Songwas is a historic road in the area of Bangkok ‘s Samphanthawong district. Prior to the disruption caused by e-commerce, this area was the main transport region for seafood, vegetables, plants, and herbs. The row-houses on both sides of the road are mostly wholesale companies and shops doing business with vessel-transported commodities. The road is also the origin of many Thai Chinese millionaire families.
Despite the fact that some businesses are closing as a result of the disruption from e-commerce, Songwas remains a captivating road worth visiting. While some of the old businessis being phased out, new business is also emerging, and we’ve learned from locals like Ornong “Art” Prasarnphanich, the owner of Arteasia Bangkok, that this is not the end of Songwas at all, but the beginning of something new, like a phoenix about to be born again.
Arteasia Tart Bar is one of the must-visit café on Songwas Road that hasn’t been around for long, but full of potential. The café was hidden in plain sight, and just like any buildings in Songwas area, it was all over hundread years old. Every element has a Thai and Chinese influence embedded in it, such as their logo, which means the light that shines upon the room, and the triangle shape that represent the letter “A”. Some of the colors are the colors that was a part of the building and was preserved the way it is without a makeover.
It all started when “Art,” a once-visitor to a local art gallery, saw this old building and fell in love with it while touring the region. She approached the building’s owner for further information, and to her surprise, the building was still available for sale, so she bought it and decided to include something she liked into it to depict Thai culture in a different perspective.
To Art, it occurred to her that Tart Café is the answer, and the reason she prefers a tart over a cake or any other type of dessert because a tart can be universally viewed as a blank canvas for any flavor to be placed in, making it an ideal canister for different types of flavors which gives her the freedom to experiment and create different flavors without restriction. In addition, each tart’s texture has its own flavor identity such as bananas, peanuts, or even a Chinese style braised duck, It is a simple delicacy that anybody can understand while providing a nuanced flavor that no one has ever tasted before.
“I’m surprised to learn that Thai youngsters nowadays never get to try traditional Thai desserts like banana in coconut milk or mung bean dumpling. Even though the tart we make does not accurately represent the true flavor of those items, it will somehow entices them to want to try the real thing.” Art continued sharing her thoughts “Whether shredded pork, or braised duck, I’ve experimented with many Thai ingredients and created my own version, in the form of a tart.”
Apart from the Tart and stunning setting of the café, the next highlighted product is their signature tea, such as “Volume 1” which is a tea with peach, mango, and chrysantimum flavor, or “Volume 2” which has a hint of jasmine, rose, and pandan, or If you prefer a cold drink to cool down from the heat, they also have a selection of best-selling cold drinks, such as Yuzu Thai Tea, Butterfly Pea Strawberry Tea, or the best-selling Pineapple Coconut Milk, which is a pineapple juice with coconut cream on top that tastes like a non-alcoholic Pina Colada. But that isn’t all there is for Arteasia, Art shared her ambition to make Arteasia the place of destination for foreigners, and in achieving so, she said that we’ll have to stay in touch with Arteasia.
“I will always make certain that all of your experiences here are memorable, whether it’s the
atmosphere, the food, the beverages, or even the history of Songwas and the building itself.”