Venice Vanich has plenty going for it, topmost of which is its excellent location—food, unfortunately, just doesn’t make the list. A few steps from the Grand Palace, right next door to Maharaj Pier, it certainly offers some great views up and down the Chao Praya. It boasts a large and breezy terrace on the second floor and an equally roomy air con space downstairs with its cute and clean patterned tile floor and smart leather seating. The army of waiters is efficient, friendly and pretty knowledgeable—impressive for a place this size. Indeed the pleasant surprises even continue to the menu. Surely a place that has the view and is this nice must be pricy? First glance says not really. Not super cheap no, but B210 for a pitcher of Heineken is not outrageous and the long, long menu never goes over the top with the prices of the individual Thai dishes. Of course very few things in this world are so perfect and the cracks soon start to appear. What is a perfectly convivial atmosphere is tarnished by the over loud soundtrack of bad pop (they also have a live band Fri-Sat) and a huge screen turned to the Fashion Channel last time we were there. And then there is the biggest stumbling block of all, the food. We have no problem with the quality of the ingredients used—the fish is fresh, the crab sizeable—the problem is really with the balance of flavors. The larb ped grob (deep fried duck with mint, B120) is just not crispy enough and a little too bland. The yam pak mung grob (deep fried morning glory, B120) is so sweet it’s almost inedible (it might explain why they put the vegetables on top of the saccharine sauce). The lhon poo (crab in coconut milk), which should be salty then sweet, is just downright syrupy; and the gaeng som cha om kai with (pretty tiny) prawns is passable but not sour enough. We could continue but you get the idea. It’s such a shame. With an improvement in the kitchen (and playlist), this really would be a gem of a place. As it is, come for a drink and enjoy the view—just eat at the S&P next door first.