NYC meets Bangkok at fried chicken restaurant, BIRDIES.
BY AYUSH MADAN
If you’re someone who takes the BTS, chances are you’ve noticed that vibrant red neon sign at the Phrom Phong station that spells out BIRDIES. Tucked away on the third floor of the Siam Green Dispensary Co building, the newly-established restaurant is co-owned by Thai-Indian Ratish Sachathamakul, and exudes the same eclectic energy as an iconic NYC bar. Designed by the architects of Fatboy Izakaya, BIRDIES creates a warm and comfortable environment for its patrons by opting for terra cotta dishes and wood- polished walls and tables. From the floor-to-ceiling tile bathrooms, complete with tobacco scented diffusers; to the soft jazz classics playing in the dining room; not a single detail is overlooked in the pursuit of this vision.
FOOD AND DRINKS
Walking up the stairs and into our booth, we started off with some signature cocktails crafted by bar and restaurant manager Ryan Osnowski. The ~If Arnold Palmer did MMA~ (THB 390) reminded me of the historic Pebble Bar in Rockefeller Centre. It was a cocktail on tap, with Peddlers salted plum gin, Cocchi Americano, oolong, and house-made lemonade. After a long day of work, it was perfectly refreshing and sweet, with the bold flavours of the plum gin still coming through with every sip. A fruitier cocktail which my partner enjoyed was the Tropical Popsicle (THB 420), with an Arran Barrel Reserve whiskey base, mixed with fermented tepache and fresh passionfruit. The presentation was beautiful, and the drink tasted well balanced, tart, and quenching.
Following the refreshments, Ratish, who is also the restaurant’s Business Director, revealed the lore behind BIRDIES. Tales of sourdough starter older than I was, still used daily to make fresh Everything ‘PARKER HOUSE’ Rolls (THB 280). Inspirations stretching coast to coast from LA’s Roscoe’s to Nashville’s red hot fried chicken. And a chef who won the hit competitive cooking show My Kitchen Rules returning to the F&B scene a decade later with her French roots, Australian influences, and unwavering culinary expertise still shining through.
Jennifer Evans, the “Mama Bird” and co-founder of BIRDIES, gave me a kitchen tour showing me firsthand what it takes to run a restaurant where everything is made in house, and nothing goes to waste. The first small plate Taramasalata, Ikura, Chips (THB 420) was a prime example. The Greek fish roe dip was light and fluffy, complemented well by the tiny pearls of ikura or shrimp roe. The last touch was a sprinkling of shrimp powder – processed from humble shrimp heads – which added an umami finish to the dip.
Next, we tried one of their wealth of vegetarian options, the Cabbage, Vegemite, Tahini (THB 380). I was impressed with the creativity that went into this dish. The subtle sweetness of the cabbage contrasted with the unique savouriness of vegemite, while the tahini added a creamy richness rounding out the dish with a delightful nutty note.
Finally, it was time for the main event. The koji-marinated FRIED CHICKEN (THB 390) was brought out, alongside their signature ranch, toum, and Carolina Gold sauces. My favourite flavour was the spicy one, which was a tingling – but not overpowering – level of heat. The chicken was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside – fried to perfection. There were simply too many delicious sides to choose from. Their ‘Proper’ Tzatziki with its garlic infusion and lemony zest paired perfectly with the hot chicken. Other honourable mentions include the Crusty CornBread + Maple Butter (THB 220), a sweet, rustic, and true Southern US classic; as well as the unique Roasted Carrots, Almonds & Yoghurt, which featured roasted sweet carrots with an almost meaty texture from the hours of slow-roasting. Following all these sweet sides, my sweet tooth was calling for their signature dessert: Burnt White Chocolate Ice Cream, Hot Fudge, Pecan (THB 390). The crispy battered ice-cream was rich and elevated by the slight saltiness of the hot fudge and the crisp pecan topping – a perfect end to a perfect meal.
Their Burrata, Sesame, Chilli (THB 530). While burrata is generally placed atop salads and balsamic vinegar dressings, chef Jennifer chose bold Chinese flavours to complement the cheese. The dish came with fried scallion pancakes which were then dipped into the creamy burrata, brilliantly spiced with their in-house chilli oil. The flavour combination was unlike anything I had ever tried, completely shattering my expectations.
Despite the team’s meticulous efforts in sourcing high-quality ingredients, curating a charming vintage interior, and spearheading innovative culinary creations, I found myself completely at ease, happily picking up their chicken with my hands and savouring every bite. It’s this laid-back approach that defines BIRDIES, making it a hidden haven of comfort and unadulterated fun. Make sure to “kiss the chook” on your way out.
3rd floor, Siam Green Dispensary Co 663 Sukhumvit Road
Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110
Open every day except Tuesdays, from 5pm to 1am Tel: 081 831 6277