We all need a place we can call our own. For models, that means a place where they won’t be gawked at or confronted about bulimia. All jokes aside Kohspot understands and embraces all the tremendously fascinating sub-cultures and thriving microcosms that make Bangkok one of the greatest cities in the world, including the fashion industry. Yet, Koi seems to be tripping over its own two feet as it attempts to encapsulate the culture of fashion and beauty in Thailand. A missed opportunity no doubt.
Originally started in fashion forward Los Angeles, Koi Bangkok is simply a high-end contemporary Japanese restaurant and bar that caters to a clientele that didn’t make the cut in the USA or Europe modeling industry. Unfortunately, unlike Koi’s ever popular and celebrity filled Los Angeles location the vibe at Koi Bangkok tends to leave most patrons exasperated by the end of the evening. This is primarily due to being engulfed in an environment that promotes narcissism without the glitz, and beauty without the glamour. It’s similar to attending a big party where everyone is wasted except you. There are all the trappings of what appears to be a good time of indulgence and hi-so living, including the mandatory hottie manning the hostess booth outside the bar, the laminated sign inferring that there is some type of “VIP” entrance and a setting that is strangely beautiful and sexy. Well, Kohspot left the model ID card at home and strutted straight through the door. Ta Da! There probably wasn’t a cover charge anyway, but the hostess was too busy BBing to even notice a customer. Dear Hostess, your only job in this world is to greet people and assist them with locating a table – focus.
Upon arrival at the bar the experience changed from bad to worse as the thumping techno was turned up to the point of dismantling any chance of carrying on a conversation. We are guessing this is on purpose as it is much easier to stand still with a straight face and look amazing than actually let one’s guard down and interact with people on an engaging level. In the land of smiles no one had even a hint of a smirk – stone faced. Perhaps smiling causes too many wrinkles. There were only two people there who weren’t in a big group — two older gentlemen sitting alone and smoking in the corner — and their facial expressions inferred that either their dog just died or that they just discovered STDs are real. Cool and sophisticated is what we were looking for at Koi BKK, but all that turned up was a scene that was one part rigid and two parts despondent.
It is normal to want to hang with your friends when you are at a bar or club, but in most other venues in Bangkok the setting would be casual enough to start a conversation with a stranger without catching the evil eye. Only international school classmates who have ‘discovered’ a place that serves underage kids are more cliquish.
The restaurant was crowded and the food is passable yet costly. All cocktails are 220 baht, whisky and vodka start at 180, and you’ll get stung for 180 baht for a bottle of Singha. You’ll need a drink after you visit this place.
Sorry Koi, you have no one to blame but yourself for this one.