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While the kitties NAP, we nibble

Cat Up Café Silom meow-comes the summer with refreshing bingsus

Over the past few years, animal cafes have proven to be a thing in Thailand, judging by the number of ones operating in Bangkok and major provinces like Chiang Mai and Phuket. And cat cafes are the first subset of this group that have pawed their way into purr-pularity (two puns intended).

We visited the second branch of the two-storey Cat Up Café in Silom to try out its new set of desserts, featuring a wide array of fresh tropical fruits and also, more importantly, to play with those cute kitties. There are less than ten cats in the mezzanine playroom, ranging from short-haired ones to those with luxuriously long hair. If you've been to a cat cafe before you know it takes some work to get some feline attention and it really was no different here. Shaking a toy is your best bet, obvi.

There's no extra fee to play with the fur balls so long as you order something to eat or drink. A group of three can order two things, for instance. We recommended finishing what you order at the cafe downstairs before you proceed to play with them. Well, it only makes sense. You don't want your bingsu to be topped off with some British Shorthair's hair, do you?

First on the tasting list was the Mango Bingsu (B185). It's basically sweet ripe nam dok mai mango on top of milk shaved ice with a side of mango sauce. It's refreshing without being sugary, but if you want it sweeter, then add the extra sauce which is rich and has hint of honey.

If you're really mad for mangoes, go for the Mango pudding + mango pearl in mango sauce (B105). You'll experience full fruity powers which we reckon will either win you over or overwhelm your taste buds. We wished the pudding could have had a bit more bounce to it. However, we loved the mango pearls on top that surprised us when they bursted with refreshingly sweet-and-sour sensations.

We found the Green melon bingsu (B195) to be a treat with better balance. The melon balls are luscious and not overwhelmingly sweet, just sweet enough. They were piled up in the bowl and it took a steady hand not to accidentally knock a few out. The ice-cream buried underneath was vanilla, which tasted just right, especially with the addition of the silky condensed milk.

Aside from the desserts, Cat Up Café Silom also serves waffles, toasts, frappes as well as savoury dishes. What separates this place from the clowder of other cat cafes in Bangkok, you ask? Firstly, it's in a very central location, being literally steps away from BTS Sala Daeng. Secondly, in comparison to other cat cafes we've been to, the place provides better quality F&B (but, by no means, gourmet quality). Sometimes you don't need much to spruce up a dull afternoon, just like what the quote on the cafe wall says, "all you need is cat and coffee". Silom peeps who are looking for an innocent afterwork or afterschool de-stressing ritual should at least pop their heads in to decide. g

Cat Up Café Silom (noon-9pm) is located at 22, Silom Road. Follow them at www.fb.com/catupcafe. 085-911-8919.

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