The buzz: A young team of Singaporean and Taiwanese graduates from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has rooted down in Thonglor’s Arena 10 to open up a creative, Thai-inspired fine-dining restaurant that puts the focus on local produce and minimal waste.
The decor: Exit the elevator on the second floor and straight into design studio Mooof’s (Oishi Grand, King Kong Yakiniku) predominance of dark green and sophisticated wood accents. A huge, semi-open kitchen stands straight ahead, while the rest of the room gets split between the dining area and a retro tropical bar named Pink Flamingo. This you access via a walkway of bright pink flamingo leg-shaped lights. The bar itself is fun and laidback, and sits under a thick, warm pink curtain.
The food: On top of his CIA studies, Singaporean chef partner Cong Wen has also spent time in the kitchens of Bo.lan, Le Du and Nahm. These local influences can be tasted in his amuse bouches of a puff filled with guava, broken rice cracker and even grilled papaya with rosemary. His dinner menu comes in three options: B750 for two courses; B850 for three courses; and B1,200 for the six-course tasting menu. For your entree, we’d steer you straight in the direction of either “Corn”—a dish that makes most of this mellow-yellow treat as a soup, charred as a baby husk and matured into starch to make a milk-and-egg-free dumpling—or “Tartare,” which offers a catch of the day (tilapia last time we visited) cubed and served with kapi mayo and yogurt with dill oil. As for mains, Wenhas makes an excellent brisket using Thai-French beef paired with roselle sauce and charred potato terrine. Make sure you save room for “Tomato,” a dessert that features sweet ripe tomato from the Japanese-run Yu Chan Farm in Chiang Mai with fresh fig, creamy pandan, ginger cream and salty granola on top.
The drinks: The focus is on local flavors and ingredients. Flamingo Sling (B350) is a gin-based concoction with pineapple and pumpkin molasses, while the bar team will also surprise you with Mystery Box (B450)—a glass created to your taste specifications. The wine list starts at B350 by the glass for the Austrian Weingut Velich Muskat Ottonel Trocken or Italy’s Poggio Al Tesoro Mediterra IGT.
Why we’d come back: Friendly staff and passionate owners back up a zero-waste, locally-focused philosophy. The creative touches don’t get in the way of a good meal, and the prices are almost reasonable for Thonglor.