Bangkok Post reviews
Plain but priceless
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: December 21, 2012 at 8:16 am
A little nook for the man _ or any others _ who needs a sweet escape
No heinous lines here at this quiet country cafe.
I have a great secret that I really don't want to share, because I don't want to see hordes of people at my favourite place to wallow in solitude the moment this review comes out. But since it's my job to do so, I have no choice but to spill the beans on where to head for, what I think, the best desserts in town.
It's hard to break through the clutter of eating joints these days, but Flour Shoppe is a spot you can really relax in, away from the hubbub of the busy mall: it's hidden in the nook of Central Lat Phrao department store as opposed to being situated in the plaza with all the other eateries. Serving a well-rounded menu of desserts and savoury bites, inspiration is taken from French, American as well as Japanese dishes.
The painfully bare appearance of each dish may be misleading, but whatever Flour Shoppe lacks in garnish and decoration is made up for in taste _ a superior one too. You crazy people that like to take photos of food might find it a letdown, but owners of the Y chromosome who have a sweet tooth and find entering a pink, frilly cafe too much to ask for will appreciate these manly-looking treats.
Light-coloured wood and a white cupboard showcasing eating equipment dominate the space. Decorated in beige and cream hues, the open and spacious store follows the template of a Provence cafe, with wooden tables and chairs, country-style the way the French like it. The vibe is an easy-going secrecy and the playlist is not blaring a Bossa cover of some Gaga song (horror!), but rather, laid-back R&B or sometimes, jazz. Five cookie points for that.
The first dessert to arrive was Osaka Cheesecake (95 baht). The small round cake's texture was lighter than a feather and evenly soft. They got the taste just right too, with the fitting amount of sweetness and cheesiness. The strawberry cream that came with it was a goopy, pink concoction that can be eaten with or without, but it adds more tart to this dessert that may be too peaceful for the taste buds.
Landing on our table next was the Lime Cream Tart (95 baht). It looked agonisingly plain, but boy, it sure packed a lot of chills! I perked up immediately after one bite, because it was much more sour than I expected. The silky-smooth curd had no chunks and you could really smell how a lot of lime probably went in, not just the mere ghost of it, as at many other places.
The crust was buttery too, although the bottom crust felt a bit like cutting through a rock.
Another star of this place that arrived next was Tokyo Toast (165 baht). The portion was not humongous but what was more important is it didn't start to taste greasy-gross after five bites, nor even when it got cold. It was probably because the not-too-tall toast wasn't overloaded with syrup and butter in the middle and the small scoops of milk ice-cream didn't sog everything. All in all, hardly any of the desserts here give you the sickly feeling after a few bites, and finishing the perfect portions is hardly a chore.
However, my favourite has to be Chocolate Mousse Cake (125 baht). Served with diced mango and vanilla sauce, the cake was baked to that divine moment where it is so rich and gooey, but is still intact as one piece. The luscious and moist texture is a pleasure to sink your teeth into, even more when paired with a different kind of sweetness from the mangoes.
Croque Monsieur Toast.
The last dish was Croque Monsieur Toast (225 baht). The bechamel sauce, melted cheese and ham will leave your tummy warm and fuzzy, but the toast was rather too thick. It was not a stunner like its dessert siblings, but the standout from this is probably the salad with tangerine dressing and homemade pickles. Putting the crisp pickle into your mouth, you'll get that sense of knowing you are eating food that is supremely fresh. It was not overly sour or strong, so even non-pickle-lovers like me loved it.
The drinks were also top-notch like the desserts. The Strawberry Soda (90 baht) was another wake-up drink that was more sour than sweet, thanks to the amount of real strawberries that were used. Move along, if artificial, syrupy sweet is what you prefer; this fizz comes in small bubbles and tastes smoother while contrasting the sweet bites you have been eating.
The only bad news about this place is how Flour Shoppe is not the only store _ a new branch just opened at Central Chidlom. There's no Wi-Fi or plugs too, but that's good news for me because that means it won't become a work factory with toilers and annoying group meetings.
Alas, the best we can hope for is that Flour Shoppe stays true to using noticeably premium ingredients that give a finer taste at a reasonable price and that the waiters remain super friendly and not obsessed with high turnover rates. The reason I also dig this place is because there isn't a snake-long line outside giving you the Evil Eyeball so you quickly scarf down your food _ as long as that doesn't come around to my little private corner, I'm all good with letting you in on my secret.