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“Maggie Choo, Bangkok's Piece of Shanghai” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Maggie Choo's

Maggie Choo's
Ranked #208 of 10,626 Restaurants in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $50
Cuisines: Bar, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Drinks, Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Silom
Description: Magical underground cabaret full of mystery, romance, jazz, reminiscent of Shanghai 1930. Maggie Choo's was named after Shanghai cabaret owner who fled her hometown in 1931 following the Japanese invasion that tore the city. Shortly after arriving in Bangkok, she found a 19th century Thai Chinese shoe box restaurant crammed into a basement 10 meters below Silom road serving authentic Thai chinese shophouse food. When one day, she discovered behind the walls in the corner of the restaurant an entrance that lead to a derelict 19th century East India company bank built in 1847 used for storing porcelain and spices that the British used to carry back to England for Queen Victoria, her past caught up with her and she converted the old bank into a cabaret, just like when she used to back in Shanghai. Today the cabaret is yet to be revived again...
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
107 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Maggie Choo, Bangkok's Piece of Shanghai”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

It took a little bit of finding but that only added to the anticipation. Hidden to the side of the Novotel Fenix in Silom a discreet doorway leads to a small curtained landing.

A moment of confusion as to where to turn soon disappears as an internal sirocco gently wafts the curtains and one can make out a heavily balustrade stairway that leads to a respectable looking café.

Should one descend to discover the secrets of Maggie Choo? Well I have come this far so why not step into the sanctum sanctorum; the inner chamber where the real action is. Guarded by pierced screen doors the secret of Maggie Choo is revealed. This is no ordinary bar; it is a fanciful recreation of an early 20th century Shanghai speakeasy.

It takes a while for my eyes to adjust to the darkened interior eventually red lights illuminate the way. The eye is drawn to the bare brick walls, festooned with copious large busts of Her Majesty Victoria, Dei Gracia Brit Regina, Fid Def, Ind Imp.

However, between each bust is what looks like an ironclad’s bulkhead door that opens on to a very comfortable private room suitable for intimate tête-à-têtes. A jazz combo plays while a smooth crooner’s velvety voice washes the day’s cares away down the Swanee.
Taking a comfortable Chesterfield wingback chair and settling in with a gin and tonic and a cocktail for your companion your gaze wanders over to ladies nonchalantly swaying on strategically placed swings. Dressed in ‘20s style sumptuous Chinese body-hugging dresses they lazily fan themselves while glancing at the varied clientele. Victoria really would not be amused.

But this is a fun themed bar that conveys the bygone days of good time Shanghai, when Western businessmen and Chinese good-timers mixed, wheelers and dealers all, mingled in an atmosphere of high finance and intrigue. Who knows where their next move might have been; to a drug den to finish the night perhaps.

Maggie Choo’s is a bar with a difference, a bar that will steep you in the fable of long lost Shanghai, satiate your desire for a pink gin, or excellent cocktail, and may even stimulate your inner J G Ballard.

Maggie Choo is a different drinking experience that will linger in the memory to call you back to your own inn of the sixth happiness.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Suanphlu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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392 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
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    Atmosphere
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Bangkok
Level Contributor
567 reviews
378 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 370 helpful votes
“Great noodles in a great atmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

Maggie Choo's concept is clever and fun. It is meant to replicate the days of prohibition in 1920s Shanghai (or so I think). You walk into a noodle bar that is meant to hide the "illegal" nightclub out the back. This is done really well, even though the noodle bar itself is less than humble, its nightclub is quite over the top. Upon entry, you are greeted by attractive women in swings - not sure why, but it did make me giggle! The decoration is quite stunning and you can easily see why this is "the place" in Bangkok at the moment. What is interesting, is that you have to make a reservation for the bar as well as for the restaurant.

The noodles are tasty, but the menu is pretty limited: about the same as an outside noodle bar. But I think noodles are meant to be an afterthought - the main even is the bar/ While the noodles were good, I am not sure I'd go back for them if there weren't this rather magnificent bar attached. This will definitely become a "must visit" place for Bangkokians and for visitors.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BMF60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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