Farm fresh

A trio of sisters delivers ingredients from the highlands to Bangkok tables

There's a rather unique cafe that is small in size but big on philosophy. Farm To Table Organic Cafe tries to use as many organic ingredients as possible in its menu. It's the brainchild of three sisters from a farming family in Chiang Rai. They want to bring healthy produce from the highlands to 1.5m above sea level in Bangkok at this casual eatery.

Farm To Table is located in a colonial-style shophouse next to I.C.P. Flower Market near Pak Klong Talat. It used to be in a more central location at CentralPlaza Grand Rama 9 but was relocated a few months ago.

The venue is claustrophobically adorable and inviting with its rustic decor and cute decorations that fill the small space with life and playfulness. You can sit on a table with a sewing machine for a leg and inhale the sweet scent of waffles being made nearby, or at the bar facing a wall adorned with framed media testimonials. Attention has also been paid to little details like eating utensils. The food here is served on cute handmade plates and cups made by artists from Chiang Rai - all very Instagrammable.

Since I walk to the shop from Saphan Phut pier in the afternoon, Green tea latte (B45) sounds like a sensible way to refresh myself. It offers mild sweetness and the real scent of green tea without headache-inducing sugary-ness.

Continuing on my caffeine climb, I order Affogato (B80) which presents both bites and sips in one cup. The ice cream scoop is drowned in a hot shot of espresso that slowly melts it. I pair the strong coffee's lingering aftertaste with sweetness from soy milk ice cream. You can go traditional with vanilla, of course. Part of all beverage proceeds helps feed underprivileged children via Help Live (http://www.helplive.org, facebook.com/HelpLiveThailand).

Waffle (B80 with one scoop of ice cream, B115 with two) is topped with chocolate sauce and almond slices. The a la mode side of sweet potato ice cream offers smoothness to complement the waffle's crusty surface. The waffle itself is too bland for my liking so sweet tooths may want to replace chocolate sauce with honey.

The cafe's real highlight is its array of ice cream. It offers around 12 flavours each day but has a total of 30 in its arsenal (B35 per scoop, B65 for two). Some flavours aren't easy to come by, i.e. ginger. Besides the aforementioned soy milk and sweet potato ice creams, green tea, black sesame and pumpkin all impress. Their texture is neither icy nor creamy, the natural flavours come through and none are saccharine.

Besides its sweet selections, Farm to Table offers savouriness too. If you're in the mood for some fluffy bread with fresh filling try a sandwich - Tuna or Ham (B65), or go super green with Spinach.

For something more filling, there's Kao nam prik ong or rice with northern-style chilli paste (B75), which offers a nice balance between sweet, sour and spicy. In addition to minced pork, the dish also contains mushrooms for meatiness. Japanese curry rice with boiled egg (B75) is another rice dish on offer.

This cosy venue may run out of some items before closing time since they make food day-to-day and out of selected ingredients. While there are other organic/healthy places in town that are more easily accessible, you won't easily find one at this pricing. That being said, I don't think Farm To Table is worth making an effort to get to just for its food.

However, should you decide to forego the familiarity of Sukhumvit and Silom for Saphan Phut night market and the temples and museums of Rattanakosin Island, why not stop by Farm To Table for some nibbles and ice cream.


Farm To Table Organic Cafe: International, Mon-Sat 7am-8pm, Sun 11am-8pm, 179 Atsadang Road

02-115-2625, facebook.com/FarmToTableOrganicCafe

About the author

columnist
Writer: Pornchai Sereemongkonpol
Position: Guru Reporter