A new Bangkok restaurant shows that modern Australian cuisine can soar
Freebird is the new cool kid on the block in trendy Thong Lo, boasting the breezy vibes of the Australian outback, from rustic interiors to fresh hearty cuisine. Tucked into a quiet soi of Sukhumvit 47, surrounding greenery creates a countryside feeling but the name is in homage to the property’s caretaker – he has lived on the land for 27 years and cared for many rare feathered creatures along the way.
Wood-tiled interiors and bold contemporary art from Steve Cross, one of Melbourne’s rising stars, create a casual yet sophisticated ambience. Seating is plentifully spread out, from the cosy cocktail bar to the chef’s table and an outdoor area overlooking Freebird’s herb and vegetable garden. An exquisite upstairs library can be booked for special celebrations, and a booth up front serves grab-and-go coffee from Sarnies, a brand founded by Freebird’s Singaporean-based Aussie investor Ben Lee. The menu is devoted to modern Australian cuisine, influenced by the diverse landscape of Down Under with enhancement from local Thai ingredients.
Dishes are produce-driven, unapologetically savoury and true to the slow food philosophy. The signature dish, slow cooked egg, is the perfect example, with its wholesome fixings of locally grown mushrooms, multigrain toast and generous dollops of rich Australian Brie (260 baht). Slow-roasted citrus-brined chicken (560 baht) is served with a tangy mustard jus, or as it’s playfully referred to on the menu, “farang nam jim”. Equally cheekily named is the dessert “some pavlova mate?” – fresh mango, slow baked meringue and coconut sorbet for an Aussie take on mango and sticky rice.
Eclectic sharing plates, from home-made dips and ciabatta (100 baht) to Chiang Mai heirloom tomatoes with Bloody Mary dressing (200 baht), exemplify the restaurant’s aim to create a “social dining experience”. Freebird’s wines are also a great conversation starter, with a list that ranges from biodynamic and natural nectars to Australian new-wave producers. Guests should try the “sommakase” flight for a one-of-a-kind sitting. Available in three, five or seven glasses (950 baht and up), staff will pair wine, sake and even cider with dish selections.