White Cafe, G/F, Noble Solo, Ekamai Soi 21, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Hours:daily 11am-midnight
Price Range:BB - BBB
Clearly a lot of thought went into White Café, the new face of a popular catering business formerly housed in a cute little spot hidden away in Mob.F in Siam Discovery. While this new venue is a long way down Thong Lor it certainly doesn’t hide away. Soaring ceiling to floor glass walls usher you into a very beautiful space filled with lovely design details like the towering book cases, an industrial staircase made of girders and a white brick floor. However the standout feature has to be the glass box of a kitchen which dominates one side of the room and allows you to watch the army of chefs (seriously we counted nine cooks last time) slaving away over hot stoves and chopping boards. One look at the crowded restaurant and the menu explains why, as there’s a long choice of pretty traditional Thai dishes alongside European offerings like pastas and salads. To be honest the menu is little bit too busy, but at least the trendy staff seems well versed in its complexities. The legion of cooks also seems to handle both reasonably well. The thin sticks of fried asparagus and Parma ham (B220) come wrapped in a pleasantly light and non-greasy pastry, while the spicy pork sausage from Lamphun (B220) comes with a good selection of raw vegetables and a suitably piquant green chilli dip. We also love that the pasta dishes, like the crab tomato cream sauce with rigatoni caviar (B320), are served in the steel pan they’re cooked in. It’s a nice touch for a decent dish, but one that is overly rich and left us feeling a little queasy last time out. The deep fried jumbo sundried gourami (pla salid thod, B220) is also disappointing, being way too dry and bony for a ‘fat fish.’ The larb ped (B280) has no such issues, with its fatty pink duck and a handmade sauce of roughly chopped onion, herbs and spicy lime dressing that’s both refreshing and nicely fiery. It’s mostly good solid food using good ingredients, yet for some reason it doesn’t totally convince. Maybe it’s the slightly higher prices or maybe it’s just the stark design—it’s all very nice to look at but ends up feeling a little too industrial to completely win us over.