Given the limited stay in BKK for this trip, I was torn between having modern Thai or Southern Thai cuisine for my final dinner. The Southern Thai restaurant is nestled in Thong Lo area, not accessible but we passed by the place while exploring that area a few days ago. Eventually we opted for Paste Bangkok which is conveniently housed in Gaysorn Plaza in the heart of shopping area downtown.
Similar to Bo.lan, Paste is also run by a chef couple. Similar to Nahm, the chef of Paste is an Australian. Other than these 2 commonalities, my dining experience at Paste was totally different from my past visits to the other 2 restaurants. To summarise, this restaurant serves dishes that are unlike any of the stereotypical Thai food that we relate to. Therein lies the beauty of the restaurant, they pride themselves in serving cuisines inspired from traditional Thai recipes. The re-interpreted dishes were labelled in the menu crediting the original source of the recipes with some dating back to early 1800AD.
The restaurant does not serve degustation/tasting menu, all dishes can be ordered ala carte and are meant to be eaten in Asian-sharing style paired with jasmine rice.
After browsing through the menu, we were so tempted to try as many dishes as possible but we had to limit our choices as we arranged for a massage session later the night and couldn’t stuff ourselves now…
Our desire to cancel the massage grew after spotting Austrian wines from their wine menu. Austrian wines are not so common in Singapore and we loved their wines… Had to have a bottle of Grüner Veltliner. Caught in a dilemma between food and relaxation…We ended up postponing our massage to as late as possible – we were desperate for a massage after all the extensive walking in BKK.
Before we commenced our dinner proper, they served a complimentary snack, like amuse bouche in French dining. I vaguely remembered it to be crab meat served on some cracker, my guess was it could be the 1688 AD chilli relish smeared on pork wafers and topped with Gulf of Thailand red spanner crab which is also listed in the menu as one of the entrees.
The entree we chose was Hokkaido scallops and Canadian sea urchin with sweet pork, chilli jam & som-saa zest. Fresh, plump and succulent scallops topped with shreds of stewed pulled pork, the highlight of the dish was the refreshing relish called “sam-saa” – which is supposed to be a variety of citrus fruit used in old-style Thai cookery.
Up next was the soup dish. Here at Paste, you can’t find Tom Yum Goong which is an epitome of Thai food. Instead the 3 soup options were all rather unique to me. There was a coconut cream soup, a hot and sour soup of crispy pork leg and we opted for the Clear soup of rambutan stuffed with chicken, nutmeg, air dried squid with ‘dork grajorn’ flowers and samphire *Inspired from a recipe by Snidwongse Cookbook, 1968 AD The clear aromatic soup was infused with sweetness from the rambutan and was absolutely awesome!
I felt that the dish of Mee grob crispy noodles of shredded 7 colour dragon lobster, tamarind, pickled garlic, Asian citron zest, & garlic chives *Inspired by a recipe from Kub Kao Rattanakosin 1982 AD could be eaten as a main paired with jasmine rice instead of only as a noodle dish because it would be too sweet to be eaten alone. The mildly tangy, sweet and sour gravy with chewy lobster went well with jasmine rice, with the crispy noodles adding texture to the overall dish.
We aren’t fish lovers but decided to order a fish curry because we were confident with the quality of fish dishes in Thailand. We were absolutely impressed with the freshness and quality of fishes we ate in Thailand (from Phuket to Koh Samui). We weren’t wrong this time round too. The Steamed wild seabass fillet with white turmeric , fennel & lemongrass ‘lon’ sauce *Inspired by a recipe from Sai Yaowapa Cookbook, 1935 AD was a stunner. The curry was light yet flavourful, I could finish up a plate of rice just with this mouthwatering sauce.
The desserts were beautifully plated with the Panna Cotta featuring fresh fruits from Thailand. Panna Cotta Lemongrass and white turmeric panna cotta with som saa and Chiang Mai strawberry ice cream, fresh mango, berries and dragonfruit.
Mushrooms and Truffles Shitake mushroom white chocolate parfait with pistachio ice cream, chocolate truffles and wild almond nougat
Compared to the options for starters/mains, the options for desserts were rather limited. However it served the purpose of completing the meal with a sweet ending.
We were certainly much more impressed with their different take on Thai dishes. If you have tasted the traditional Thai dishes and are looking for unconventional Thai dishes (something which is not overly robust nor exceedingly spicy) for a change, Paste would be a good choice. Hope to see them making an entry into Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants soon.
Other Related Posts: