We began with a selection of appetizers, the first of which to hit our table (see overhead picture) was Kai haw bai toey or marinated morsels or chicken wrapped in pandanus leaves and fried. When I saw this one, I wanted it to taste good, that delicious were its looks. Glistening segments of brown-glazed chicken peeking through green leaf-segments. If this dish tasted half as good as it looked, my evening was made. It didn’t. The chicken dumplings that followed Dimsum kai were nice with their vegetable counterparts, Dimsum phak tasting quite bland to me. The predictable Som tam arrived soon, tasting crisp, crunchy packing a far greater chili hit than I’ve ever tasted before – good! The Corn cakes with red curry paste and herbs (Thod man khao phod) had lovely texture though I did think they could have done with some more flavor. Finally, completing this segment of our meal, arrived parcels of rice paper containing herb tossed mushrooms and raw onions (Pra hed), which were nice (though ordinary) and I feel, best eaten as an accompaniment, than a standalone starter.
Most restaurants I’ve visited of late speak boldly of the magnanimity of their funding, but little about themselves. Thai Pavilion is no exception, featuring sterile, expensive-looking decor that gives me little reason to retain visual memories. It’s smart alright, well lit, tastefully done and looks great, but is unable to deliver on that one, much-needed parameter – character.
Next: The Main Courses