Emma Rosenberg follows the mellow glow of antique lights to discover one of Bangkok’s most virtuous treats. Photos by Nick McGrath.
The formula for Seven Spoons is a simple one – find a tumbledown Chinese shop house, retrofit the kitchen and set up four tables. With a sewing machine for a table and plastic taxidermy mounted to the mall, the atmosphere is homey without becoming cloying.
Falling somewhere between Mediterranean and international, the cuisine is a product of its context, born in an era of organic seitan and free-range chicken. Created by the founders of Birds in a Row, a gourmet catering service providing nutritious lunches to the office masses, Seven Spoons extends this concept from the desk to the table.
Homespun sincerity imbues each dish – fresh, local, and prepared with care.
The mild-spiced roast vegetables and quinoa (190B) is an easy crowd pleaser, although after the second bite I found myself questioning whether I like it, or believe I like it because I should. Unfortunately, the soft shell of the mango salsa shrimp taco (160B) is no match for what’s inside, the watery salsa dripping onto the plate.
The pasta and mains make up for any shortcomings in the starters – the hand-made tortellini is packed with the smashed peas my mum used to make, smothered in lemon butter sauce, pecorino cheese and pine nuts (220B). The tender aubergine is stuffed to capacity with a basmati rice pilaf, lentils, and topped with local goat’s cheese (240B), while the cinnamon and cumin are redolent of a winter’s night far from the tropics.
Self-taught chef, Somkiat (Joke) Pairojmahakij, allows alterations to his seasonal menu – forbidden in most Thai establishments – without an eyebrow raised. The only criticism is that the flavours follow a predictable pattern by aiming to please, and consequently lack a punch.
Drinks from the bar – a cubbyhole in the corner – arrive as an afterthought to the food. But the bartender, poached from Khao San’s Sripoom, is gaining attention with his classic drinks and more daring recipes. The signature Silver Spoon (180B) is a zesty blend of Martini Bianco and spiced rum offset by lime wedges and galangal, almost as a reminder – we are still in Thailand.
11 Chakkrapatipong Road
Tel: 08 4539 1819, 02 628 4588.
Open from 6pm to midnight, seven days a week.
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