As the urban rustic Thai eatery is set to open within ASAI Bangkok Sathorn, let’s explore Err and meet the culinary couple behind the Thai food you want to eat when you’re drinking with mates.
Chefs Dylan Jones and Bo Songvisava both trained in Australia – Dylan in his hometown of Canberra, and later in Melbourne where he finished his apprenticeship, and Bo at Adelaide university, where she earned a master’s in gastronomy. It wasn’t until they were both working at London’s award-winning Thai restaurant, Nahm, that their paths finally crossed and they teamed up as partners in food and life.
They relocated to Bangkok and, inspired by an extensive collection of antique Thai cookbooks and their travels around the country, they opened their first restaurant, Bo.Lan in 2008. Working closely with local farmers to source the freshest ingredients and with obsessive attention to the flourish and flair of presentation, Bo and Dylan created a fine-dining hit. The accolades poured in with Bo.Lan earning a top spot among Asia’s 50 Best and a Michelin star. Bo, meanwhile, was named Best Female Chef by Asia’s 50 Best and featured on the Netflix documentary Chef’s Table.
The pair loved the ceremony involved in fine dining but wanted to make food that was more accessible – the kind of Thai food they wanted to eat when they were drinking with mates. Thus Err was born. But what is Err? Bo and Dylan describe it as a Thai expression that can be either affirmative, indifferent or negative. “It’s rather informal and in some cases, if you’re speaking to one of those older hi-so Thai ladies with the really big hair, then it’s downright rude!” Bo explains. Err can be a greeting amongst close friends but also an expression of surprise or shock. It’s casual, fun and not too serious, which sets the scene for the urban, rustic eatery that originally opened in 2012.
Err was a chance for Bo and Dylan to be more flexible in their approach to service while championing the facets of Thai cuisine that get overlooked in a fine-dining setting. The menu of shareable dishes was inspired by roadside, countryside and river market eats. The restaurant was ranked among Bangkok’s Top Tables and 50 Best Discovery, and awarded a Michelin plate.
Now launching in ASAI Bangkok Sathorn, Err has found its spiritual home. In a setting dedicated to bringing people together, Bo and Dylan once again serve up their unique brand of urban rustic fare designed to be enjoyed with drinks. Expect street food staples and single-plate dishes to fill your table – and it’s family-style eating, so bring the whole gang. Snack on charcoal-grilled pork skewers or refreshing Isaan-style squid laab. Indulge in green curry with on-the-bone chicken, dip into a clay pot of pork belly or warm up with a spicy tom yam soup, but whatever you do, don’t miss their famous fried chicken skin.
Bo and Dylan are masters of the arts of fermentation and preserving, so don’t be shocked by the dead animals hanging in the kitchen; just chow down on some coconut-smoked Chiang Rai curry sausage or crispy rice balls with salted mackerel. The focus remains on quality Thai ingredients – naturally – with close relationships with local farmers and artisans. Speaking of local, the cocktails are concocted with Thai liquors and juices made with seasonal tropical fruits. Bo and Dylan designed the menu to be enjoyed with drinks and there’s no shortage of pairings. From craft beers and natural, bio-dynamic wines, to tasty sodas and single-estate Thai coffee, there are drinks for all dishes, social occasions and gatherings.
So, besides launching Err at ASAI Bangkok Sathorn, what else is keeping the dynamic duo busy? Bo hosts the weekly television show “Eat Am Are” on Thai PBS, and she and Dylan just self-published their first cookbook, “Err.”
Stay tuned for more to come.