I think everyone in Bangkok knows Taling Pling...majority of us has eaten at their first restaurant on soi Silom. Over the years; Taling Pling has branched out to (I think) around 6 more restaurants around town. Everyone agrees that Taling Pling has had over the years consistently cooked good food, use good quality products, is reasonably priced and yummy for the tummy Thai food.
A new branch has just opened on Sukhumvit soi 34. The restaurant is situated in the childhood house of the owners of Taling Pling and their kids have turned the enormous house into an amazing looking restaurant. There is also a huge garden with outdoor sitting.
The design is eclectic...a mix between 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'old world colonial charm' all rolled in one...can you imagine it? The use of colourful furniture mixed with black & white floors, floor to ceiling glass everywhere and tons of space and volume makes the atmosphere quite unique.
The first starter was Miang with Ground Chicken (120 baht).
The next starter was Noodle Roll (120 baht).
The next starter was Pork dumplings (85 baht).
The next starter was Grilled Pork (145 baht).
The next starter was Deep Fried Spring Rolls (145 baht).
The last starter was Crab and Pork Dip (145 baht). Boy, do I love nahm phrik with vegetables. My friend who is not a Thai and a vegetarian (but can eat seafood) asked (in her Thaiglish) if we could order this dish with only crab. The waitress said yes (which I heard). When the dish arrived; it looked really yummy.
But when we dove into the dish; there was minced pork in the nahm phrik. We told the waitress who took the order that the kitchen made a mistake. We can accept that there was a mistake made so we just asked if they can take this dish back and make the one we ordered.
A few minutes later; the waitress came back with a more senior wait person and immediately they both approached and talked to our Thai friend and told her that she should have made the order in Thai and that is why there is a mistake. That we should accept this dish because it was 'our fault'.
You can imagine the faces of all the people at our table. We were first quiet and took the dish because we were so stunned that they actually came back to us and accused us that it was our fault. But afterwards, we started discussing amongst ourselves the unbelievable situation.
The young waitress made the mistake; she did not want to pay for the mistake she made (it might be monetary) so she and her superiour came up with that kind of lie & absurdity to save her ass. Just shocking.
Oh by the way; the dip was actually very good for us non-vegetarian people. The dip was thick and rich. It was so flavourful with coconut cream and other spices. The crab and minced pork was plentiful and fresh. It went so well with the dipping vegetables.
The first main dish was Water Vegetables (145 baht).
The next main dish was Crab Curry (185 baht).
The next main dish was Pad Thai (185 baht).
The next main dish was Kailan (145 baht).
The next main dish was Mushroom Curry (145 baht).
The next main dish was Vegetable Green Curry (145 baht).
The final main dish was Wing Bean Salad (145 baht).
Overall: the food is still the star at Taling Pling. Even with its new modern setting; I am so glad they have kept the food tasting like we have been used to and love (though some dishes can be on the sweet side). The food is well cooked, well presented, good quality ingredients and tasted very yummy. However; some dishes seemed to be too sweet. The prices are still so reasonable for the quality you receive.
The service started out very good; they were attentive in the beginning. But it went down hill from there. As mentioned earlier; they lied to us, then had the audacity to blame our Thai friend for their mistake. Which was incredible and unbeliveable already.
But; 'putting salt on our wounds'; what else could they have done to make us feel upset or unwelcome?
Well, how about...we were the last customers around 22:00. All of a sudden; the staff started turning off the lights and air-conditioning in the other parts of the restaurant. The only lights left were the ones in our area; of course we were under the 'spot light'. They were giving us very strong signals to leave. This was such bad manners and badly trained staff. This left a very bad taste in every person at our table. This was a shame because the night started well at Taling Pling.
In the end; will I return to Taling Pling? Yes (I like to be tortured...just kidding); simply because, I think the food at Taling Pling is not bad for an easy going Thai meal. It is close to my home, tons of parking and we never need a reservation. But if we are ever treated as poorly as we were treated like that particular evening, I do not think I will be as nice and silent as I was then.
Address: 24 Sukhumvit soi 34, Bangkok