My little nugget is off to Kidzania this afternoon so I got myself around two hours of free time to spend. I opted to spend it wisely; after making a nostalgic return to Erawan Bakery in Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, it was time to see Paste Bangkok, a Michelin starred and Asia Greatest 50 Restaurant famous for the heirloom Thai cuisine.
Behind husband-and-wife group Jason Bailey and Bongkoch’Bee’ Satongun, Paste had a banner year in 2018. After shooting the elusive original Michelin celebrity , Chef Bee was honored as Asia’s Greatest Female Chef of 2018 by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Paste is all about a research in Thailand’s rich culinary history. The duo spent decades analyzing and researching ancient imperial Thai recipes and family cookbooks. Throughout the process, they re-discovered century-old recipes and long forgotten methods that they integrated into the menu of the first Paste restaurant and elegant it whenever they opened Paste at the very top floor of luxury shopping mall Gaysorn Village.
Some of this restaurant’s signature dishes include the roast duck rubbed with northern Thai mah kwan pepper and Tapioca dumplings of royal job smoked trout, toasted peanuts, mustard leaf and wild sesame. If you’re into seafood like me, then its spanner crab dish served with salted duck egg, fresh coconut milk, hairy eggplant and lime foliage should not be missed. But couldn’t tell from this film at all…)
Next was a small canapé, fresh spanner crab on a crispy sheet of blossom with toppings of lemon zest, ginger flower and dill. Very yummy.
I wrote the restaurant before my arrival inquiring whether I could choose the tasting menu on my own (the site said minimum of two persons). The answer was NO so that I had my eyes on the a la carte menu all the way. But to my surprise, the restaurant manager came over after my amuse bouche and offered a unique tasting menu which they could arrange for solo diner! That really crossed me up coz I had brunch with my family long ago and then some sweets at Grand Hyatt Erawan. As much as I wished to do this, I went together with the a la carte menu as I initially planned rather.
Seared scallops – The scallops were lightly seared and tossed at a salad of fresh mangosteen, Peromia, lemongrass, along with young coconut.
I have had a good deal of seared scallops in my life and almost all of them were accompanied by blank (pea, cauliflower), sweet (sweetcorn) or acidic (capers) flavors. It’s one of hardly any times I had it functioned with extra spiciness (There have to be some curry paste there though not mentioned on the menu). This wasn’t bad but at a hindsight, perhaps I should have gone with my server’s recommendation of watermelon, ground poultry with fried shallot and roasted galangal powder. It would’ve given me a much refresher start.
(Interestingly, the scallop dish has been taken off their a la carte menu when I completed the trip.)
12-hour braised Australian beef rib – A very popular dish here I was advised. This was beautifully prepared with long pepper, roasted berries in a distinctive mushroom soy sauce. Not bad.
Mango Sticky Rice – Dessert was a decontructed version of possibly the most iconic dessert in Thailand, mango sticky rice. This came with a couple of Ok rong mango sticky rice rolls that have been filled with silky mango mousse, and superbly paired with cherry compote, glutinous rice balls, gold threads and a spoonful of vanilla sorbet.
Out of those 3 dishes, I liked this the most. That would’ve been a very good option for a solo diner like me too bad I got crossed up and had too much to eat before my lunch .
Food Rating: 6/10
Address: 3/F, Gaysorn Village, 999 Ploenchit Rd., Lumpini, Bangkok, Thailand
Closest BTS Station: Chit Lom
Tel: +66 (0) 2656-1003
S. Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants: 28th (2019)