A tea-tastic experience at Thong Lor's Waan Thai

Waan Thai offers a high tea set that spotlights dainty Thai bites

The Thai establishment by chef Chumpol Jangpraiserves elevated traditional Thai desserts. Its name, which translates as "sweet Thai”, may trick you into thinking of it as a Thai dessert cafe. And, though the main highlights are traditional Thai desserts, chef Chumpol also offers an array of savoury Thai dishes, a few very traditional and rare in these modern times.

Waan Thai on Thong Lor 9 is about a new tea experience; the signature high tea seeing British tea tradition tweaked with local flavours. Eight dainty Thai mini bites are served in four tasty combos, pairing savoury finger food with miniature confections. 

Chor chompoo is paired with the sweet Thai crispy crepe, khanom bueang and is served as the show opener. At first glance, I misjudged chor chompoo as a sweet bite, based on its cute appearance — pink and flower-shaped. A one bite treat, the earthy taste of sautéed mushrooms, with a peppery hint, changed everything. Khanom bueang counters all the savoury with the sweet delights of thick white cream, candied coconut and tiny thong yord (sweetened egg yolk drops). 

I call the second combo "the coconut power”. Khanom krok is traditionally made as sweet, but at Waan Thai it is savoury. It is luxed up with caviar that balances the mild-sweet coconut milk filling with saltiness. The coconut delight goes well with a coconut sponge cake with slices of fresh coconut.

The Pad Thai crepe and Thai milk tea-filled chocolate praline takes after Thai street foods that have been reimagined. Waan Thai dishes out the famous stir-fried noodle dish unconventionally in a green rice wrap. Yet, it did not fail to bring out the taste of Pad Thai. The chocolate confectionery gave me a flashback to a coffee capsule with its distinctive shape, while its groovy marble pattern in orange and white dropped a playful hint of what flavour awaits. It is one of the all-time favourite drinks sold at street vendors: Thai milk tea. The drink has gone beyond its true form, serving as a sweet filling to balance the bitter tang of the dark chocolate shell.

Tea o'clock ends with Grilled chicken skewers with tea leaves and dara thong, which I call "team golden”. Diced chicken is marinated with a melange of satay marinades, one of which is turmeric, which gives the meat a golden tone, before being charcoal-grilled. It is paired with the auspicious Thai dessert dara thong. The golden dough ball is crafted into the shape of a crown with sugar-coated melon seeds as jagged edges. 

The high tea is priced at B612 per set for one person and B1,212 for two, which is inclusive of fine tea from Singha Park, an organic tea garden in Chiang Rai. Alternatively, there are also signature coffees. Waan Thai is open daily from 11am-5pm. Call 094-215-3945.

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