Polka Dot Cafe, 2/F, Aree Garden, 62 Rama 6 Soi 31, Bangkok, Thailand
Nearest Train:BTS Ari
Opening Hours:daily 3pm-midnight
Price Range:BB - BBB
Open Since:July, 2010
Reservation recommended, Parking available
Polka Dot Café is a box of glass framed in black, suspended over the entrance to a grassy courtyard housing cute boutiques. The interior sees a small bar made of backlit polka-dotted glass and just eight tables, half of which seat only two (reservations are strongly recommended). But despite this inviting design—and the handsome crowd of young professionals dining here—Polka Dot is let down by its service and food. For one, most dishes are drenched in bizarre sauces, often erring on the side of sweetness. You can hardly taste the fresh, tender Hokkaido scallops under that thick blanket of powerful mustard sauce. They’re served with crisp spinach leaves, which can also be had with pan grilled spicy sesame shrimp. Like most of the seafood here, the shrimp come cooked just right, not that you’ll taste them through the vinegar soup that’s poured all over them. It’s a pity to see fresh products and generous portions go to waste just because of dressing. While these failed opportunities describe Polka Dot’s Café middle-ground pretty accurately, you do also get pleasant surprises (the comforting, tender, creamy-but-not-oily chicken pot pie, B280) and some fairly shocking disasters (fibrous, fishy seared tuna steak in another saccharine sauce, B290). At this point, you won’t be surprised to hear that the “pan roasted” duck breast offers up a hearty portion of tasty duck and stellar mash potatoes but comes served with an orange sauce better suited to a dessert. With half the mains dedicated to pasta dishes, we’re even less forgiving of the floury black ink fettuccine with mixed seafood (plenty of seafood, disappointing sauce, B320). But before you write Polka Dot off completely, sweet is good for something: desserts and breakfast. This small café is a very cool spot after all, and the full-page breakfast menu, with its crepes and pancakes, is very tempting. We’ve also been lucky with their desserts, like the Earl Grey crème brulee or vanilla bean panna cotta with berries rum sauce (B180)—yummy! Do what your mom told you never to do: skip your greens and head straight for the sweets. Corkage B300.