Old-timer gets natty new location
On entering the new branch of Taling Pling, an old-timer whose main Pan Road branch we were a big fan of until it was demolished, we had to pinch ourselves to test that we hadn’t walked into the Mad Hatter’s De tea party.
A black and white checkered floor covers its floor, providing a stark contrast to the fuchsia-pink, faux-rattan chairs. Seating options vary from a private, secluded area at the back of the restaurant to the well-lit dining area with a view of the garden – lending you a landscape for your eyes to feast on.
The menu varies from curries to neighborhood nosh such as beef noodles. We started off with a gaeng kiew waan moo (green pork curry) that has been stewed to a succulent, buttery texture that melts in your mouth. It has a fiery flavour that’s sure to set your palette a jittering; but no worries, as the accompanying side dish of crispy fried rotis is enough to extinguish the heat.
For the fried options, we opted for another signature dish of theirs: ma karm gai yarng (fried chicken with tammarind) with strips of moist chicken thigh lathered with sweep of tamarind sauce, and topped off with crushed peanuts and fried thin onion slices to give extra crunch and texture.
Another spectacular dish was the yum plaa salid taling pling, a fried fish salad that was at once simple yet sophisticated, showcasing Thai cuisine’s five essential flavors and featuring the restaurant’s namesake sour fruit, Taling Pling, under a handful of crispy basil leaves, giving it an aromatic twist.
Drinks-wise, we say opt for their refreshing fragrant signature mocktail, Lime Fresh – a blend of mint, brown sugar, honey and olieng tea.
Taling Pling also boasts a great selection of classic Thai desserts, most of them turned into something finer. We went for the lod chong (green jelly noodles), which came with a handful of rice crackers, resembling a breakfast cereal atop a clump of shaved ice that’s shielding away the main goodies of the dish – a fabulously sweet jelly of green-goodness and brown-honeyed water that’s filled with cubes of sweetened taro.
Delicious, no-frills Thai food at sane prices was what we went to the original branch for and, apart from a more stylish and spacious setting perfect for large gatherings and families, nothing much has changed at this new one.
25 Sukhumvit Soi 34 | 11am-10pm | 02-258-5308-9
by Tammy Dejsupa