The smell of Indian food is a remarkable appetiser in its own right – those mouthwatering aromas of spices and rich sauces, all with that extra tandoori goodness. Thankfully, Bawarchi – which has a handful of outlets around Bangkok to go with the main restaurant in Chidlom – also do a cracking mango lassi to keep us going.
Granted, it’s probably not very adventurous when it comes to Indian food but we struggle to forgo the samosas and Bawarchi’s crusty little parcels of goodness (B185) break open and spill their steaming innards on to the plate. Samosas, of course, might not seem like the most exciting dish on their own but Bawarchi’s selection of chutneys allows diners to sweeten or lighten the flavours as they like.
Bawarchi certainly doesn’t skimp on variety of choice – indeed, there’s a whole section of the menu devoted to different kinds of barbecue chicken. The murgh malai kebab (350) has a milder flavour, marinated in Indian herbs and cheese, while the Afghani chicken (B580), flavoured with cashew nuts and creams, is richer and more distinctive.
For diners conditioned to think of Indian food as being little more than papadums and chicken tikka, the seafood section at Bawarchi might raise some eyebrows. Without straying too far from the tried and tested formulas of northern Indian cuisine, the tandoori king prawns (B650), smoked over charcoal, offer a chance to broaden the horizons.
No one’s knocking the chicken tikka, though, even if, as connoisseurs will know, it’s not strictly Indian food. Rather, it is more likely a Mughal creation, its spices specially toned down for the British palate during the days of Empire. Still, Bawarchi’s version (B400), with a slightly fiery, gloriously gooey sauce, offers a simple explanation of how it conquered the world.
The rogan josh (B400) is equally a staple of Indian restaurants the world over and Bawarchi’s dish serves up a pleasingly power-packed mouthful of chilli along with the gentler lamb flavours. Mopped up with a a few handfuls of garlic naan, Bawarchi’s food is head-clearing comfort food of the highest order, the kind that reminds us why Indian food is always a pretty good option. Particularly when washed down with a second – or third – mango lassi.
Level B Intercontinental Chitlom, 973 Ploenchit Rd
02 656 0383 | bawarchiindian.com | 11am-midnight