Spanish tapas with a North African edge overlooking the British Embassy.
Open House at Central Embassy’s latest foodie player does tapas-portioned Spanish dishes with Moorish influence amid beautiful tiles and alfresco views.
The menu splits between “land,” “pasture” and “garden” (seafood, meat and vegetables) but on our last visit seemed like it could do with some updating. The black mussels with bay leaf, chili and garlic—off; the Ortiz anchovies—off. And then there was the white sangria (B500/jug), which completely lacked any alcoholic kick and featured none of the advertised aged rum, pineapple, cinnamon or lemon—a point the service didn’t think to mention until we asked.
Of the stuff we could actually order, we found highs and lows. Rico’s blood sausage with hung yogurt (B280) is excellent—nutty, rich and meaty, with a Middle Eastern-leaning herb sauce and the fresh tang of good yogurt. The charred octopus with fennel, fingerling potato and piquillo pepper (B480) is strong, too—the octopus soft and juicy, the flavors full and precise.
We also like what passes for a “small plate” at Rico. These are indeed dishes that you can order to share rather than finish in one bite. When food tastes as good as the grilled eggplant salad—fresh from mint, creamy from yogurt, a sharp kick of vinegar—this is a wonderful thing. Less so in the case of some prawns in garlic and olive oil (B380). What reads like a simple, light gambas al ajillo is actually something far heavier and unappetizing, made with unfresh-tasting prawns and a bitter, over-reduced sauce.
Though Rico’s menu can serve up a miss for every hit, we do feel it deserves more love than the crowds packed into neighboring Peppina are giving it, especially when the temperature dips below 25 and you can enjoy their sinfully delicious goats cheese churros (B280) on the terrace with a crisp and sunny glass of 2013 Languedoc Chardonnay at B320—it sure makes a smarter choice than the sangria.
|Address:||Rico, 6/F, Central Embassy, Phloen Chit Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Open since:||June, 2017|
|Opening hours:||daily 9-9am|
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