Monday, March 21, 2011

Bangkok Jam: same funky decor, same wonderful food.

Fancy calling your restaurant by the infamous Bangkok city jams...Step in to this funky, modern restaurant in Great World City, and you are almost transformed into a swanky eatery that have recently sprouted in the Thai capital. Almost like being in Siam Paragon.

This has been one of the family's favourite restaurants for many years. When they started, perhaps 5 years ago, we stepped in because there was a long queue at Crystal Jade. We were delighted with the food. I have blogged about it once. See this entry for my review. The menu has changed somewhat since the last review, so I thought with a recent revisit, I'd blog about them again.

This is another revisit, and like the others, proved to be a joy.

We started with the pomelo salad:

Large chunks of sweet/sour pomelo, mixed in a spicy, salty, sour sauce with a tinge of sweet. Texture variety was provided ably by the cashew nuts and chunks of very fresh prawns. I absolutely adore the mish mash of flavours, and accents. Brings me back to Bangkok, where the Thais love hot spicy, sweet, salty, sour all in one dish. Lovely!

For mains with plain steamed rice, we had the following:

Roasted pork:

When it arrived, it looked dry...I was expecting the luscious char siew by Oversea which I reviewed recently. But on the palate, the pork was anything but dry. It had a beautiful consistency. The dipping sauce was brilliant. Again the blend of flavours and tastes of sweet, sour, salty, spicy were apparent. Below the slices of pork was more groundnuts, and a concoction of small cubed ginger, thai lime, and chilli. Dished on the fresh iceberg lettuce, add the pork, and a dash of the sauce, and its wonderful. Truly spectacular dish.

We also ordered the Thai asparagus:

It is always amazing what a good chef can concoct with basic ingredients. In this case, Thai asparagus. What is different from the European asparagus (like the Konig Spargel I waxed lyrical about in Germany) is the Thai version is thinner, and more crunchy. Perhaps less fibrous than the European cousing. I also feel the funny smell in the pee is also less pronounced with the Thai variety. Anyway, this dish is stir fried, in typical Thai style, with a dash of oyster sauce. Tasty, though if I were to rate this in a spectacular-ness scale, it does not quite make it high up that scale.

Finally the Massaman Beef curry.

Not quite I had expected, as I had "grown up" with the thick, rich Massaman curry from Thangying. This was more like a stew. I suspect the beef is Australian, as it was probably from a less marbled cut like chuck, and was rather chewy and sinewy. But had great flavour. The curry itself was wonderful. Fragrant, mildly spicy though had a pungent aftertaste. Shiok!

For me, Bangkok Jam is a great restaurant. It is part of the Patara chain. The flagship Patara restaurant in Tanglin Mall is quite upmarket and for me is not value for money. The mother restaurant in Soi Assumption in Bangkok is avant garde, but the cuisine is superb. And for me, Bangkok Jam is excellent cooking, with masterful balance of flavours and quite good value for money. Very highly recommended.

Bangkok Jam
1 Kim Seng Promenade, #02-26

p.s. a reader pointed out that I made an error in writing peanut instead of cashew nut for the pomelo salad dish. I stand corrected.
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