Enjoying the night at Checkmate Bar and Bistro — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Asiatique, the "Night Market," mostly impresses for its snazzy Chao Phraya River location, but it also has some of Bangkok's top spots for chilling out and having great drinks and good food. If you have made it this far down the river, then you won’t be disappointed. The chic Checkmate Bar and Bistro checks in with one of the nicest vibes to be found along the river. Using chess as a motif (Why not unwind with a game after work?), the black and white eatery will seduce you with some excellent fusion fare and outstanding cocktails.
The neon lit bar is well stocked, and the menu has plenty of signature drinks along with all the usual players. All are whipped up by a well trained mixologist. There are also pints of Hoegaarden Rose and Stella beer on tap. The menu is no slouch either, and some of the highlights include a salmon sashimi salad with wasabi dressing, as well as the crab cakes on lemongrass stalks.
Superb signature drinks at Checkmate Bar and Bistro — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
The crowd here ranges from international tourists coming to check out the night bazaar to professional Thais looking to take it easy and relax after work. Different live bands play each evening. These musicians are far more than just background Muzak: they are quite proficient in all of their genres, and yet don't turn up the volume so much that you can't hold a conversation.
Overall, there is a very warm décor accompanying the whole scene. Everything from the food to the drinks to the good cheer are just perfectly subtle enough to ensure that you'll be coming back around for seconds.
Getting here couldn't be easier, as there is a free shuttle boat from the Saphan Taksin Pier dropping folks right at the Asiatique dock. This allows you to avoid the traffic chaos on Charoen Krung and to have more time to linger over drinks and plan your next move.
Checkmate Bar and Bistro
Asiatique The Riverfront #E01, 2194 Charoen Krung Soi 72-74
Telephone: 086 977 8749
Cocktails and more — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis