Bangkok, June 2018 – A few months before this trip, Mr. King called me from his business trip and said, “My friend just took me to this delicious dinner at PASTE. You have got to try their watermelon dish!” Truth be told, Mr. King went there for lunch again that same week. So I was definitely curious.
PASTE is the culinary creation of Chef-owners Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun and her husband Jason Bailey, and this very chic restaurant specializes in “Heirloom Thai cuisine.” Despite the “century-old” recipes, their cuisine is aesthetically modern and visually imaginative.
We invited our Thai friends there for lunch. The four of us sat at the table with a spectacular view of Central World and the bustling main roads. We selected the Lunch Tasting Menu (Thai Baht 1,850) that featured 7 courses. Our Thai friends were also impressed, but we were told that this type of meal is very unusual for Thai people.
Watermelon, ground salmon with fried shallots and roasted galangal powder – was the dish that Mr. King kept raving about. True to his praises, this was my favourite dish at PASTE. My photo was not altered in any way, so this photo captured the true colors and texture of this gorgeous dish. The unlikely combination of grounded salmon, fried shallots and watermelon somehow perfectly complimented each other. It is so hard to describe, definitely a MUST-TRY!
Roasted duck, nutmeg & sawtooth coriander on rice crackers.
Tapioca dumplings of Royal Project smoked trout, toasted peanuts, Thai mustard leaf & wild sesame.
Old style hot and sour soup of crisp pork leg, roast tomatoes and fried garlic in a smoky chicken broth.
Pomelo salad of chargrilled Scarlet prawns, Asian citron, chilli jam and gapi khoei plankton paste.
Pananeg curry of Australian grain fed beef, toasted peanuts & Thai sweet basil – was my other favourite. The presentation was probably the least interesting, but the beef was very tender and I just adored this curry.
The name of this dessert escaped my memory, but it looked like a garden inside a glass cup. (Sorry, when I dine with friends, I tend not to take notes during the meal.)
Overall, the dining experience was beautiful – wonderful range of spices and flavours with just the right amount of innovation to preserve the essence of Thai cuisine. Service was excellent, as expected of Thai hospitality. The only disappointment was that Chef Bee was absent from the restaurant (she was away with her family). I kept feeling that each dish was more than met the eye or being conveyed by the waiters.
PASTE is definitely a place for foodies who appreciate the marriage of tastes, creativity and artistic properties, all in one.
All the photos were taken by Mrs. King.