Neighbourhood gem offers “authentically different” Thai flavours
Restaurants come and go in Bangkok, and particularly in the Thong Lor area. So when you find a place, tucked down a quiet soi in said Thong Lor area that has been serving guests for over two decades, you know that it has to be something truly special.
“Patara” is a name given to a Thai girl, meaning a “gracious lady” who looks after family and friends with great attention. It is also the name of the restaurant’s original founder, Khun Patara Sila–On who has been recognized as one of Thailand’s leading restauranteurs and pioneers for over four decades. Instrumental in sharing the tastes of Thailand, the first Patara branch opening its doors in London in 1990, with the Bangkok branch opening a few years later. Today, there are also branches in Beijing, Singapore, Geneva, and Vienna—all proudly presenting Thai dining at its best.
In December of 2017, the Bangkok outlet was awarded a Michelin Plate in this city’s inaugural edition of the famous little red book. Located in a two-storey converted heritage house, Patara offers seating in the large dining room, elegant garden, or private dining rooms on the second floor. The décor is sophisticated and contemporary but quintessentially Thai with dark woods, luxurious silks, and Thai ornaments used throughout the restaurant.
The menu features well-crafted and “authentically different” dishes based on the cuisines of all four provinces of Thailand. Think traditional, but with a twist.
For starters, the Mini Thai Tacos (B220) with prawns, chicken, tofu and bean sprouts, are served in bite-sized portions and offer mouthfuls of what tastes like a traditional Phad Thai, with fried phllyo pastry forming the shell. Piquant Pomelo Salad with Norwegian Smoked Salmon (B295) followed next, and provided a lovely sweet note after the savoury tacos. Hints of creamy coconut shone through against the bitter shallots and sweet pomelo.
No Thai meal would be complete without a curry, and the Tumeric Crab Meat and Betel Leaves Yellow Curry (B485), and Sweet Honey Roasted Duck Red Curry with Lychees and Pineapples (B455)—served with traditional khanom jeen (rice noodles)—both filled us nicely.
Lastly, Khao Chae (B480) was served to “cool us down” on this particularly hot summer night. A favourite of King Rama II, Khao Chae is traditionally served in the summer months in Thailand. Translating to “rice soaked in cool water”, the jasmine rice, which forms the backbone of the dish, is served with ice and fragrant jasmine water. In this version of Khao Chae the iced rice is served with a large chilli—stuffed with chicken and crab meat and coated in egg and fried to form crisp egg nets—sweet pork, sweet pickled Chinese turnips, and fragrant fried shrimp paste balls. A pandan leaf herbal tea, and watermelon with a sprinkling of sugared dried fish flakes, both accompany the dish, leaving diners refreshed and cooled down from the inside-out. This special dish will be served throughout the month of April (usually the hottest month of the year).
By Kelly Harvey
375, Thong Lor Soi 19
Tel: 02 185 2960-1
Open daily: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-11pm