Wolfing it down at Greyhound Cafe
Thailand's Greyhound Cafe recently opened here. KF Seetoh checks out one of its Bangkok outlets
At first glance, a few of their outlets in Bangkok tell me that there is a clever employment of visuals, with edgy design using industrial elements.
It is clearly a collection of good ideas that do not match up in one place.
This cafe, with 14 outlets all over Asia, including Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, serves food on wooden chopping boards which are sometimes wrapped in greaseproof paper and graffiti laden plates.
In short, it's a millennial cafe. And these folks recently set up in Singapore, as if we don't have enough of these tin cup and army mess-tin food container eateries.
Then the food came, and I was forced to change my tune.
The owners of Greyhound Cafe, Madam Pornsiri Rojmeta and Mr Bhanu Inkawat know their game very well.
They recently opened their doors for business in Paragon at Orchard Road here.
I checked out one of their main outlets in Siam Center in Thailand as a yardstick for when I try their Singapore set-up. We over ordered, and first up was the Spaghetti Cha Cha Cha or the Black Ink Pasta (300 baht, S$12).
It came in a big soup bowl and looked like it was plated for an Instagram post.
The black ink pasta was al dente. The heat from the chilli, melded with the seasoning and Thai basil leaves, was wicked, yet I could not stop eating it.
In short, be careful when the waitress asks if you want it "normal" or "very spicy".
I had to tuck into the Sweet Corn and Crab Fritters (240 baht) to calm things down.
The sweetness of the corn and crab folded into a light and crispy batter did just that. Never mind the accompanying sweet Thai chilli sauce.
I enjoyed the next item for a simple reason.
The spicy Crab Bomb with Rice (450 baht) with a bowl of pork ribs soup came the way they would serve it at the street stalls - except that they used a lot more crab chunks here.
The "bomb" meant very spicy, and it was. I craved for the sweet crustacean to save me at each bite.
For those who shun lamb because it is gamey, Greyhound Cafe's Grilled Lamb Skewers (380 baht) came without that meat-pong.
I think they use a younger lamb, boil it until it is soft and the offending flavour calms down, then grill it for smokiness.
It was a little pricey for those three skewers though.
Then a sad little platter of Fried Chicken Wings (140 baht) came, and this is a so-called signature of the cafe.
Only the middle section was served and I took that obligatory first bite, while it was still hot.
The wings were very well fried, and the juiciness retained inside was what makes this a signature dish. Barely any batter nor marinade - just a perfectly fried chicken wing.
We sweetened things a little with the fancy Yor Lor Granita, essentially a blob of Thai kopi ice kacang.
It did not register in my tummy's Richter scale.
I look forward to comparing notes with the outlet in Paragon, once they settle in.
Siam Center, Bangkok (next to Siam BTS station)
11am to 10pm daily
KF Seetoh, the founder of Makansutra, dabbles in street food businesses like Food Markets and has his own TV shows on cable. He publishes food guides and online content. He is also the creator of the World Street Food Congress. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.