection of fried breakfasts, a few pages of classic British dishes such as Fish & Chips, Bangers & Mash, Pastas, Burgers, and a handful of Thai dishes. The farang food is reasonably priced if you’re feeling peckish, but as with most foreign restaurants in Bangkok, the Thai dishes on the menu can be found for a fraction of the price at any nearby local restaurants. There are also several specials throughout the week, with my personal favourite being the traditional Roast Chicken Dinner on Sundays for 259 Baht.
‘The Kiwi’ is ‘the Kiwi’, and that’s why it’s good.
While Brit bars and Irish pubs aren’t everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ The Kiwi Pub does offer a reliably local feel and friendly vibe. There’s no groundbreaking concept going on here, the place pretty much does what it says. If you are looking for a particularly chilled pub to start your evening, or wanting somewhere to watch the game with likeminded locals, The Kiwi Pub is definitely worth checking out.
By Kim Loe.