It’s not so often that a Mexican restaurant opens in Bangkok, so it was a bit surprising when Piñata popped up around the turn of the year, run by the same team behind a Japanese restaurant, the much-hyped High Hat Sushi Bar.
The buzz: It’s not so often that a Mexican restaurant opens in Bangkok, so it’s perhaps surprising that this one comes from the same team behind a Japanese restaurant, the much-hyped High Hat Sushi Bar. Joining the same block as new hot dog spot, Bangers, Piñata is already packed with expats who come to chow down on Mexican favorites in the middle of Thonglor.
The décor: The owners transformed a two-story shophouse set amid the massage parlors into a restaurant that shouts “Hola!” with its vibrant orange and green colors. In keeping with its name and the cheerful mood, the place is decorated with a few cute piñatas (papier-mache dolls). Head to the second floor if you want a bit more privacy.
The food: Chef Frank Sitipredanant, who studied culinary arts at Kendall College in Chicago and worked in a few restaurants there, cooks up Mexican classics that are adjusted slightly to suit the Thai palate. They put particular pride in their homemade tortillas, sauces, sour cream and organic produce. If you’re after more than a solo burrito (B190-B380), try the tacos (B60-B120), which you can get with some more creative protein options, such as crab, foie gras and pork tongue, to be enjoyed along with a basket of chips and guacamole (B190). They do whole-day breakfast, too, with dishes like huevos rancheros (B240-B360), made with brown rice cooked with tomato and served with fried duck egg and meat. Soon they’ll be opening for lunch offering sets like burrito and chips and salsa and soft drink at only B195.
The drinks: Get yourself a margarita (B180) or mojito (B180) as they are the only two cocktail options for now. Those happy to go booze-free can order a horchata (rice milk mixed with spices, B70) and we also suggest the tamarind and honey juice (B70)—so refreshing and zesty. Beers include Corona (B760), Singha and Heineken (B90).
The crowds: As Bangkokians can’t seem to get enough of Mexican restaurants, you can expect a stream of curious customers looking to find out how Pinata stacks up against the other mestizo spots in the city.
We keep hearing back from you, our dear readers, that you can’t get enough of Mexican restaurants. Good news: there’s one more in town, Piñata, owned by the team behind sushi spot High Hat. It brings homemade tortillas and tacos to Thonglor in the shape of guacamole with tortilla chips (B190), beef burritos (B280) and creative tacos (B90-B120) with fillings such as beef tongue, foie gras and crab.
It’s not so often that a Mexican restaurant opens in Bangkok, so it was a bit surprising when Piñata popped up around the turn of the year, run by the same team behind a Japanese restaurant, the much-hyped High Hat Sushi Bar. The place shouts “Hola!” just as you would expect with its vibrant orange and green walls (and cute piñatas), though the brief menu (no tamales or ceviche!) throws a slight curveball with creative protein options, such as crab, foie gras and pork tongue.
Fear not, Chef Frank Sitipredanant, who studied culinary arts at Kendall College in Chicago and worked in a few restaurants there, mostly sticks to Tex-Mex classics, only adjusted slightly to suit the Thai palate. This means the homemade condiments can be a little hit and miss, from the slightly bland sour cream or the mild guacamole dip (B210) to the scorching salsa, which has a satisfying zesty flavor profile not unlike laab.
The produce used here is evidently of a good standard, as in the blue crab taco salad’s (B380) organic greens, fresh chunks of crabmeat and crunchy homemade flour tortilla chips. It’s unfortunate that the dish is let down by an unexciting sour cream dressing and the frankly unnecessary flavorless slices of jicama. The burritos and quesadillas come in delightful soft flour tortillas, though on our last visit the steak burrito (B280) could have done with some more seasoning. (Our tip: go heavy on the salsa verde.)
More flavorful are the fried options (squid, chicken wings or zucchini) from the “Dynamite” menu, which come layered on top of Piñata’s house-made hot sauce, which is actually quite sweet and with the granulated texture of a romesco sauce. A proper bar snack. Beware, though, the nicely seasoned squid (B190) does get soggy quick. The highlight of the place, though, has to be the flan (B120): dense, decadent, delicious and a real reason to return.
Piñata’s flavors may not be the boldest or most authentic of Bangkok’s mestizo spots (may we suggest Tacos & Salsa on Sukhumvit Soi 18), but with good produce and prices that don’t scream Thonglor, there’s a sound meal to be had here—something a few margaritas (B180) can only enhance.
|Address:||Piñata, Thonglor Soi between 7 and 9, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||B - BB|
|Open since:||January, 2014|
|Opening hours:||daily 5pm-midnight|
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