Nostro is the brainchild of celebrity chef Naan Hongsewiwat of Sangdad Publishing, making it one of the few restaurants in Siam Square One that’s driven by a chef and not a chain. But instead of standing out next to its boring neighbors, this gray-colored space falls into all the usual mall restaurant cliches by serving mediocre fusion food from a vast menu designed to please the area’s student clientele.
Despite the tagline “Italian Rebel Bistro,” there’s not much that’s either Italian or rebellious about Nostro’s list of European-inspired dishes adapted for the Thai palate. For example, the pla goong fusion (spicy grilled prawn salad with rocket , shallots, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and ebiko roe in a Thai pla-style salad, B180) features a prawn that has clearly been boiled not grilled, though the sauce is tangy and the vegetables fresh.
Also avoid the over-salty yanagi mushrooms and shrimp roe spaghetti (B190) in favor of the much-safer spicy bacon spaghetti (B190), which is well seasoned and has a strong aromatic flavor from plenty of fresh basil.
Nor does the chef’s classical French Le Cordon Bleu training really shine through in the duck confit in orange sauce (B350). The skin isn’t particularly crispy, and while the meat inside is tender, flavorsome and falls from the bone, the pale, syrupy sauce spoils everything.
The chicken liver pate (B135) is equally uninspiring: both the buttered baguette and the pate taste massproduced. It’s not the only processed food on Nostro’s menu. The deep-fried crab sticks and prawn meat patties with “special” sauce (B180) are an amalgamation of reconstituted proteins in a tomato-based sauce.
Desserts like raspberry panna cotta (B110) and chocolate fondant (B180) are the sort of compulsory menu items that can be found at half the cafes in town, so instead we opted for the popcorn-and-candied-almond-topped salted caramel ice cream (B140)—very saccharine. If you like this kind of fusion stuff, just stick to Greyhound.
Corkage charge B300
This review took place in May 2015 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.