Taking over their parents’ laundry service, the next generation redecorated their 40-year-old concrete house, furnished it with distressed wooden park benches, tables in the backyard, bean bags and papasan chairs—and started serving Thai food. As with all things retro, it was instantly popular. However, those glory days are now fading fast, the kitchen has stopped trying, and Launderette is in dire need of cleaning up its act. Service has gone downhill, too. On our last visit, the staff seemed perpetually confused, standing rigid while we unsuccessfully attempted to communicate with them. The food is mostly Thai favorites, some of which used to be very well executed. Today, the recommended gang som kai jiew (sour curry with Thai style omelet, B115) has a strangely acidic taste while the kai jiew is very bland and does not complement the curry at all. The tod mun kor gai tod (deep-fried chicken knuckles and fishcake, B95) are just as worrying—way too greasy, oddly-shaped, and tasting but of chili (where’s the fish?). The waiters’ favorite hard-sell, the “Super Jeed Salmon” (raw salmon topped with seafood sauce, B185), tastes a bit off, with dubious lime juice that tastes far from natural and makes your teeth sing. But wait, it gets worse. The stir-fried cabbage with Maggi sauce (B125) was burned last time we ordered it, a miserable pad pak if we’ve ever seen one (and an expensive one, too). Why has Launderette Garden strayed so far? Who knows, but in a neighborhood with so many other options, there’s little motivation to insist on finding out.
|Launderette Garden, 23/6 Sukhumvit Soi 36, Bangkok, Thailand
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