CHILI La Roni restaurant may be best known for serving huge portions of Thai and Italian fusion dishes in a tranquil Balinese garden-style setting, but another reputation is already starting to brew – this one based around coffee.
Early last month the restaurant extended its operations by opening Roni Café, an onsite coffee shop specializing in top quality coffee imported by The Royal Coffee brand. Among its selections, the coveted Kopi Luwak from Indonesia.
Known as the world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee, is the name given to coffee beans which have been eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet – a cat-like creature believed to eat only the best coffee beans, and whose digestive mechanisms help to improve a coffee’s flavour by reducing bitterness (don’t worry, the beans are washed and dried before they’re used).
The secret to a great cup of coffee doesn’t just lie with the beans, of course, but also with the talents of the barista in charge of brewing them. To ensure that all visitors to Roni Café would enjoy the coffee at its premium, the owners employed the talents of Khun Chant Khamthongthae, a.k.a. Ajarn Por, a coffee specialist and barista trainer who’s spent the last 10 years running his own coffee shop in Sydney, Australia, where in 2012 he was named “Gourmet Grand Final Barista Champion.”
To get Roni Café’s staff up to speed, Ajarn Por took them under his wing and introduced them to the art of making great coffee – heating cups before using them, selecting only the finest beans (and knowing how to store them), paying attention to each step of the brewing process to ensure everything’s just perfect, and, in a final flourish, even how to create cute decorations in the froth on a milky cappuccino.
The best thing about the coffee shop being part of Chili La Roni is that you can enjoy your coffee alongside the restaurant’s desserts and pastries.
Always a great pairing is the Tiramisu (B180), practically the size of a brick, albeit a very tasty one.
The buttery croissants are a real treat too. As with the restaurant, visitors to Roni Café can opt to sit in a leafy garden decked out with Balinese statues, on stools at the bar, or in the air conditioned comfort of an old Thai house.
1055/7 Moo 12, Srinakarin Road, Bangna (next to the Maple Hotel). Open daily 11am-midnight.
Tel: 02 743 0901-2 www.chililaroni.com