Unlike many Thai restaurants in Taipei, Bangkok Jam does not boast of the authenticity of its menu, nor does it conjure up a Thai theme with metal rice pots or photographs of Wat Arun. Instead, the establishment woos diners with its fresh variations on Thai cuisine and the breezy environment of a modern, fusion-styled dining spot.
Formerly Grand Patio (泰廷), a Thai restaurant operated by Thai food conglomerate S&P, Bangkok Jam opened in June as a joint venture between S&P and Creative Eateries, a Singapore-based restaurant group.
The interior has a cosmopolitan appeal, with timber furnishings and black tile decor, French windows and a patio dining area. The waitstaff is composed of mostly 20-somethings who are polite and attentive.
As for the food, it is hard to go wrong with the restaurant’s signature dishes. Grilled pork loin with lettuce wrap (碳烤豬排佐生菜, NT$300) is a refreshing choice of entrees, consisting of tenderly grilled pork, minced red onion, diced lemon, chopped peanuts and garlic with a sweet dipping sauce on the side. All of the elements are wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves and the ensemble delivers a cascade of flavors and textures.
The quickest way to sample all of the restaurant’s popular curries is through the three flavors of curries (三色咖哩, NT$380) menu option. Packed with diced pineapple and tomato, chicken and lemongrass, the red curry has a surprising sweet-and-sour tang, while the green curry is mild. Made with beef, carrot and potato chunks, the massaman curry is the tangiest of the trio.
The curry dishes, all gentle compared with what you usually get at similar establishments, reflect the restaurant’s focus on relatively light fare. Another example is the soft-shell crab in mellow curry (黃金咖哩軟殼蟹, NT$380), which comes with an ample serving of a moderately fruity and sweet sauce.
Address: 12, Ln 247, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路一段247巷12號)
Telephone: (02) 2731-5288
Open: Daily from 11:30am to 2:30pm and 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Average meal: NT$700
Details: Menu in Chinese and English, credit cards accepted
The menu offers plenty of Thai standards, such as tom yum, or spicy and sour seafood soup (泰式酸辣海鮮蝦湯, NT$120 and NT$380), which is suitable for diners sensitive to spicy foods. The restaurant’s rendition of seafood pad Thai (泰式海鮮炒河粉, NT$200) is topped with bean sprouts, spring onion, egg, shrimp and overly dry fillets of fish.
A fine way to wrap up a meal is the banana with hot caramel sauce served with vanilla or chocolate ice cream (焦糖香蕉佐冰淇淋, NT$160), a popular item on the dessert menu. The marriage of fried fruit and frozen dessert is ingenious.
Bangkok Jam operates branches in the alley behind the Eslite Bookstore Dunnan branch (誠品敦南店), at the recently opened ATT 4 Fun in Xinyi District (信義) and on the 11th floor of the Zhongxiao Sogo department store.