By Shaan Bajaj
As a kid, one of my favourite street desserts was Nam kang sai, also known as Thai shaved ice. It was sweet, cooling, and colourful. My appreciation for Thai khanoms and their unique flavour profile has grown to include multiple different favourites, while I’m still constantly on the lookout for more. Therefore, I was elated to hear about R-Haan’s newest sister café, Waan Thai, which was conceptualised by Chef Chumpol Jangprai and Khun Todd Piti Bhirom Bhakdi to present Thai desserts in an elevated light. The menu places significant focus on authentic flavours, ingredients, and innovative gastronomy techniques.
Located in the same compound as R-Haan, greenery surrounds the exterior and complements the white geometrical design of the building. Stepping into the café, my eyes were immediately drawn to a dynamic black and white pattern on the ceiling. The walls are a refreshing turquoise blue, offset by light wood and mirror furnishings. The space itself is expansive, with plenty of natural light, making it feel as though you’re sat outdoors, while at the same time round sofas, tables, and chairs have been laid out to facilitate an intimate atmosphere. It’s perfect for a leisurely afternoon of chit-chat with your best gal pals, or if you want to impress someone (or your mum) on a high-tea date.
Food and Drink
While Waan Thai is a dessert cafe, the menu also features traditional dishes from Thai cuisine. During our visit, we had the opportunity to sample the apps and mains as well. We started off with an appetiser, their Coconut smoke homemade pork sausage served with ground river fish mixed with ground roasted rice and coconut milk aromatic with bitter orange (THB 350). All your senses are engaged when ordering this dish, from the fragrant aroma of coconut milk to the visual of smoke as the glass is lifted. When you take a bite, the Thai sausage is herbaceous, and is only elevated by the roasted rice and ground fish. Next we tried their Authentic green chicken curry with bird’s eye chilli served with crispy roti (THB 590), a perfect combination of aromatic, spicy and creamy, paired well with their soft yet flaky roti. For our final main, we sampled their Thai rice noodle with sweet coconut curry (THB 450), velvety noodles dipped in a fragrant and surprisingly sweet curry.
After devouring our meal, it was finally time to try an array of different Thai desserts, starting with their Waan Thai mon thong durian cheesecake (THB 180). Although I for one am not the biggest fan of durian, biting into their creamy and delectable cake made me question my dislike. It was an exquisite pairing of the pungent durian filling, and cream cheese. We were also served their Waan Thai high tea (THB 612 per person), compromising of four savoury bites and four desserts, including Dara thong, Khanom bueang, coconut cake, and cha yen chocolate. Each exquisite bite made me feel nostalgic, and it was immediately clear that a lot of thought was put into not just the flavour combinations, but the presentation as well. The high tea set was served with a selection of teas from the Singha Park tea plantation in Chiang Rai, all of which bring out the flavours of the khanoms perfectly.
To drink, we sipped on one of their signature mocktails, Kachee (THB 210), and a hot Cocoa milk (THB 170). The kachee is a mixture of Roselle tea, soda and honey, a refreshing beverage that I would personally recommend trying. Their cocoa was smooth and rich, but not too sweet, definitely an indulgence you shouldn’t miss.
A spoon of this dessert transported me back to my childhood. The Pomegranate seeds (tub tim grob) with coconut ice cream (THB 180) is served in a whole coconut with dried ice smoke surrounding the dish. The dessert itself is sublime and revitalising, comprised of a mix of chewy tapioca balls and a light coconut ice cream.
131 Sukhumvit 55 (Thong lo soi 9), Klong Tan Nuam Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Opening hours: 11am – 5pm
Tel: 094-215-3945, 094-215-4156