Zaks Wine Bar offers a touch of class on Sukhumvit Soi 11. Located about halfway down Soi, Zaks is an oasis from the busy streets of Bangkok. Every guest at Zaks is welcomed to an incredible experience of atmosphere, food and great wines.

The staff of Zaks balances the combination of food and drink masterfully. From Manager Michael down to every member of the staff, Zaks makes sure your experience is a great one. The first time I went to Zaks, I didn’t know what to expect. I was new to the area, but boy I am glad I listened to a more experienced Soi 11 traveler, and it was well worth the trip.

The class of ‘Zaks’

The outdoor dining area is tremendous with numerous seating on both the patio and the wrap around deck. The tables are both casual on the patio as well as stylish with tall high tops on the deck above. My party of four was smoking, so we decided to stay outside for drinks and dinner. From the patio, you can watch the entire goings on of Soi 11 in a relaxing comfortable way. The tall trees hang down shading you from the sunlight with umbrellas covering your table from the early evening showers this time of year. We started off with calamari and crab cakes from the Tapas menu. We also felt a round of beers was the right choice for some seafood with the guys. There is a healthy draft selection at Zaks, and the prices are quite good for the area. The Calamari was light and cooked to perfection with a fresh salsa verde making me think of home in America. The crab cake would rival any that you would find on the shores of Maryland, crab cake capital of the world. I am somewhat of a crab cake junkie, and am very particular when I order them. Most times, I am severely disappointed, but not this time. The crab was bursting from the dish and the flavors were sublime. We munched these down, and decided to make our way inside.

The Pizza impresses.

Once inside, we spent our evening sitting by the open wood stove and near the rear of the building. The dark wood furnishings with matching chairs help create a wonderful sense of style in Zak’s. The tile floor and glassed wine room give this room a very unique feel. I had the feeling that I was in a different country the entire time I was inside. There are numerous reasons that my mind kept drifting this way. We ordered two of the specialty pizza’s because of our proximity to the stoned in pizza area. The Zaks special served on thin crust was a great mixture of Mozzarella, Artichokes, and Sun dried tomatoes. The greens were fresh and lightly applied and the combination of Feta and Mozzarella was fantastic. The second pizza was the Italian sausage with mushroom. I have to say it. Forget about sausage in this country, it has no flavor. Italian sausage is by far the finest made and this pizza did not disappoint. We inhaled both of these items like it was our last meal. After a couple of rounds of drinks inside, we were told about a Salsa night happening upstairs, so what the hell, I’ll try anything once or twice.

Getting footloose.

Zaks offers salsa dancing on the Second floor every Friday night. With crowds in excess of 100 people, this is a busy spot on most nights. In this beautiful hideaway, there is a lot of space and offers a second fully stocked bar. The balcony just outside the doors at the top of the staircase is great to hang out while dancing inside. We took a lesson from the beautiful dance teacher, and she did not disappoint us. Salsa is the sexiest of dances, and my friend did not mind looking like an idiot while learning with such a beautiful dance instructor. We attempted to dance into the night, as there are many willing partners looking for someone with a sense of rhythm. I have neither, but two of my friends looked modestly good while attempting not to stare at their partners. After stepping on a few toes, we made our way down to the bar downstairs to end our journey.

The main bar resides just inside the front door, and is huge with a full service and dining area. The large chandelier and mirrored walls give off the impression of an even larger space. There is a wide assortment of cocktails from this full service bar.  This is not a small wine bar, but an expansive wine bar and fully functioning high end Restaurant. We ordered four glasses of the house red as a nightcap, and were served properly in beautiful large wine glasses. These healthy pours kept us going until closing time. Several bartenders and wait staff joined in on our conversation as well. We all felt as if we were regulars and well known even though it was one of our first times there. Michael the Restaurant Manager and his staff should truly be commended on the emphasis that they put on customer service. I highly recommend you take a stroll down Soi 11 in Sukhumvit, and discover this good time that awaits you at Zak’s Wine Bar.

By Kevin Harrington.