Master stock-poached organic pork at Paste Bangkok — Photo courtesy of Paste BangkokClassic Thai food is renowned world over, yet rarely does one find a combination of classic recipes, flavors and ingredients dressed up and presented in such an innovative way as at Paste Bangkok. This Bangkok restaurant is the brainchild of award-winning Australian chef Jason Bailey and his Thai partner Bongkoch "Bee" Satongun, who received acclaim for their Thai restaurants in Australia. Now, they have relocated to the City of Angels, and have brought some truly heavenly fanfare with them. Lon seabass — Photo courtesy of Paste Bangkok
Traditional Thai dishes from all regions of the country are to be found here, but done with beautiful creative twists and a total attention to taste combinations enough to wow the most discerning diner. At Paste, the dishes almost sound as good as they taste. Creations such as stock-poached pork neck with chili, red grapefruit, local flowers and toasted sticky rice, or jasmine- and cinnamon-smoked wild sea bass fillet with black Chinese vinegar, mint and crushed peanuts head the amazing menu. The roast duck salad with lychee and Vietnamese mint is a mouth-watering delight, as is the exotic jelly fish and shredded chicken salad.
There are also creative signature cocktails that go along with, or enhance, the gastronomic pleasures - drinks that use fresh herbs and local ingredients like kaffir lime, lemongrass, mint, coriander, chili, lychee and ginger to accentuate the Thai dishes. Asian-inspired cocktails — Photo courtesy of Paste Bangkok
Try a Bangkok mule (citrus-infused vodka and lychee liqueur) or a Paste my Thai (fresh kaffir lime- and lemongrass- infused vodka with spicy chili. mint and ginger) to go with your mangosteen salad or herb-infused green curry, and you might decide to stay a lot longer.
What is so satisfying about Paste Bangkok is just how authentic the food is. Chef Bailey says, "It was really important not to over-doctor the food, and one should be able to identify and interpret the flavors that are on the plate in front of you," something that many highbrow restaurants in Bangkok completely fail to do.
While old-school, palace or traditional recipes are in vogue these days, many places only rehash them, as opposed to trying to combine the simple, old elegance with some modern approaches. But this is something that Paste Bangkok excels at. The braised Australian beef ribs are a great example, taking some of the world's choicest beef and cooking it for hours in a master stock combining ginger, rice paddy herb, young tamarind leaves and mushroom soy - the result of which is pure delight.
For gastronomy buffs, Paste Bangkok certainly has to be on one's Bangkok must list. Interior of Paste Bangkok Restaurant — Photo courtesy of Paste Bangkok