I still remember my first dining experience at Paste, Bangkok. My friends and I heard about the innovating cooking at Paste and decided to venture to this mysterious restaurant located at the inconspicuous Sukhumvit Soi 49. It took my friends and I some time to find this place. Nearly 11 months later, on my recent trip back to Bangkok, I was glad that Paste has opened a new branch at the more accessible and upscale mall, Gaysorn.
Unlike the spartan feel of its first store at Sukhumvit Soi 49, the Gaysorn branch is more refined and has a better ambience. The food? It has improved as well. Although the prices are reasonable, I strongly recommend the set lunch menu (THB 750++) as it offers better value for money.
Paste, at Gaysorn Bangkok
To kick start the entire dining experience, my partner and I were offered a complimentary rose apple appetiser. It was nothing fancy but it floored me completely. The rose apple was served with a cashew nut and spicy shrimps mixture. The crunchy sweet rose apple balanced perfectly with the savoury paste. I love how the different textures and flavours come together.
rose apple was served with a cashew nut and spicy shrimps paste
There are three entrees and three mains in the set lunch menu, The three entrees consist of a roasted duck served on rice crackers, betel leaves topped with smoked mackerel, and Chiang Mai green chilli relish served with grilled fish and quail egg. Given a choice, I would not choose to have duck. Frankly, duck meat has never been my favourite. But this roasted duck cooked with nutmeg and curry paste is simply heavenly. The duck meat was well prepared and finely chopped. However, for those who cannot handle spicy food, this roasted duck served with rice crackers might not go down too well with them.
roasted duck cooked with nutmeg and curry paste and served with rice crackers
The betel leaves topped with smoked mackerel, green mango and chilli relish is an interesting interpretation of the Thai traditional street snack, Mieng Kham. I like the use of smoked mackerel to give this snack a little more bite and flavour. The use of roasted coconut slices also add another layer of texture and gives it more taste. The Chiang Mai green chilli relish with grilled fish , 630C quail eggs and crispy pork is equally memorable.
betel leaves topped with smoked mackerel, green mango and chilli relish
Chiang Mai green chilli relish with grilled fish , 630C quail eggs and crispy pork
Even though the entrees were good, the show stoppers were the mains! Because of my dietary restrictions, we had to change the crispy flash-fried soft shell crab with the Northern Thai slow-cooked Australian beef cheek cooked with fresh ‘Hang-Lay’ curry paste, pickled garlic, ginger, lemongrass and dry spices. The different flavours from the spices exploded in my mouth and the super tender beef cheek was outrageously good.
Northern Thai slow-cooked Australian beef cheek cooked with fresh ‘Hang-Lay’ curry paste, pickled garlic, ginger, lemongrass and dry spices
I adore the Master stock poached organic pork served with avocado, red grapefruit, toasted sticky rice and local Thai flowers. First, it was simply too beautiful to be eaten. Next, the sweet aroma from the poached organic pork was so seductive that I had to control myself and learn to appreciate the presentation first. But after the first bite, it was near impossible for me not wanting a second bite of the mouthwatering pork.
Master stock poached organic pork served with avocado, red grapefruit, toasted sticky rice and local Thai flowers
The third main is the Green Curry of wild mushroom, heart of palm and white turmeric. This main, however, pales in comparison with the other excellent meat dishes. Maybe it’s because the two meat mains were so good that this green curry failed to shine. And also, it was a tad salty for my liking.
Green Curry of wild mushroom, heart of palm and white turmeric
The set menu comes with unlimited serving of the aromatic Thai jasmine rice. And when you complete the entire set lunch, you should be very full. But for the greedy me, a meal is never complete without a dessert. I had to order the dessert separately as it was not included in the set menu. Unfortunately, the dessert was nothing to shout about. The Pandan Panna Cotta had this overwhelming taste of the pandan leaves. At some points, the panna cotta tasted rather leafy. I wished the dessert chef went easier with the pandan leaf juice as a touch of this aromatic leaf essence would be sufficient.
Pandan Panna Cotta
Despite the disappointing dessert, I would still strongly recommend Paste for its artisanal Thai cuisine. With a more accessible location, there is no reason why you should give this gem a miss.
Paste, Artisanal Thai Cuisine
3rd FL Gaysorn Shopping Centre
999 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini,
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel. +66 (2) 656 1003