For more than 40 years, Scala has been tucked away under the Scala Theatre, but if you look beyond the weird location you’ll likely be impressed by how well the interior captures a luxurious old-time vibe. The two-level venue boasts a spiral staircase that takes you down to a windowless, dimly-lit room that feels part creepy basement, part theatre. The thick menu is filled with comforting Cantonese food, but pretty much every diner is here for the same reason: the delicious peking duck (B1,200 with two side dishes). The perfectly crispy skin is complemented by a rich, tasty sauce—the result of a naturally sweet stock that takes hours to prepare before being blended with black soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, sugar and some other top-secret ingredients. The pancakes could be better, though. While not bad, they are rather typical of Chinese restaurants across town. We would have liked something more homemade. The side dishes, too, don’t quite live up to expectations. The mieng (stir-fried duck meat served with vegetables), for instance, is quite mushy and unbalanced flavor-wise. It’s better to keep your focus on the peking duck or some of the other impressive dishes, like the steamed cabbage in clay pot (B300), which comes with fresh mushroom and small slices of ham. The dish is wonderful, particularly the soup—flavorsome yet light and refreshing. The Shanghai noodles (B250) are pleasantly tangy, too, even though the dry and tasteless chicken adds little to the dish. On the service front, the army of waiters decked out in fluorescent yellow jackets are quite attentive in their own uncle-like way. Just prepare yourself for the loud and cheerful Thai-Chinese families who come back time after time. (Reservations are a must on weekends.) While it lacks consistency, Scala definitely makes for an enjoyable family dining experience in a grand old setting. No corkage charge.
|Address:||Scala Restaurant, 184 Siam Square Soi 1, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 10am-1:30pm, 4-9pm|
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