R’in’B has all the attributes of a typical budget “modern” restaurant—fake-wood floor, acidic color scheme, plastic plants, laminated chipboard furniture—crossed with a Phra Khanong karaoke lounge. Despite not being empty when we last visited, the restaurant feels completely joyless, and it quickly becomes clear why when tasting the gloopy, poorly prepared food.
Our disappointment is compounded by the fact that, underneath the bad cooking, there are traces of what appears to be good produce. The fresh sea bass, prawns and muscles in the blanquette of the sea (B419) are completely overshadowed by a stodgy sauce, while the accompanying street-food-style yellow rice is just as overcooked as the rest of the dish.
The steeply-priced, underportioned beef bourguignon (B439) suffers a similar fate, tasting as if it has been boiled at too high a heat for far too long and flavored with a red wine from 7-Eleven. The cilantro garnish, floury French fries and boring side salad do nothing to save it.
The soup of the day (B129) proves the myth that “of the day” menu items should nearly always be avoided. The one we tried was a bogstandard tomato soup that had completely lost its freshness, made worse by some unpleasant tom yam undertones.
Dessert is no better, whether it’s the éclairs (B49)—one lemon, which tasted like detergent, and one salt caramel, which didn’t taste of anything—or the dense cannelés bordelais (B20).
Are there any saving graces? Well, service comes with a smile, and part of the restaurant’s revenue goes directly to Enfants du Mekong, a foundation which provides school fees to underprivileged children in Laos, Burma, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam and Yunnan province in China. Oh, and the ducky salad (B249), while uninspired, has a vinaigrette with the right balance of sweet and sour, as well as fresh, flavorful leaves and nicely smoked duck.
But overall, unless you’re willing to endure a long and painful assault on the palate in the name of a good cause, stay away from R’in’B.