Bangkok's newest Spanish restaurant arrives in an unlikely location.
The industrial-chic glass box that is Thyme sits in an unlikely location on Nang Linchi Road. While maintaining a casual eatery vibe, Spanish head chef Victor Burgos doesn’t compromise on his European offerings.
Expect Spanish classics like croquettes (B180), patatas bravas (fried potatoes, B180), cherry gazpacho (B190), cold cuts (B550) and delicious paella (B850-1,600). More ambitious items on the menu include shaved foie gras terrine (B290) served with crispy corn atop peach puree, angus beef carpaccio (B500) and rack of lamb (B850-2,500).
Don’t miss dipping the crispy churros (B200) in the accompanying dark chocolate and dulce de leche. The drinks menu features fun offerings like the Thyme tea (B100), an icy milkshake to which you can add your preferred amount of tea.
Trendy and flavorless, Thyme collects an exhaustive list of food and decor cliches under one roof. Why proudly feature your chef’s name on the menu if that menu lists Anglo comfort food (burgers, bangers and mash, fish and chips) alongside gloopy plates of pasta and a sprinkling of Spanish tapas and paella dishes? This is about as chef-driven a selection as S&P’s. And why bother with a bartender when asking him for a “spirit-forward drink like an old fashioned or negroni” gets you lemon juice and syrup poured into a tumbler full of ice (B380)? Follow up question: how long must one keep a sprig of thyme in Tupperware for it to entirely lose its aroma?
The same could be asked of much of the produce here. There’s a bland tuna tartare (B260) that had us attempt a resuscitation with Tabasco and a salvaged wedge of lemon from another dish. (We failed.) It comes with little slices of tortilla piled with whitish, waterlogged tomatoes. Flavor: none. The “calamari” deep-fried in batter (B220) did taste of oil, but not much else. The handful of lotus slices that made their way into the dish seemed to say, “This isn’t just a bad fritto misto, it’s a bad fritto misto with a modern, Southeast Asian touch!” We do like the gazpacho (B190), because clearly, it’s not made with the fresh tomatoes involved in the tuna tartare. It’s not often that canned tomatoes are the preferred option.
We remember happier days here, when Victor Burgos, who’s since fled and opened his own place, Arroz, led the kitchen. We don’t think he’d have approved of the quarter rack of lamb (B900) from our last visit at Thyme. It was cooked to the medium rare we ordered, but one piece tasted of nothing, one had some odd flavor, like freezer burn. Nor can we recommend the Iberican Secreto (B690), a rather sad, dry slice of pork that had us hankering for kor moo yang.
Look around and the place is a Pinterest board of tired design fads, all wood and dangling ferns and black ink illustrations on the menu. But locals seem to have voted with their feet as to whether that’s reason enough to visit. Save for two groups in the private rooms, we were the only table on a Wednesday night. Corkage B400
This review took place in June 2017 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.