Mimi V a writer, social media manager, foodie, music lover, and mum, currently residing in Sydney with Mr V, two little Vs and doggy V.
Published October 4th 2012
Possibly the weirdest name for a restaurant ever
Before our visit to Bangkok we read several reviews of the oddly named Cabbages and Condoms restaurant and were curious about both the concept (a safe sex restaurant) and the food (good quality, reasonably priced Thai cuisine, offering more than the normal tourist-adapted mainstays). With a name like that, who wouldn't be curious?
It turns out that the story behind Cabbages and Condoms is a fantastic one – apart from the restaurant (and now a full resort elsewhere in Thailand), it's actually an organisation that has spearheaded the safe sex movement in Thailand for a number of decades, saving thousands of lives in the process.
We arrive without a reservation and are happy to find the restaurant pleasantly buzzing (especially good for a Sunday night), but able to accommodate us without a wait. From the moment we enter through the front garden, it's clear that the brains behind Cabbages and Condoms have fully and unashamedly embraced the theme throughout. The place is a brazen shrine to all things safe sex. Ironic really (or maybe not?), in a city that is renowned for the sex trade but which also has an incredibly spiritual side, with more temples than you can shake a stick at.
Condom Santa - only @ Cabbages and Condoms, Bangkok
Either way, the safe sex message is loud and clear, if not a little bizarre, at this Sukhumvit eatery. There are shop dummies dressed in outfits made entirely of condoms and contraceptive pill packets, including a condom Santa and a condom superhero, lampshades and lanterns made from condoms, and even a sign offering condoms in place of the traditional after dinner mint. The plates and toothpicks are also Cabbages and Condoms branded, just in case you forget where you are for a minute.
Some very unusual decor - a condom lamp @ Cabbages and Condoms, Bangkok
We pass the fountain in the atrium and head upstairs to main room, which seems to be the centre of activity in the small complex (there are a number of different bars and saloons downstairs that are less busy). We are lead to a table at the centre of the room, a great vantage point from which to observe our fellow diners – a mixture of locals and tourists alike; couples sharing intimate tête à tête, friends celebrating birthdays, and families sharing dinner together.
The long menu boasts a range of Thai dishes, many with intriguing ingredient combinations and most things that we have not come across previously in our two-week sojourn. We linger over the menu whilst munching on the tasty savoury snacks provided. From the almost overwhelming array of choices on offer, we decide to go for a selection of smaller dishes to share, so that we can taste as many as possible.
Everything we order is delicious and we have ordered just the right amount of food to feel nicely full. We um and ah over one of the delicious sounding-desserts (I had my eye on banana fritters) but in the end we decide that we should quit whilst we are deliciously and satisfyingly ahead. We stroll out of the restaurant, and into the Sukhumvit night for a bit of a stroll around the hood.
Eschewing the traditional after-dinner mint @ Cabbages and Condoms, Bangkok
In our many times in Bangkok, we've had the pleasure to visit Cabbages & Condoms many times for dinner. Great food & lovely ambience. I'm pleased you've written an article on it as it is certainly a uniquely themed restaurant.