Located in the hidden residential area off quiet Convent Road in central Bangkok, Eat Me restaurant’s (slash art gallery) sleek interior is a product of the collaboration between Australian owner, Darren Hausler, and the long term commitment of resident American Architect, Kelly Wheatley.
Arriving at the restaurant requires passing through a narrow gated door, intended to compress a visitor for a moment of uncomfortable transition and then release them into a spacious bamboo courtyard. Adopting the L-shaped floor plan of a gallery space and bar lounge with a brute-aggregated wall finish, this comfortable environ eradicates external preconceptions and replaces them with a chic, modernist interior.
Ascend via stairs to the first floor and one finds a mellow, high ceilinged dining area with an outdoor section that overlooks the courtyard below. Above the restaurant is a loft setting composed of a split multi-level private dining area with shared rooftop balcony – a space rumoured to cater for visits by the royal princess.
The colour scheme of the restaurant is a light grey, carefully selected to avoid contest with the exhibited art works. Instead, decorative elements are achieved through the repetition of building components; steel balustrades create strong verticals along the outdoor seating area, the geometric pattern of the mosaic/parquet wood and glass walls, the basket weave pattern of the flooring, and the play between the exposed stairs and the void on the framed wall. These are designed to bring an awareness of the common components into the spatial experience, where “normal things in our daily life can be made interesting”.
The space hosts an abundant and dynamic collection of contemporary art pieces, augmenting the aesthetics of the interiors and, given the almost monthly rotation, ensuring there is always something fresh for diners to observe.
To Hausler, Eat Me is a continuation of his experience with hospitality and the arts in Melbourne: “Australia is a new world for best food and fine wine, and it make sense to have a contemporary building to accommodate this essence, and to have a perfect place for bringing together the food, wine, and art of a new world”.