The buzz: Jim Thompson goes all moody and modern at this chic cafe spinoff (named after the scientific genus for silkmoths), where Thai flavors get given delicate contemporary plating amid a black box of printed silks and plush furnishings. Without windows or a facade, Bombyx simply looks out on the tail-end of Siam Paragon's M/F.
The decor: Tucked just beside the Jim Thompson shop, the compact unit is swathed in black then peppered with the artwork of national artist Ithipol Thangchalok in the forms of printed silks hanging on the ceiling and walls. Ocean blues blend with rich browns and golds on geometric, velvet upholstered furnishings and shining lacquered surfaces. Too bad it's not the most inspiring location.
The food: Forget tourist staples familiar at other Jim Thompson restaurants. Chef Phongsak Mikhunthong adds occasional twists to Thai food and plays with presentation and contemporary plating. He pairs grilled seabass with passion fruit sauce and pak wan (a local herb) salad (B350) while serving Western shrimp cocktail his style with lemongrass salad (B260), creating combinations that are not unfamiliar but still have the power to surprise. In the crab curry (B380), he adds seepweed leaves that perfectly compliment the texture and produce one of the restaurant’s star dishes. The dessert menu, though, sticks to Western items, such as lemon cream tart (B250), carrot cake (B185) and sac en chocolat (vanilla mousse in a chocolate box served with berries, B320).
The drinks: Signature cocktails play with the silk theme and Thai ingredients. The purple-colored Bombyx elixir (B280) mixes mulberry shrub with vodka and lavender while Bangkok Bloody Mary (B280) sees chili-infused vodka and nam jim jaew sauce on top of usual mix. Wine starts from B190 by the glass.
Why you should care: There’s some bold new flavors here, though they are perhaps outdone by the truly striking look of the place. Now if only it had a view. Natcha Sanguankiattichai