Café de Pinha
Café de Pinha’s concept, as outlined on its menu, is that it’s inspired by Maria Guyomar de Pinha, a Portuguese woman who cooked at the royal court during the Ayutthaya period. They needn’t have bothered with the historical references, though. The menu at this cutesy restaurant owes a lot more to Greyhound and the legions of cafes that followed in the fashionable bistro’s wake than it does to European traders in the 17th century. Expect all the usual suspects—spicy Italian sausage pasta, tacos, pad Thai—and the usual pedestrian execution. The penne in pesto sauce (B265) is some of the mushiest we’ve had, taking overcooked to new heights (as were the two rubbery scallops that accompanied it). The baked shrimp bisque (B220) is actually pretty good, not particularly rich or powerful but with a pleasant flavor. Too bad it’s covered in a stale pie crust. Actually, you can see all their meat pies and puffs sitting in the glass showcase out front—and that stale taste makes us wonder how long they keep them in there before chucking them out. The trout (B250), smoked in-house, is served with a simple salad and dotted with capers. But the fish’s flesh has an acrid taste and floury texture, and not much smokiness at all, raising questions as to what the homemade smoking actually entails. Even the desserts can be downright odd, such as the cherry crumble (B130), with a slither of cherries in syrup under three good inches of dough. The Thai food is pretty uneventful, in comparison—the oddly safe bet amid so much fusion. Unfortunately, service does little to save the day, with drinks never arriving on our last visit and literally half the items on the menu (from duck breast salad to beef lasagna) unavailable—not that the server suggested any alternatives to help us out. The place has charm, in that cutesy “French country” style that seems near obligatory for dessert cafes. (They even sell the decorative items that line their shelves.) And tucked as it is in a quiet corner of Paragon, the vibe is more standalone than mall canteen. Top that off with affordable prices, and Café de Pinha is actually a half-decent mall offering, it’s just we wouldn’t go out of our way to eat there. No corkage charge.
|Address:||Café de Pinha, 4/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 9am-9pm|
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