mylifestylenews

2018-07-06

PASTE Bangkok - Artisanal Thai Cuisine Awakening

Thai people love to swap stories about food, especially when they have adapted the most traditional way of cooking from their family’s very own secret recipes that have been passed down over the generations that makes them even prouder to share and talk about it. mylifestylenews writes.


Presenting an extraordinary variety of calibrated produce to move your taste buds beyond your expected boundaries, PASTE is the chosen restaurant for innovative Thai restaurants that walked away with an entry in the 2018 Michelin Guide.


Chef Bee Satongun known as Chef Bee, who is also the Founder and Owner of this eponymous restaurant, focuses on elevated and refined Thai flavours, with a particular emphasis on the re-examining of common Thai dishes. This involves resurrecting old flavours through discovering ingredients and techniques long forgotten and then travelling to meet growers and suppliers across many provinces in Thailand where nearly forgotten ingredients are still cultivated and foraged and traditional techniques still produce incredible subterranean salts.


While this restaurant is all about the fabulous food, Chef Bee has also looked at how the dining experience can be elevated with the right ambience as she has carefully selected her high quality ingredients and is truthful to the art of Thai Cuisine and keeps its authenticity with preparation techniques by injecting art and creativity into the form of her dishes and flavor, which stays true to the heirloom recipes.


The interior décor is quasi Scandinavian minimalist chic with a muted colour palette, light woods and semi-private dining booths that really create a feeling of expectation. The arrival experience is equally delightful and you have a sense you really are in for a special evening.


Chef Bee and her team are renown for conducting historical research for menus with intensity, sometimes looking at 10 books before zeroing in on just 3 for the final choice. Such research does not mean the food is clinical or without passion, as was evident in the welcome drink, which was a combination of Bael fruit, Elderflower and soda water, which enlivened the palate with distinctive flavours and had us curious to know what was to follow.


This was followed with an Amuse Bouche of smoked mackerel wrapped in a betel leaf and topped with a strip of smoked duck and a small dollop of chili paste, creating an intensity of flavours and sublime taste.


Roast duck, nutmeg & sawtooth coriander served on rice crackers is inspired from a recipe by Snidwongse Cookbook, 1968 AD, Chef Bee has reinvented this dish provided refined flavours that danced on the palate, plus you can eat with your fingers, so nothing is too precious to be inspired to eat how it should be eaten. A beautifully balanced dish.


Grilled river prawns wrapped in mulberry leaf, northern pepper-berry and topped with seasonal ants egg to follow. This dish is about hidden delights and inspired by HRH Princess Dara Rasmi, the prawn flesh had been wrapped in the leaf with morel mushrooms and deep fried ant egg was sprinkled on the top along with the use of radish from the north. The presentation was stunning, with the prawn head covered in gold leaf, but the truth is in the flavours and the prawn flesh was juicy and tender, with the mulberry leaf given a slight bitterness in contrast with the sweet prawn flesh and the ant eggs giving a crunchy texture, all of which was a revelation in taste.


Thai salads are an everyday staple, but this next dish had a twist: Nutmeg smoked guinea fowl, tossed in a salad of fermented wing bean, grilled young corn and freshly made chili paste, with a small portion of fried squid and coconut. This dish was a winner, with complex, yet harmonious, flavours, plus textures that encompass richness, clean salad flavours and beyond. The Guinea Fowl was a touch of genius to give richness to so many of the other ingredients and we finished this salad too quickly, as it was so more-ish.


A soup had to be ordered, so we chose an Old style hot and sour soup of crispy pork leg, char-grilled shallots, jackfruit seeds, roasted tomatoes in a smoky chicken broth. This was delicious on all counts, with the richly flavoured pork meat counter-balancing the sweet and sour soup. There is more to this dish than meets the eye and an absolute standout for the evening.


We spent the rest of the evening focusing on meat dishes, starting with a Free-range roast duck (half), rubbed with northern Thai mah kwan pepper, with fresh som-jid and star anise sauce. The focus of this dish is the crispy skin duck which was cooked to perfection and then it is elevated with spices to create tantalizing flavours, plus the delicious soup that at first tastes sweet, but is given complexity with the orange and star anise. Not a skerrick of food was left in the bowl, as it was such a delicious dish.


Northern cuisine is very different from other parts of the country and one of our favourites is the Khao Soi noodle. When a recipe falls on Chef Bee’s hand, nothing is too straight forward and something need to be elevated. The Northern Thai kha soi noodles with steamed chicken, jeow bong paste, black ginger and rich chicken stock are the combination. We have to say that her take on this famous dish was not what we were expecting. It was tasty in its own way, with the chicken having a very good fresh taste, but was missing the crunch of the dry noodles and the rich curry taste but we were warned that there wasn’t any crispy noodle to top the dish.


Lastly, we ordered the Australian beef rib braised 12 hours with long pepper, roasted tomatoes and mushroom soy. While the beef was very flavoursome, the meat did not reflect being braised for 12 hours and had a toughness to it and was way too chewy. There is quite a lot of shredded ginger that adds a spicy piquancy but the dish was not that successful based on the menu description.


While not every dish hit the mark, dining on Thai food is a very personal thing, so what didn’t meet our expectations might have been a hit with other diners. Overall, the food was stunning, and the presentation was equally captivating.


Chef Bee has her own lexicon of flavours and understanding of regional ingredients that elevates the food to higher realms of taste and satisfaction and she is well ahead of the game on redefining the delights of traditional Thai food, by infusing her dishes with surprises in both taste and presentation. PASTE is all about taste, motivated to unearth the hidden culinary combinations, the food speaks for itself and you would be missing a great talent if you do not make time to sample her menu when next visiting Bangkok.


Tried & Tested:
Location: 5/5
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Experience: 5/5

3rd Floor, Gaysorn Mall
999 Phleonchit Road, Lumphini,
Pathumwan, Bangkok
Thailand
Tel: +66 2 656 1003

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