You couldn’t fake it

In Bangkok, wondering where to eat. A Google search found Thai Tatler’s restaurant reviews, preferred location & favoured cuisine narrowed the field to a few options. And, in the end, we chose Harmonique.

And that turned out to be a very good choice. My sort of restaurant in many ways. Not undiscovered by farang, indeed almost entirely a farang clientele, spread in three different spaces over a couple (or more) of old houses off a small soi on Charoen Krung. The guiding genius seemed to be an elderly Thai Chinese woman, more 80 than 70 I’d say, judging by the laboured, flat-footed walk, who was in a pale pink trouser outfit and had her hair, quite youthfully, pulled back in a pony tail. All the staff seemed to be short young Thai Chinese women, in bright pink tops, racing around with great efficiency.

Anyway, the place seemed to exude the personality of its owner … strands of fake flowers strung above; wooden parrots on swings; pottery roosters … kitsch perhaps, but natural, uncontrived. You couldn’t fake the personality of the place.

And the food … well, very, very good. Perhaps the highlight was the fish kebabs … never had that before, but the fish so wonderfully moist, and the peanut sauce so light. Delicious. But all good. The deep fried fish in lemon grass sauce, the tom yum kung, the crab curry … that last a little sweet, but with a mousse-like quality … I guess they whisk egg whites through the sauce and quickly place it under a grill. If the dishes came out a little slowly for my taste, that’s a reflection of the busy-ness of the night … what really impressed me in all the dishes was the way the fish – and the prawns in the soup – were not overcooked.

So, all in all, a most happy choice.

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