So long, Saigon Sally. Hello, BKK. Yep, Windsor’s Old Faithful has closed its doors, and in its place is a Thai-spliced ode to Bangkok airport (that’s the ‘BKK’ bit). It’s the Commune Group’s first venture into serious Thai cuisine, but they’re attacking it with a trademark swagger.
It’s also the first time the group has forgone Marvel-style alliteration. Saigon Sally, Tokyo Tina, Hanoi Hannah—surely there was an opening there for Bangkok Beatrice? Whatever. We’ll learn to let go.
In terms of culinary pedigree, BKK has swiped one of the best: Sean Judd (aka the genius behind Nahm, Longrain and Chin Chin), whose extensive Thai experience was one of the big drivers behind the new-look menu.
“We have always been into Thai food, its inclusive nature and diverse offering, combined with Sean’s expertise meant it was a natural decision to create BKK,” says co-owner Simon Blacher.
Saigon Sally stalwarts will recognise the space. The old girl’s bones are still there, they’ve just been given a neon, Blade Runner twang: think backlit 80s glass bricks, an illuminated central bar and rendered brick walls. Very Melbourne mod. Very late-night Windsor.
The menu is a step up from your neighbourhood Thai takeaway (we’d expect nothing else from Judd and Commune). Expect full-face flavour punches like pork skewers doused in soy, white pepper, condensed milk glaze and nam jim jaew, or Wagyu rump with crying tiger sauce and bitter leaves.
There’s a solid mix of curries, soups and salads. Judd hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but the combos are playful and surprising. Gotta love a broken mussel pancake with bean shoots, garlic chives and house Sriracha sauce, right?
Wash the whole mix down with a well-stocked wine cellar and a house cocktail (or three). Our top pick? The Boarding Pass: Vodka, salted watermelon, fig, yuzu and fresh berry syrup. Sweet and sultry, just the way we like it.
And Saigon Sally fans, don’t be too distraught. Blacher and the team plan to re-open the old girl soon—they’re just searching for the right site.
Image credit: BKK