A timeless taste
By Shaan Bajaj
Have you ever taken a bite of ice cream and felt like you were re-living a memory? For example, a sip of Coca-Cola in a plastic bag immediately takes me back to primary school or a box of Domino’s pizza reminds me of countless university nights spent lying on my flatmates’ bed, while we talk about everything and nothing, indulging on way-too-heavy pizzas. Food has the power to unlock a fragment of the past and a restaurant that brings that theory to life is Bangkok’78. Their menu invites you to step back into Thailand in the 1970s by re-creating authentic Thai recipes using fresh and local produce.
Once you walk into the expansive lobby of the Sindhorn Midtown Bangkok Hotel, Vignette Collection, a curved white staircase will lead you to the entrance of Bangkok ’78. The space instantly commands your attention as brightly-coloured window shutters hang on one side of the restaurant, complemented by vibrantly-patterned walls, and graffiti of an old Thai bus. To balance the colour, the designers P49 Design and Associates add cool grey arches that make the space feel intimate. It truly takes you on a journey to the vibrant and retro 70s with their use of colour and patterns, while still maintaining a clean and chic aesthetic.
Cosy emerald green sofas and rattan furniture offer you the luxury to settle into an evening filled with conversation, food, and laughter with your friends and family, as this restaurant will definitely come to mind when thinking of a place to bring guests. During my visit, the team also informed me of the private dining rooms available for groups of between 8-30 people, allowing you to hold a celebration or gathering with your nearest
FOOD AND DRINK
Once we settled into one of their private dining rooms, a steady stream of dishes from their menu started to come our way, starting with their Fried shrimp balls (THB 320), plated on a pale yellow and green-rimmed dish, reminiscent of the crockery of old Siam. The nonvegetarians around me informed me of its soft yet bouncy texture that paired deliciously with their sweet and sour and peanut dip that accompanied the dish. Their menu also includes an array of different starters, ideal to share with a group of people, from a plate of Vegetable spring rolls (THB 190) or Fried fish cakes (THB 250); dishes that
are bound to be instant crowd pleasers. The menu also includes a selection of recipes from the one Michelin-starred Saneh Jaan restaurant, where authenticity is at the forefront of their approach
For our main course, I started with their vegetarian Long eggplant stir-fry (THB 220), served with jasmine rice. The eggplant was tender and well-coated in a spicy and sour soy-based sauce, with Thai basil leaves to give that quintessential Thai flavour. It was a warm and pleasant dish, reminding me of a home-cooked meal. Their menu also serves a non-vegetarian version with the addition of minced pork. Although their main menu does not include a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, their chef is able to provide alternative vegetarian options upon request. While I devoured the stir-fry, my colleagues tried the Northern Thai coconut curry noodles with soft shell crab (THB 320), a dish they highly recommend. They informed me of the tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture of the crab, while the edible shell adds a nice crunch to the rich and creamy noodle soup, a unique take on the increasingly-famous khao soi dish from the North. Insider tip to my fellow spice lovers: make sure to amp up the heat with a spoonful of chilli oil!
The next dish had everyone curious as it came in a golden hot pot dish, with a lit fi re in the middle. The waiter informed us that the Steamed fluff y egg with prawn, squid, and minced pork (THB 490) is highly-praised. My colleagues could attest to the sentiment and commented on how unique it tasted; moreishly savoury while the egg and choices of seafood provided different textures to the dish, making for an interesting mouthfeel.
To end our meal, we were served a bowl of Mixed fruits in citrus syrup granita (THB 110) from their dessert menu. An elevated take on the popular roadside dessert, served in a glass bowl, the spoonful of cooling granita, paired with the sweetness of tropical fruits like lychee, was incredibly scrumptious. The dessert menu also includes classics like Mango sticky rice (THB 150), ice creams, and other Thai treats. To complement your meal, choose a beverage from their extensive drinks menu including iced teas, soft drinks, smoothies, juices, beers and wine.
If you plan on visiting, make sure to order their Spicy pomelo salad (THB 250). The recipe comes from their sister restaurant Saneh Jaan, and for my visit, they made a vegetarian version of the salad. A refreshing appetiser; the pomelo is both juicy and sweet and off set by the acidic notes from the citrusy flavour, while the small Thai green chillies add a welcome kick. For seafood enthusiasts, you can opt to order the original recipe that includes prawns and crispy shrimp
1st floor, Sindhorn Midtown Hotel Bangkok, Vignette Collection, 68 Soi Langsuan, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330
Open daily: from 11.30am to 10.30pm