Michelin-starred Heirlom and Traditional Thai Cuisine
Eating at Michelin starred restaurants always higher our expectations. We have witnessed quiet a diverse over-all dining experience visiting Michelin Star Restaurants and our guess is that it's all depending on the Chef and the establishments Core Values and Goals.
This is just a theory. It's more likely to have a fun experience at a restaurant with a charismatic, open minded and relaxed Chef then on an establishment with a hard-driven dito trying to prove a point with their cooking or aiming for the stars. The later, can also effect your dining experience in a negative way.
Writing that you might know what's coming but remember this; food can be excellent even if our restaurant recommendation have a lower score, which unfourtanly was the case this time.
Now; we almost didn't know anything about Paste or Chef Bee Satongun before our visit but like many times before, the food on the plate tells you a story often better then any storyteller would tell you.
We visited Paste. on our last leg of our Thailand Trip and at this point we were almost spoiled with great and excellent restaurant experiences! Paste is a little bit "hard to find". You have to go into the Gaysorn building on 999 Planchit Road and go to the third floor.
An exclusively designed interior met us and we were seated on a big round table in the middle of the restaurant. We had a late reservation but the restaurant was quiet at this time of the week. Good! That's promising and usually means you will get more attention as a guest.
We got a pretty insecure welcome though and it felt like the waiter wasn't used to serve two casually dressed people like us at all. We wanted to taste everything on the menu actually and get as much influences from Chef Bee Satongun as possible so the big table was welcome! After ordering "half-the-menu" the waiter lightened up a little but still felt to "stiff" and unsecure about the whole situation.
What a contrast to the visit at Gaggan where service was so relaxed, fun yet impeccable in all ways when coming to service terms!
Starters and dishes started to arrive and it all looked great; fresh, modern and yet with a lot of respect and recognizable tastes from traditional and heirloom Thai Cuisine. Wine suggestions was on point and we could easily find the "6th Ground Taste" on every plate - Love!
We know; it's not even a "taste", yet it's crucial to make an ordinary dinner extraordinary and almost as hard as Umami to put a finger on. As a Chef and Waitress though (we hope you know who we are? Otherwise; Meet Jane & Fredrik) we have thought about it as a "Ground Taste" for a long time. You know a Chef loves cooking when true balance unfolds in the depths of tastes, when the perfectly shaped and arranged ingredients is revealing perfectly timed textures and aromas that pervasive the actual presentations.
That's the closest description we've come up with yet on what we think is one of the most elemental of Ground Tastes.
A lot of Chef Bee's food has an overflow of this ingredient.
The dinner took "like forever" to finish and was resulting in one of the most severe Food Coma's until present day! Think we even impressed the team at Paste by finishing all dishes. Even though we are "Pro Eaters" we kind of stumbled back to our hotel and collapsed!
We really enjoyed the food though - it was truly excellent. However; don't judge a book by it's cover.
Two ordinary looking people can be real Bon Vivants like us and we really would have enjoyed the evening more with a more relaxed service. And maybe a visit to the kitchen? Now we didn't take a Tasting Menu, where a visit to the kitchen is more an unwritten rule then an exception, but with so little guests in the Dining Room it would have been nice to see the kitchen and maybe have a chat with Bee?
That would have made our experience of Paste so much better.