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Carmina serves up Latin flavors in the heart of Bangkok

by Nikki Kumar

The taste of the Andes!


Home to one of the most diverse selections of cuisines on Earth, Bangkok is the real great melting pot – a bubbling and simmering mixture of different cultures all coming together in one magical city. As a resident, I’m always grateful for the sheer variety of food offerings we have at our fingertips. From Seoul, to Nashville, to Berlin, to Mumbai, you can have a taste of them all. And yet, there still exist certain parts of the world that have slipped through the cracks. Namely, Latin America, which has lacked real representation in the city’s food scene until recent years. However, this has been helped along by the addition of new Latin cuisine restaurant and bar, Carmina, located at the Mille Malle mall in Sukhumvit Soi 20.

Upon walking through the doors, I was awed by the unique and bold design. The interior is made up of a brown mahogany base, complemented by patterned upholstery inlaid with vibrant shades of red, green, and purple. On opposite ends of the space are glowing neon signs that spelled out the restaurant’s name in cursive blue.

Above the bar, five hundred coloured wine glasses hung upside down, creating a mesmerising fixture that resembled a chandelier. There were several seating options available, from larger tables for groups in the front, smaller nooks for couples in the back, and bar-side stools for cocktail enthusiasts. But if I had to choose my favourite, it would be the seats right up against the restaurant’s open kitchen. Here, you can sit and watch as your food is carefully prepared by the chefs. All of these elements together created an atmosphere which was warm, welcoming, and energising.

Darshan Mehta and his partner Dilip Atmaramani, the visionaries behind Carmina, walked my team and me to a table to begin the experience. As we spoke, Darshan told me about his upbringing in Washington D.C. – after I failed to accurately place his accent – and how growing up there introduced him to Andean cuisine. He admits to me that the food at Carmina is a love letter to the food of his childhood, but elevated to a gourmet level. Fittingly, we kicked it off with the Peruvian classics: the Ceviche classico (THB 330) and the Ceviche amarillo (THB 340). The preparation of both dishes was masterful, and I was lucky enough to be able to watch them assemble all the components. The raw sea bass was fresh, and made to shine differently in each dish. In the classico, the citrus marinade and sweet potato cream offered a refreshing tang that coated my whole palette with the taste of the ocean. Meanwhile, the amarillo brings in yellow chillies and crispy tortilla strips, adding a bit of extra heat and crunch to the mix.

The Pulled pork tostadas (THB 495) was the perfect sharing dish. The ability to customise your own tostada made it significantly more enjoyable, as I love to load mine up all the way with jalapeños, pickles, and guacamole. My inner Californian didn’t stop there, and I went ahead and ordered myself a whole side of that delicious and creamy Guacamole (THB 285). I could imagine myself coming here with friends for a Pisco sour (THB 280) and happily snacking away on just a plate of tostadas, or guacamole and chips.

Next, we tucked into a grilled version of the sea bass, the Lubina a la parilla (THB 525). The presentation of this dish was stunning, with the beautifully-cooked fish resting atop a mound of pumpkin compote, and finished with pico de gallo and a smoked habanero vinaigrette. The fish was flaky, and the sweet and umami flavours of the dish worked together wonderfully. Another novel dish we enjoyed was the vegetarian Quinoa solterito (THB 285), which was crispy, loaded with lime, and topped with crumbled feta cheese. The dish impressed me in the way it was able to innovate the preparation of quinoa, something which is generally considered a ‘health food,’ into something creative and tasty.

For dessert, we simply had to try all three of their offerings. The Mousse de chocolate con maiz (THB 220) was a Peruvian dark chocolate mousse served with vanilla ice cream. The richness of the mousse was balanced elegantly by the ice cream, while the chocolate crumble added textural variety to the dish. Meanwhile, their Cheesecake de maracuya (THB 220) was a sweet and sour paradise. The passion fruit caramel and meringue made this dish a standout, and made me reconsider whether cheesecakes even needed a crust or to be put in the oven at all. Lastly, the Flan de azafran (THB 200) is a classic flan infused with cardamom, saffron, and dulce de leche. The dulce de leche was the star of the dessert, teetering on the edge of sweetness that I like, but never crossing the line. The coldness of the flan after all of the spice and lime-infused dishes was an incredible way to finish the experience, and it quickly went down the hatch.

At the end of the meal, I just realized how magical our experience had been. It’s not often you get to sit and dine with the owners of the restaurant, but it’s something else entirely when you get to learn just how much they care about their brand. From the imported upholstery, to the skilled culinary staff, tasteful decor, and high-quality food, Carmina has it all.


The Pollo a la brasa (THB 650) made my mouth water as it was served on the table. The scent of the rosemary combined with the chicken was sublime. Not only was the meat juicy and steamy on the inside, but the skin had the perfect char from the special wood-fired rotisserie oven, adding that final touch of roasted goodness. This dish was a showstopper; I can promise that you’ve never had chicken like this.

Ground Floor, Mille Malle Community
Mall 66/4 1st Fl. Sukhumvit 20
Khlong Toei, Bangkok
Open daily for brunch from 11am to 2pm, and for dinner from 5pm to 11pm
Tel: 095 726 1110
Facebook and Instagram: @carminabkk

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