Opened mid-2015, Shanghai-born Revolucion cocktail bar
brings a taste of Suk 11-style nightlife to Sathorn Soi 10. Even those not completely enamoured with the bar’s showy barmen, club-friendly sounds and unbuttoned dress-shirt crowd will still find plenty to like at this upstairs restaurant.
Clandestino Cantina features similar Cuban-chic decoration with murals brightening up the industrial space. Yet the feeling is more easygoing and casual. In serving Latin cuisine, Mexican chef Gabriela Espinosa takes cues from Italy, France and Spain. The small plates, in particular, go for fun interpretations—with lots of success.
Take the deconstructed Spanish tortilla (fried egg with potatoes, B190), which comes in the form of potato mousse, served in a little jar with sweet onion confit. The salty, silky result tastes something like French onion soup, elevated by a deep-fried egg yolk that’s crispy on the outside but still runny inside. The scallop salmorejo (B390) also reveals a deftness of touch, seeing pan-fried scallops wrapped in Iberico ham and served in a cold tomato puree that’s like a creamy gazpacho. Light yet multi-dimensional, the dish is more than the sum of its parts.
Ultimately, these appetizers set the bar just too high, with mains treading a more familiar path. A perilla (South American-style charcoal grill) is used to cook churrasco en chimichurri (beef striploin with chimichurri sauce, B590). The beef is everything you want at this price point—juicy and well-charred—but the chimichurri lacks that pungent punch. Another safe enough option, the seafood paella (B410) comes piled with clams, calamari and prawns, but the stodgy, risotto-like rice makes it hard to finish. We do love the sprinkling of fiery chorizo, though.
The drinks menu is the same as the bar downstairs, meaning plenty of Latin-origin wines and classic cocktails with creative tweaks. There’s plenty to get excited about, though we’re on the fence about the aged negroni (B330), which is closer to sangria, served in a stemmed glass with fresh fruits and soda. Visiting on a Friday night we were lucky to find a table. Indeed, Clandestino Cantina ticks the boxes for a solid pre-party spot. With careful ordering, the food impresses, too.
This review took place in October 2016 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.