Degustation suites of savoury solos saves us from assembled solitude
Helping to diminish the looming spectre of rampant IT-worship, Pied Piper-ing us into a society of cybercentric, publically reclusive gadget-gazers, Tapas y Vino—Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit’s Spanish-hearted fine dining experience—brings the art of “conversation” back to the communal dining table, with a wide-ranging menu of fanciful finger-foodery.
The 40-seat venue sports a refined Latin-inspired vibe, with an open-plan show kitchen, and a private group alcove charmingly done in a wine cellar in-the-round motif. It must be something about the pixel-esqe array of bite-sized tapas delights beckoning from the table top that triggers deeply-engrained ‘good food + good friends’ instincts—tearing down the walls of airborne data flows dividing us, with a multitude of exceedingly edible talking points that scrumptiously kick the platter-chatter into high gear.
Spanish-born Executive Chef Pedro Carrillo further encourages nosh time banter with his world-class kitchen skills and a flair for thought-provoking presentation. Served as intimately entwined crustacean couplets in sensuous tableaux, the sautéed tiger prawns known as Gambas al ajillo (B380) arouse the palate with their garlic-chili bite, while the Bollo preñao (B160) evokes an intriguing symbolism—open to interpretation—as a traditional-style chorizo sausage boldly protrudes flagpole-like from a crusty bread-roll.
The Patatas bravas (B140) are utterly irresistible one-bite bullets of fried mashed potatoes, dolloped with a pleasantly piquant tomato-pepper sauce and creamy aioli, while Pimientos del piquillo rellenos (B300) offer a healthy mingling of tuna and beetroot aioli stuffed into roasted red peppers. Another choice, from the light side, is the Tuna tartare (B400), served with a traditional Málaga style Gazpacho sauce and chili.
Pan con tomate y boquerones (150B) features hand-grated tomato and white anchovies, served bruschetta-like on slices of bread, while the Cro sandwich (B160) of porkbelly, Manchego cheese, and piquant sauce, is a veritable Dali canvas of classic Spanish flavours. Finally, the Iberico ham croquettes (B160) are delectably creamy, made with the famed succulent and smoky cured porkleg of the Iberian Peninsula.
For spoilsports with little enthusiasm for the communal dining paradigm tapas allows, entrée selections such as Black rice with squid, shrimps, and aioli sauce (B450), and Pork tenderloin (B500) with Manchego cheese gratinée, apple compote, and caramelized onions, are both superb, if not relatively monolithic, alternatives.
Diners will have to wait 15 minutes for the house-signature dessert Churros con chocolate (B190). The Spanish-style donut sticks are whipped up à la minute to assure freshness of this, trust us, sweets addict’s dream-come-true. Here Chef Pedro reveals a streak of wry humor while granting his guests a welcome touch of DIY autonomy by serving his chocolate sauce in an industrial-sized culinary syringe. Our table indulged in the inevitable “choco-junkie” pics, which were uploaded straight away (ironically spurring a momentary segue back into the screen-tapping group stupor that is social media).
Tapas Y Vino
2F, Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit
30, Sukhumvit Soi 21
Tel: 02 204 4000
Open daily: 6pm-11:30pm