Bangkok Post reviews
All in proportion
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: October 11, 2013 at 8:31 am
Mo-so grub in a fine-dining setting
American bites, with all their fatty and cheesy goodness, don't have to be limited to neon-lit diners or franchise settings. The perception is that this type of food couldn't possibly be sophisticated, but at The Garret, new American cuisine is given an upgrade and a swankier setting than the usual greasy crib.
This bistro-bar is a hidden enclave on the sixth floor of the MINI Showroom, away from the hustle and bustle of party central Ekamai. Truly secretive as its name suggests, The Garret Secret Bistro-Bar offers a quiet city-line view with a snug yet modish setting _ the glasshouse is adorned with coloured glass lampshades that hang above printed couches and wooden chiavari chairs, while the outdoor area is home to Italian stone fountains and calming foliage. Laid-back but still contending as a fine-dining establishment, you can also order food from Fuzio, the next-door Italian restaurant. But before you can get to this under-Instagrammed attic-like sanctuary, you'll have to venture through a seemingly-shady elevator and dimly-lit corridor _ after all, there's nothing like a mini-adventure to work up an appetite for strong drinks and comfort food.
For appetisers, potato skins (250 baht) was selected. Thin wedges of slightly crunchy potatoes were under a blanket of chipotle sour cream and a multihued handful of diced tomatoes and bell peppers. What's good is the wedges were thinly sliced and perfectly bite-sized _ in case you need help with not overeating. Although drenched with cream, it didn't overpower other tastes and was hardly soggy. Great for sharing or all for yourself, if you're feeling fearless.
Next to arrive was the angel hair (290 baht), a pasta dish with garlic confit, chilli oil, trio ibiko roe and mushrooms. More oil would have saved the angel hair from being a big, tangled knot, but it was hardly something to fuss about as rich flavours from the chilli and ibiko roe will make your palate pop. It's fiery taste is a good pick to offset the other fatty and cheesy dishes you'll probably order.
Original GR beef burger.
The main course and quintessence of American food _ the Original GR Beef Burger (320 baht) _ was a hit. The buns were toasted just right, being crisp with aged cheddar on the outside and the beef patty tender and juicy. Served with large, hearty french fries, Thousand Island dip and coleslaw salad, it was a massively towering helping, but still felt a bit dry and lacking the wow factor. Nevertheless, it's a safe pick if you want things plain, with no weird surprises thrown in.
However, the most calorifically delightful don't-miss was the seafood quesadillas (270 baht). Cut into finger-food triangles, the chewy dough held together a just-right amount of cheese and chunks of seafood _ shrimps, mussels, octopus _ dotted with a colourful array of bell peppers yet again. The avocado salad was a luring pastel green and added a suave, cooling and sour kick to this otherwise carb-dominated dish. They don't overdo any particular ingredient, especially the cheese, and create a well-balanced and pleasant composition of flavours. You might have expected this dish to be stodgy like the potato skins, but the secret this bistro seems to get right is making each sinful serving only nibble-sized _ although not to the miniscule point where it is hardly filling.
All desserts at The Garret are home-made and apple Garret (190 baht) is one of its most-ordered treats. Again, it is portioned into easy-to-eat servings and each thin piece of multi-layered crust has a filling of piercingly piquant apples. There was a vanilla creme fraiche _ smooth and aromatic _ that helped tone down that tang and after having a hardly guiltless meal, choosing some fruit-orientated dessert rather than a sugary one might make you feel a little less bad about yourself.
Bistro-bars are a trending place to hang out at and the cocktails at The Garret don't disappoint. There's a long list of both girly and non-girly choices for concerned shutter-bugs to choose from and Richy (250 baht), a signature of vodka, lychee juice, passion fruit puree, lime juice and monin lavender syrup had a strong and sweet kick. When you're done with eating, you can move to the bar zone if you want, where a colourful array of liquor bottles line the cheery turquoise wall. But wherever you're sitting, service is top-notch as can be seen in the attentiveness and helpful attitude of the waiters.
When your secret-worthy meal draws to a close, don't forget to check out Fuzio Charity Art Gallery next door, where proceeds from every purchase are donated to the Child Help Foundation in Khon Kaen.
Inside this easily-ignored long corridor, a conceptual photo exhibition is currently on display and covers a variety of subjects which are both thought-provoking and visually pleasing. Make it no mystery that you support the cause by buying an art piece and leave The Garret feeling better about yourself in general, even if it's not tapping on the after-meal cognitive dissonance.