To visitors of the historic but ever-vibrant Surawong Road, Amara Bangkok is pretty difficult to miss. Housed inside this beautiful but non-pretentious hotel, however, is Element restaurant: a somewhat hidden gem currently offering an authentic, traditional Thai dining experience at a very sexy price. As self-described foodies ever-seeking old-fashioned Thai food just like what Grandma used to make, we had to try the Thai Passion menu… and our palates were pleasantly surprised.
“The Chef and his culinary team will ensure that all dishes will get a sumptuous spread of the best traditional Thai cuisine,” said Viranat Silananda, Amara Bangkok’s General Manager who grew up eating his mother’s home-cooked Thai meals in the United States. “Our culinary team use fresh and quality local and imported ingredients to ensure that each dish served is authentic so that guests can enjoy the texture, presentation and taste as I enjoyed since I was young.”
For starters, we chose the Ma Hor (180 baht), herbed minced pork with peanut on pineapple morsel. Like most Thai food, this vintage dish was delightfully sweet, aromatic and balanced by the fresh pineapple, chili and coriander. A definite must-try and we believe Element is one of the few places in Bangkok that offers it. The next dish, Crab Roe Relish (280 baht) served with salted egg, crispy fish and an attractive array of vegetables, had three chili symbols next to it on the menu which we found to be quite accurate. The Yum Tua Poo (180 baht) or winged bean salad was tangy and mildly sweet, with just the right amount of spices. Fried shallot and dried chili added another layer of crunch to every bite. Lovingly topped with soft-boiled egg and prawn (both runny and oozing deliciousness), this dish was an instant favorite and we would recommend it to every traveler who is looking to try something slightly more adventurous than the Thai papaya salad. Also good is the iconic Prawn Pad Thai (320 baht), one of the “safer” choices, which came aesthetically wrapped in an egg crepe.
Element’s interiors are tasteful, ambience relaxed and the service was second to none. The cocktails, stylish and non-traditional (mint and toffee?), were interesting complements to the menu. The overall experience here was enjoyable and the food was not only delectable and different to mainstream Thai cuisine, but beautifully presented, making Thai Passion at Element a treat for all five senses and highly recommended to anyone in the neighborhood.
Thai Passion at Element is available daily from 6.30pm until 10.30pm at Element, Amara Bangkok’s all-day dining restaurant on 180/1 Surawong Road, Khwaeng Si Phraya, Khet Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand 10500. To make a reservation, call +66-2-021-8888 Ext. 5320 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the hotel’s website at http://www.bangkok.amarahotels.com