Bangkok Post reviews
A trend to stick with
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: February 17, 2012 at 8:26 am
It-eatery proves to the palate that it's more than a passing fad
In a city overrun by social network-obsessed diners, an appreciation of a new dining establishment may come and go as quickly as the thrill for new smartphone applications. Thanks to geolocation check-in services like foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla, people can change their favoured dining destinations extremely fast just to keep up with the in-crowd.
Over the past couple of months since it opened, All Six to Twelve has fit the profile of the social network's favourite venue. The restaurant is set fashionably in a New York-loft style with every corner designed as if for an "Instagram moment".
But, my dear readers, don't get me wrong. What you are going to read is not a sarcastic review of a new eatery but my good impression of one that offers more than just visual contentment.
When it comes to cuisine, this social-bar restaurant is also the place for palatable comfort.
To avoid the usual weekday crowd, my friends and I arrived at the restaurant at 5pm for an early dinner. As its name suggests, food, to be ordered from the same menu, is served from 6am to midnight.
The best-selling Chinese-style chicken confit steak with organic salad.
The 70-seater has a black and white colour scheme with a high ceiling, low-slung industrial lighting fixtures and rustic walls. The loft-like setting blends stylishly with bay windows that can turn into cosy reading corners for guests coming alone or looking for a more solitary dining experience. While a mixologist station designed to remind of a warm private kitchen adds a cheerful homey feel.
The restaurant's cocktail menu comes with an entertaining user-friendly philosophy. The "Six to Start" category features a selection of light concoctions that will nicely start off your evening while "Six with Fresh" offers a variety of fruity cocktails ideal for women who prefer sweeter and more refreshing tipples.
As the night progresses, the drinking mood can be intensified with options from "Drink to Twelve", which lists five stronger house-blend cocktails designed to gratify avid bar-flies. An extensive collection of other beverage choices, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, is also on offer.
Of all six drinks ordered by our party of four, the most praised were the three cocktail choices: Honey Fizz (280 baht), Cosmo (250 baht) and Crush on You (290 baht), the last of which, inspired by the season of love, is available only in February.
The love-inspired cocktail, Crush on You.
All Six to Twelve's cuisine is basically home-style Thai with a creative twist, although some international dishes are also on offer. And just like that of the beverages, the selection of food (55 items in total) has been well chosen for the sake of pleasuring taste buds as well as a well-being diet. Most of the vegetables used in the restaurant come from the owner's commercial-sized organic farm, which also supplies to a number of fine restaurants in Bangkok, while every dish is prepared absolutely without MSG.
Our dinner kicked off wonderfully with one of the best-selling starters, baked nachos (140 baht), which presented house-made tortilla chips topped with melted mozzarella cheese and fresh tomato-jalapeno salsa. The chips themselves were light, crispy and flavourful and only needed a slight relishing touch by the delicious shrimp meat-cast salsa.
Another appetiser truly worth ordering is tuna mango salad (120 baht). Thick slices of partially seared sushi-grade tuna came tossed with sweet mango cubes, fresh shallots, tomatoes, lettuce, mint and Italian parsley in sour and spicy chilli-lime dressing to create a great combination of colours, textures and, of course, flavours.
Next up, a perfect complement to a cocktail drink was confusingly described in English as 'crispy Chinese herbs' (120 baht). The dish, in fact, featured crispy pork rind and cashew nuts caramelised with sweet phalo dressing, and proved addictive.
For main entree, the herbed chicken steak (180 baht) may sound tiresome but the dish was said to be very popular. It featured a double-cooked whole chicken leg (steamed with Chinese herbs before being deep-fried) accompanied by mixed green salad and blueberry gravy. This Chinese-style chicken confit yielded a crispy exterior while its mildly salty meat retained its juiciness and intermingled superbly with the salad and the precisely sweet gravy.
Tuna mango salad offers a great combination of colours and flavours.
If beef is your preferred choice of meat, you won't regret ordering tournedos Rossini steak (420 baht). Served on a bed of sauteed spinach and topped with pan-seared duck liver, the bacon-wrapped grilled beef tenderloin was left on our table for at least five minutes before someone decided to stop chit-chatting and have a sample.
The quality of the meat, however, proved beyond criticism. Even when it had turned a bit cold, the medium-cooked beef was still succulent and flavourful. The spinach also added a scrumptiously delicate touch to the beef, as did the fruity gravy.
From the rice and noodles category, we tried stir-fried squid with salted egg, which was served with bite-size portions of rice vermicelli (110 baht) and was nice for sharing. This modern-day local favourite presented gummily soft squid rings tossed with salted egg yolk, onions and sweet bell peppers to offer a mouthful of sweet, salty and eggy tastes that went well with the fine rice noodles.
Equally delightful was the sauteed flat rice noodles with brown squid, egg and shrimp-paste oil (95 baht), which came with a pleasant wok-burnt aroma.
It's a slightly adapted version of the popular guay tiew khua kai (fried rice noodles with chicken) with the chicken being substituted by the crunchy squid and shrimp roe (ebiko).
As a bar-centric eatery, it doesn't focus on desserts. Yet, from a small selection of home-made cakes, we found true satisfaction with young coconut cake (85 baht) and dark chocolate-fresh strawberry cake (85 baht). Both of them were luscious and not overly sweet.
Many might have thought that All Six to Twelve's glory was just skin-deep, considering its chic setting and fashionably clad crowd. But if you have a chance to let your own palate, not your online mutual friends, do the judging, you'll find a substantial reason to believe that this restaurant will outstay many gastronomic trends.
Baked house made nacho chips with fresh tomatojalapeno salsa.
The tournedos Rossini steak with pan-seared duck liver and blueberry sauce gravy.
The all day-dining restaurant is set fashionably in a New York-loft style with every corner designed as if for an ‘Instagram moment’.