Tai He Xuan
An old-school Chinese restaurant without the fancy frills.
Thonglor may be home to endless Japanese restaurants, but you can count on one hand the number of proper Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood. Tai He Xuan aspires to be just that, but falls short.
Taking over the ground floor of a condominium in Thonglor Soi 20, the lobby-like dining room lacks the fancy frills of so many other Chinese restaurants. Instead, some 15 wooden tables sit unceremoniously amid plain cream walls and fiercely bright lighting.
Most of the classics can be found here—from wok stir-fries to congee, dim sum to Peking duck—but the kitchen delivers only modest thrills and the distant service doesn’t help make the place feel particularly special.
With the Peking duck (B980, but perpetually sold at the promotional price of B499), for example, you never get to see the whole duck, as it comes out already sliced as a big plate of skin alongside the pancakes, and another plate of sliced skin and meat. Thankfully, this lack of ritual doesn’t detract from the flavor too much, with the crisp skin going well with the sweet glutinous black soy sauce.
It was another of their cooked duck meat dishes, miang ped (stir-fried duck meat with fresh iceberg lettuce, B100), that was the real let-down on our last visit, coming full of sticky, overcooked meat that was a chore to get through.
The dim sum menu is serviceable, be it the subtly flavored hagao (prawn dumpling, B100) or xiao long bao (steamed pork bun, B80/120), though the latter is a bit lacking in oozy soup filling. The rice noodle roll with shrimp (B100) features a balanced sauce; too bad the fried prawns are not soft and springy.
Though prices seem very reasonable, do be warned some of the portions here are quite small. The deep-fried softshell crab with chili and salt (B220) is definitely more appetizer than main and, like some other dishes on the menu, comes with unpredictable pockets of saltiness. While not a complete disaster, Tai He Xuan is far too hit-and-miss to be considered a hidden gem. Corkage B100
This review took place in January 2017 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
|Address:||Tai He Xuan, Baan Chan Condominium, 23/1 Thonglor Soi 20, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||B - BBB|
|Opening hours:||daily 11am-2:30pm|
|Reservation recommended, Parking available|
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