Monsoon Café’ and Restaurant, a relatively new arrival in trendy foodie hub of Thonglor is already ‘whetting’ appetites
by Christopher Scott Dixon
Sometimes the best things in life are discovered by chance. Such is the case with Monsoon Café’ and Restaurant, which we found just walking down Soi 49 on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok. This is a sister eatery to the well-established and popular Monsoon Restaurant on Soi 8 (Tel: 02 653 1110; monsoonbangkok.com) on the same road.
Monsoon on Soi 49 is a classy yet relaxed venue. There are lots of mixed light and dark wooden tables, suitable for both couples and groups. The large dining area has an open cooking section at the rear and an attractive terrace is available too.
Seating is a mix of chairs and cozy upholstered cushioned sofas and the illumination is subdued enough for those romantic evenings. A sprawling bar counter and well-stocked shelves of wines and spirits give a colorful extra dimension.
There is often a temptation for restaurants to fall into the gastronomic trap of trying to please everyone by offering a menu that reads more like a novel but ultimately displays a lack of real identity or focus. Monsoon’s drinks and food lists are diverse and extensive, but it succeeds brilliantly in providing a balanced choice of Western, Mexican, and Thai dishes. ‘There is no sincerer love, than the love of food’ was the quote on the menu and we were both eager to exhibit our devotion to this saying.
A flavor-filled signature Monsoon crab salad adorned our table first filled with fresh crab meat, shrimp, avocado, and various greens packed in a crisp tortilla. Then yummy Phak Yang followed made up of grilled vegetables wrapped in bacon rolls.
Moreish Tod Moo Kung was next, consisting of deep fried shrimp and marinated minced pork wrapped around lemon grass sticks.
We sipped on a zingy passion fruit cocktail made up of triple sec, vodka, soda, lemon and syrup, then swiftly devoured a main of lamb shank with spices, taro mash, mojo tomatoes, shallots and pan jus. The meat was perfectly tender and the accompaniments were tasty.
From the Mexican menu we ordered delicious chipotle chicken that came in a tortilla bowl, bursting with flavors and fresh ingredients – greens, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, quesea fresco and cheddar cheese.
For fish we tuck into a pan-seared tuna with a wonderful fusion of coconut, lemongrass, a risotto base and a tangy mango and pineapple salsa. A divine dessert of passion fruit cheesecake was finished almost as soon as it arrived at our table.
Monsoon has a memorable and inventive menu, with an inviting atmosphere, and slick service.