Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Queue and Queue at After You

My wife is here in Bangkok (hopefully for the long haul), and that means I no longer dread lonely mealtimes. In fact, I found sufficient motivation to look for new interesting places to experience different tastes now that I can order more food at one go.

After You is a hugely popular dessert cafe in Bangkok at the moment, with 2 branches located in Siam Paragon and J-Avenue (Thong Lor). I have been told about it for a while now, with friends blogging about it or posting pictures of its scrumptious treats on Facebook. Finally, with her arrival, Li Li gave me enough energy to try out the branch at Paragon after church last Sunday.

To be honest, online reviews of its desserts are mixed, with some loving it to the max and others hating it to the core. Another blogpost focusing on its dishes would not be interesting at all, therefore I have decided to approach this entry from a different angle. There is a story behind every success, and there are a few unique things I observed during my visit that convinced me that After You has what it takes to reach the sky.

1. Take pictures please!

Correct me if I am wrong. In my impression, signs like the one above usually only tells people what NOT TO DO. After You does that, but it also tells people what they WANT you to do, and that is to take pictures! Being the ardent photographer of almost all dishes that cross my path, I find this subtle encouragement refreshing and re-assuring. It sure sets the tone for the rest of the meal as I can snap away without any reservations (not that I can't in most other restaurants though).

2. Queue and Queue

Having spent 28 years in Singapore, I am already used to queueing up for food. It is even fashionable to spend an hour queueing to get a seat in a popular eatery, but if I was told I will need to queue TWICE just to get a seat and my order in, I would probably think twice and give it a miss.

However, at After You, queueing twice is the minimum requirement for every customer.

Once for your seat.
And again AFTER YOU sit down, to place orders and make payment.
You will then need to wait again for your dessert to arrive. The great thing about this place is that the pleasant environment and friendly staff makes the waiting extremely bearable (if not enjoyable).

3. The permanently-full jug of syrup

The star of After You is its thick toast, which is naturally what we ordered on our first visit, and as expected, it was served with a jug of syrup.

Syrup jug filled to its absolute brim
I used to wait tables for 6 months, so I was not about to take this jugful of syrup for granted. I looked around for all the syrup jugs I could lay my eyes on and realised that every jug was filled to its brim! Think about it, when was the last time you were served with a full jug of syrup? You should be laughing your way home if the jug was more than half-full. This was the first time I had ever seen an eatery which trains its staff to painstakingly refill every single jug of condiment before presenting it to a new customer. This meticulous act is not one of absolute necessity, but one of love and willingness to go an extra mile to complete the customer's flawless experience.

The food, when it finally arrived, was not perfect, but it was good. Piping hot thick toast crisp on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside, topped with 2 huge scoops of ice-cream and as much syrup as you want, how wrong could it get?

Shibuya Honey Toast

At the end of the day, I couldn't taste that much difference between After You's offering and a similar one I ate at iBerry a while ago, but I think we can all agree that an eatery's success is usually not solely dependent on its food.

Happy with my Apple Cider drink, which was deliciously refreshing.

With excellent service and little dollops of tender loving care, decent food can also hit all the right notes.

stranger in bangkok


  1. I went there at a friends recommendation and loved it. I have since told all my friends who travel there to please go try it too!

    1. Hello Susan

      What did you have at After You? I almost always eat the Shibuya Honey Toast only cos it is more than enough for my wife and myself to eat already!

      But I have to say it is usually worth the wait!

      Are you in Bangkok now?



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