Monday, October 25, 2010

Powder Room

We met our friends for dinner at the newest lounge/ restaurant on Thonglor (we like trying new things when we meet). The place is so new that they have not yet had their 'soft opening'. So; we felt privileged to be one of first people in Bangkok to try out the food. We could also be the first people to complain; well not complain but more constructive criticism : )

We heard that the Powder Room was the brainchild from the people who own Summer Thai restaurant & Spring chocolate house. Summer/ Spring already has a very good reputation & huge following in Bangkok. With this kind of reputation; we thought for sure that the Powder Room would have the same creativity in terms of design/ decor and of course very imaginative & delicious food.

We learned that the Powder Room's name reflects the concept of the restaurant...its all about Curries! All types of curries and from all around the region. I could not wait since I am addicted to curry. Chef Phol who crafted the menu and created the Thai food at Spring & delightful desserts at Summer; again wanted to create something new & exciting for Bangkok.

Apparently; Chef Phol went to Japan for several months to study the art of making Japanese curries. With this learning; Chef Phol was inspired to update or re-create many other type of curries from Thailand and the region. The curries are all home-made with painstaking techniques & the freshest ingredients. No pre-made/ industrial curries will be found in the kitchen of the Powder Room.

First impressions are important; and WOW were we impressed when we arrived at the fourth floor of the Grass Building. When the doors of the elevator opened; we walked into a cool & chic urban roof lounge. The main colour of the entire place was black wood. With strategic lighting throughout; the entire effect was dramatic and moody. The outdoor roof lounge was stunning with the entire city view. The inside restaurant had a long open kitchen with counter sitting as well as large & long communal tables. We could tell that every aspect of the place was well thought out and executed beautifully.

The first starter was Pear Buta (210 baht). In Japanese style, braised steaky pork with soy sauce and poached pear topped with coriander crust & dry chili.

The next dish was Hot & Sour Hickory Wings (160 baht). Deep fried spicy chicken wings coated with the chef's special hickory BBQ sauce with a Thai twist of zesty Jaew remix.

The next dish was Tom yum Spaghetti (250 baht). Spaghetti with tom yum paste, red curry prawn tempura, fresh lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves & micro coriander.

The next dish was Coriander Pesto Spaghetti (200 baht). Coriander Pesto coated spaghetti topped with a crispy pesto bread, salted pumpkin seeds & micro coriander.

The next dish was 4C Fritter (160 baht). Deep fried; crab-corn-coriander-curry cakes with mildly spicy lychee jus.

The next dish was Tamarind Salmon (230 baht). Grilled salmon brushed with tamarind teriyaki sauce, fried shallots & deep-fried chili peppers.

The first curry was Crab curry & somen (310 baht). Classical southern Thai crab curry with somen noodle, Cha-Om (accacia pennata) leaves & betel leaves.

The next curry was Japanese veal cheek curry (300 baht). Twice-cooked veal cheek curry in Japanese style, Japanese brown rice & pickles.

The next curry was the Powder Room curry (260 baht). This is Powder Room's signature dish...original Japanese chicken curry with Japanese brown rice & pickles.

The next curry was Vegan Green Kari (250 baht). Powder Room's twist of Thai green curry, miso with cauliflowers with steamed Japanese brown rice.

For dessert; Popcorn ice-cream.

Overall; I truly think this concept is very unique and will actually work in Bangkok. Here are people who are not copying but advancing the cause of curries. The food overall was well thought out, crafted well, presented well and tasted so so yummy. Each dish we ate (we had a lot & shared each one) had its own characteristic and taste.

The only dish that I would have 'constructive criticism' was the Japanese veal cheek curry. The veal cheek was very tender but the curry was too thick (not smooth & creamy) & sweet.

The price/ quality ratio is not bad at all; since all the curries are home-made and the portions are generous. This is Thonglor after; so the prices are very reasonable and comparative to restaurants in the area.

There is parking in the back of the Grass building, which is a huge plus since Thonglor is a nightmare with parking anytime of the week; its just awful!

We were told that the owners of the Powder Room are taking their time to 'truly open' because they want to do test runs; such as with the service, make sure the ventilation for the open kitchen actually works, the food is prepared and served the way it is meant to be, etc. Which I think is a great idea. So, the Powder Room is open now and people can come anytime. But apparently the Powder Room is staying low & quiet for the moment from the media & press until they are 100% sure they are ready.

Grass Thonglor (between Thonglor 10 - Thonglor 12)
Bangkok, 10110
Tel.: 084-467-3555
(website will be up & running shortly)

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