Pink Tender’s main claim to fame is bringing American craft beer to the Bangkok ’burbs. Its décor, too, sticks to the industrial style that has well and truly swamped the inner-city: black steel, hanging light bulbs, galvanized iron accents and silhouette illustrations. It’s a nice, if strangely isolated, place for a few drinks. The food is an afterthought, though.
The eye-popping name suggests red meat, and there are options like the Angus tenderloin steak (B790 for 200 grams), but mostly the dishes are much as you’d find at pedestrian trend-driven wine bistros city-wide. Strangely for a menu littered with truffle, foie gras and bacon, there are not many flavors to get excited about.
The recommended penne with mushroom truffle cream (B220) is a mound of overcooked pasta, bland mushrooms and, well, cream that tastes very much of cream. The vongole pot (B190), steamed local clams with white wine, fares slightly better, if only for the decent serving of clams.
The grilled squid salad (B180) is not the light and refreshing summer salad you might expect. With its almost non-existent house dressing and very lightly fried squid, about the only flavor is the bacon bits. Served with a solitary cherry tomato, it takes the “comfort” out of comfort food.
Even with its bun colored pink with pomegranate, the Pink Beef Burger (B220) feels like another missed opportunity. Unlike some of the dark chocolate buns served up around town, this is purely aesthetic, and just flavorless. (It also comes with ketchup that’s a strange hybrid of the bottled stuff and katsu sauce—artisanal, this ain’t).
We were genuinely excited by the milkshake list, developed by one of the best in the business, Kan Liangsrisuk of Escapade Burgers & Shakes fame. But, in the wrong hands, these shakes are perhaps too ambitious. On our last visit, the Apple Crumble (vanilla, apple, rosemary, cinnamon and pineapple shake, B150) tasted like watered-down Yakult, the sprinkling of crumble its only saving grace. Even a basic dessert like the chocolate brownie (B190) is dry and crumbly rather than soft and moist.
Think of Pink Tender as a bar. The beers are stellar, of course—do try the aromatic Kagua Blanc (B290), from Japan. Just don’t expect a meal to match, though the complimentary wonton chips are actually pretty tasty.