The Village Garden
Located on a buzzing soi off Rama 2 Rd., open-air restaurant The Village Garden is yet more evidence that street food—not restaurant—reigns supreme across the river in Thonburi. Opened not too long ago, the place attracts big crowds with its spacious garden that offers a pretty relaxing vibe in an area dominated by street stalls. If you choose to settle down inside the warehouse-like restaurant, there’s free WiFi and a few cooking certificates, presumably belonging to the owner, to keep you occupied. The menu is typical of faux-Western restaurants—pastas that go heavy on the bacon, a Caesar salad, a few Thai dishes and steaks like the New Zealand tenderloin (B450) which are drowned in gravy. While the meat seems decently cooked, the overly-floury, overly-salty gravy masks any other flavors. Appetizers like the potato fried with prik haeng (dried chili, B100) read like a good idea but it seems there’s not much effort put into the execution. Our worst nightmare, though, comes in the form of the fettuccine black ink with spicy roast beef. Little more than pasta drenched in Thai seafood sauce, this is one confusing dish that falls completely flat flavor-wise bar an overwhelming sourness: none of the ingredients shine and nothing goes well together. And on our last visit, the subpar beef was way too rubbery—so chewy and dry that we only ate the sad vegetables. Almost as big a letdown is the recommended spaghetti with mushroom and white sauce (B150), which is totally pedestrian. The sauce tastes little different from what you find in the frozen food section at the supermarket. In short, the kitchen needs to show more passion and more pride—we find it hard to believe that anyone actually tastes these dishes before they’re unleashed on the paying public. With prices that certainly aren’t cheap, we feel The Village Garden is overselling its outdoorsy vibe to serve up severely subpar food.
|The Village Garden, 167/1 Rama 2 Soi 33, Bangkok, Thailand
|BB - BB
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