Southeast Asian food and malls rarely mix. Jazz the food up and Bangkokians will turn up their nose at your fusion. Do a basic Thai restaurant and people will feel they’re better off eating in their soi. That’s why this clever combination of Vietnamese, Lao and Thai dishes is hitting a sweet spot with K Village’s mall rats (or should we say mall Chihuahuas). The décor is still stuck in the modernized “Victorian” trend: lots of white, big chandeliers, classically shaped furniture in updated colors. And the food is both very familiar (sometimes at the expense of authenticity), and suitably exotic. Spice levels for example, are more Bangkok than Hanoi, such as in the thit dong lanh beef salad with jellied pork. For other dishes, we’re completely at loss to detect how the dish isn’t Thai, despite translations in Vietnamese. The bua loi nam khing (glutinous rice dumplings in ginger syrup) is noted as che troi nuoc, but the Vietnamese version is typically filled with mung bean paste, not black sesame. Not that we’re sticklers for accuracy—and part of the fun here is ordering a very local dish, like the fermented roe crab alongside a bowl of pho. What does get to us is that despite being very fresh, the ingredients are not of the most exciting quality. The beef, for example, is not the tender melt-in-your-mouth slow-cooked delicacy we’ve had at other Vietnamese places. And the aforementioned crab is served frozen, masking most of the flavor, which isn’t all that sweet even if you let it thaw out. That’s why we’re happier here with humbler pursuits, like the little white gelatinous pancakes with toppings of chopped pork, mushrooms and garlic. Or even the bo la lot (grilled beef in betel leaves), a tad sad looking and dry, it offers pleasantly flavorful mouthfuls nonetheless. T-House is a solid restaurant, but like its khnu nuu décor, its food sometimes lacks that extra bit of personality to get our pulse racing. Corkage B300 for wine.
|Address:||T-House, 2/F, K Village, 94-95 Sukhumvit Soi 26, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 10am-1:30pm, 3:30-9pm; Sat-Sun 10am-9pm|
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