Everyone loves a good laff over a meal, but what most of us haven’t experienced is when the restaurant actually laughs along too. We’re not talking about the chefs having a giggle ‘cos one of them clipped a toenail in the soup of the person who asked how many macros were in each meal. We’re talking about a restaurant with a concept so witty, so shamelessly kitsch, that it is pretty much fist bumping itself to the beat of the hip hop in the background. We’re talking about Canggu’s newest and trendiest Thai watering hole, 555 Thai.
Get this: the name 555 isn’t actually pronounced like it reads; like those Angel numbers white Ubudians would have you believe are real. It is in fact pronounced: hahaha.
Say it aloud.
The reason? In Thai, the word ‘ha’ means the number five, and the slang-way of having an L-O-L over text is by writing ‘555’. Dip us in gold and call us enlightened.
You’ll find all the usual suspects on the menu at 555: tom yum gung, som tum thai, pad thai yum (we added the ‘yum’ at the end there ‘cos, accuracy), kaeng massaman curry, plus a bunch of options for vego’s, vegans and non-shrimp-tarians. Not only is it all delish, but it’s super authentic. Ain’t a drop of that MSG krap in there. The guys behind 555 have done their research.
The venue houses plenty of subtle homages to Thai pop-culture, too. On the right, you’ll see the back cushions for the couch-side seating are in fact three long bolsters in the colours of traditional Muay Thai ring ropes. The floor is also made from 90, 000 Thai beer bottle tops. The rest of the décor sits somewhere between antique and satire but hits the mark so effortlessly, it could pass as ‘vintage’. The light boxes hanging from the roof, the leopard print seat covers and the big glaring booth mirrors are the kind of thing you’d have in your own home if only you had the confidence. It’s important to note that 555 aren’t making fun of Thai culture, either. They are merely highlighting – nay, honouring – it, in all its untapped burlesque glory.
Sure, there’s no shortage of Asian grub in ‘Gu – we know, we eat five meals a day – but the way we’re sure this one won’t be a Thai-Tanic scale disaster is because straight off that bhat, the place opened with professionalism. Last week, the ‘Gu Guide crew sat down to have dinner and right away the staff were on to us. They were friendly, knowledgeable and had all the thaaaai in the world for our nit-picky questions, like “which cocktail will help us forget our weeks the fastest?”. The cocktails, by the way, have just as much cheek as the design and are all inspired by the cuisine itself. You can catch them for happy hour 5-7PM seven days a week. The Tom Yummy was a solid Gu gal fave, you’re welcome.
Sitting on Jl. Raya Semat – just before the shortcut if you’re coming from Berawa – 555 is visible, affordable, and unpretentious. A much-needed hit of humour to the ‘Gu. We’ll be pad see ew-ing ya there!