A trip to the Thonburi side of the river may be a rare occurrence for those based in Bangkok city proper, let alone go for a fancy meal here, but that’s what we did for our most recent Bangkok Fatty outing with instant booking app Chope. The gentrification of Bangkok’s riverside communities in recent years sees some of the city’s most happening lifestyle destinations emerge along the Chao Phraya River. Despite being away from central Bangkok areas, the trendy Jam Factory warehouse compound has been bringing patrons out riverside, to the less developed western banks.
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This collection of renovated warehouses, in a peaceful location on the water’s edge, is located beneath the towering Millennium Hilton Hotel. Jam Factory is multi-purpose venue incepted by a local star architect, focuses on art, design, music, food, and community events. Apart from the hotel’s guests, this patch of Klong San remains much off the beaten tourist path and is instead frequented by creative professionals and fashionable in-the-know expats and locals. Everyone else ends up in the connected local night market, which is close but somehow seems world’s apart once you’ve stepped into the complex.
The first restaurant on the premises, The Never Ending Summer, is surely named in tribute to Bangkok’s singular year round season— an unrelenting heat I’d more accurately describe as ‘never-ending sauna.’ The restaurant is a prime example of the architect’s signature modern industrial aesthetic with polished concrete, exposed metal beams, and flecked paintwork in this spacious rustic-chic setting. The surprisingly noisy room is dotted with plants, and features an open kitchen behind a giant glass wall, in which customers can view the buzz of activity going on in the kitchen. Old-school Thai favorite dishes are given an upscale twist, whilst retaining authentic flavors for a refined dining experience which complements the stylish ambiance suitable for the ladies-who-lunch crowd.
Taking inspiration from family recipes, many that can be traced back to the royal family, the menu reads as a familiar list of curries, ‘yum’-style spicy salads, ‘nam-prik’ (spicy chilli sauce) variations, grilled meats, stir-fries, and quick-plate dishes. Prices are considerably higher than your usual homestyle Thai eateries, so don’t get caught off guard by the sticker shock.
This is typified by one of the signature creations of red curry with roasted ‘Four Seasons’ duck and fruits (980 baht), which is markedly also the most expensive item (most are around 250-450 baht). The famed “best roast duck in the world” from the London-based Chinese restaurant – also with a branch in Bangkok – is further dressed up and given a local edge smothered with a red curry sauce for a rich, spicy kick that is slightly sweetened by assorted edible flowers and the juicy fruit of grapes and lychee. The dish, given the price tag, is most likely a choice for guests dining family style and not just lone fatties with a flash duck craving.
The Never Ending Summer Restaurant Location and Hours
Genre: Thai Casual Dining
Address: The Jam Factory, 41/1-5 Charoen Nakhon Road, Khlong San, Khlong San, Bangkok 10600
Directions: Take the cross-ferry boat from River City to Klong San pier (or from Sathorn Central Pier take the hotel shuttle boat for the Millennium Hilton Hotel). From the Millennium Hilton it’s just a brief walk along the river path up to the premises of The Jam Factory on the left.
Phone Number: 02 861 0953
Hours: 11am-2pm (lunch) and 5pm-11pm Monday, 11am-11pm Tuesday-Sunday
Price: B200-1000 per dish
Facebook page: The Never Ending Summer
Note: This visit was sponsored as part of the Bangkok Bites series, a collaboration with Chope, an instant restaurant reservations booking app in Bangkok! Download the app here!