Tuesday 9 March 2010

W for Wanlamun Restaurant, Patisserie, Tea Salon

What a name! They say "W for Wanlamun"'s French pastries are fantastic, some of the best in Thailand, and rivals those in Montreal and San Francisco. In addition, they are supposed to have lovely fusion and authentic (traditional) Central Thai (Bangkok style) food, prepared by the patisserie chef's mum. So I was curious...

The ambience was lovely. There is a air-conditioned indoor section, and a very nice outdoor garden area. Simple but comfortable. The waiting staff were very nice and helpful too, but sometimes they were a bit hard to find.

Since we were there at dinner time, the dessert will just have to wait! A selection of Thai dishes were ordered, including this simply sublime Yum Som-O (Pomelo Salad), a sweet and sour dish with combination of pomelo, prawns, pork, deep fried chopped garlic & shallots and toasted coconut, possibly one the best I've had. It was amazing how every ingredient complimented each other so well, there was just the right balance of sweetness, tartness and spiciness giving a "high tone" and the "earthiness" - a kind of undertone (if that makes sense!). The toasted coconut gives the dish a whole different dimension, and somehow every ingredients work together to become a kind of symphony in your mouth. Hmm..I think I'm getting carried away here, but it was really very nice. 110 baht.

The Hor-mok Pla Chon (Steamed Serpent Head Fish Curry in Banana Leaf) was also lovely. Beautiful firm texture, and not too spicy. Nice presentation too - someone told me it reminds them of a flower. Incidentally, this is the "cheapest" dish on the menu - 60 baht.

All the other dishes we had were also very good. We ended up ordering quite a few dishes as the servings were quite small (and we also wanted to try out other dishes as well!).

Other dishes of note were: Mee Grob (Crispy Fried Noodles) - very, very good ; Kaeng Keaw Wan Loog Chin Pla Krai (Fish Balls in Green Curry served with plain rice and Salted Egg Salad) - this dish was particularly interesting. The Green Curry was very nice, but the "salted egg salad" turned out to be tiny balls of salted egg yolk in a sour, spicy and slightly sweet dressing. Amazingly, it worked! The little balls of egg yolk (they gave us 3 - may be one per person?) and the curry were scrumptious eaten together.

So after a rather filling meal, we had to do what we came for --- try "W"'s famous pastries. By this time, there weren't a lot of choices left - a lot of the pastries have been sold in the afternoon. We ordered two to share - a lemon tart (85 baht) and a rather fascinating sounding Thai Tea Millefeuille (115 baht).

The lemon tart was quite good, but I don't know if it's the best in Thailand. The millefeuille turned out to be fantastic. The pastry was firm but crispy, actually rather hard to cut (and eat gracefully!), the thai tea custard had a firm texture and had the right amount of sweetness and went perfectly with the pastry. Gorgeous!

So would I recommend "W for Wanlamun"? It's a definite "YES"! I'll definitely be back - probably for afternoon tea next time. I've heard that coffee is quite good there too. It's not cheap though - the total bill for the 3 of us came to be 970 baht (well, it's on the expensive side for Chiang Mai). However, considering the quality and enjoyment factor, I think it's worth it.

W for Wanlamun
1 Chang Moi Rd, Soi 2.
A. Muang Chiang Mai
Tel: 053 232328
Map here

Lunch: 11:30am-2pm
Tea and Pastries: 11:30am-10:00pm
Dinner: 6:30pm-10:00pm

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