This shop-house restaurant does tapas at its back-alley Barcelona best.
This petite Sala Daeng shop house is run by Thai chef-owner Kannika Kongkaew, who spent 10 years learning the trade in Spain. Here she provides Bangkok with back-alley Barcelona’s best via a constantly-changing menu. Some examples: croquetas de jamon Iberico (breadcrumb ham rolls), patatas bravas (cubed fried potatoes; topped with sauce), chicken and rice casseroles with artichoke, empanadilla de cordero (lamb confit), and char-grilled octopus with smoky cauliflower cream. Spanish wines are available by the bottle and the glass, and complaints are few and far between.
Spanish restaurants are having a moment in Bangkok, but it’s one of the older names that arguably nails tapas at its back-alley Barcelona best. After a couple of years on Sukhumvit Soi 24, Taburete arrived on Sala Daeng in Dec, 2016, where its petite shop-house offers a Catalan-boho moodiness that stands in contrast to the cartoonish Isaan curios (and shoulder-to-shoulder Chinese tourists) of next door’s Somtum Der.
The Thai chef-owner spent 10 years learning her trade in Spain, experience that shows in a tapas staple like patatas bravas (B130), whose potatoes are not so much crisp but creamy, and come topped with a spicy tomato sauce and a fair whack of homemade garlic mayo that’s leagues above the usual bottled stuff. The croquetas de jamon Iberico (B170/4 pieces), too, are these little cheesy flour bombs that we only wish were bigger.
The menu doesn’t just pander to the classics (paella is limited to Fri-Sat, and will soon be pre-order only), but the chirpy, attentive service means you’re not left to flounder. On our most recent visit, all the recommendations were spot on, namely the empanadilla de cordero (B170), a succulent lamb confit in red wine sauce whose filo pastry basically disintegrates in your mouth, and the heavily-charred grilled octopus (B355), served diced in a smoky cauliflower cream. Dishes are said to change every few months, with the menu punctuated by specials like a chicken and rice casserole that’s somewhere between a paella and risotto. The broth bursts with hearty chicken goodness that’s cut by the slight sourness of artichoke.
Complaints are few and far between. You could say that Taburete’s antiqued interior is too kitschy or too cramped—or just settle for a spot on the terrace. You could also argue that its 12-strong list of Spanish wines (including three by the glass, starting at B250) isn’t the most exhaustive in town. And while dishes rarely top B300, ordering cold cuts (B1,100 for a platter of mixed Iberico cured ham) can drastically drive up your bill. Special-occasion dining this isn’t, but we’re certainly not alone in thinking Taburete’s homespun flavors and B380 pitchers of sangria make for an appealing after-work proposition. Corkage B450
This review took place in July 2017 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.