The edible and the aesthetic rarely overlap with Thai food. It’s as hard to find mouth-watering examples of the cuisine in the cool comfort of a hotel as it is to find a seat near a popular street stall in Bangkok. Thankfully, Pachaylen honours the traditions of Thai street food in a chic setting.
The venue is calm, serene and beautifully decorated, much like a Thai spa. The first thing you will notice on arrival is that all the staff, from the management to the kitchen team, are from Thailand. And that can only be a good thing.
As soon as we sit down you’re presented with a quirky wooden box of betel leaves and traditional Thai ingredients including chilli, dried shrimp, peanuts and tamarind sauce for wraps. It’s a nice spicy touch, especially if you’ve grown tired of complimentary bread.
Opt for the plah khung yang salad, which consists of grilled tiger prawns, fresh herbs, chilli and lemongrass (what would a Thai dish be without lemongrass?). Before you even see the salad, you can smell it approaching. The scent is overwhelming in a good way. The portion is large and meaty, and could be a main course, if you don’t have a very big appetite.
Aiming for something on the healthier side? Try the pla kra pong nung ma nao. On the menu it’s described as steamed sea bass fillet with lime grass and chilli garlic dressing, but it’s much more than that. It’s a beautifully presented fish, somehow perfectly formed into a circle and filled with Enoki mushrooms and various herbs and spices. The fish falls apart at the sight of a fork and the mushrooms are so soft and long that you might mistake them for noodles. The dish is healthy, gorgeous, well-portioned and fantastically fragrant.
Location: Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara
Contact number: 02 656 1000
Pachaylen has a tempting dessert menu. The homemade coconut ice cream is delicious!