Petit Bangkok, A piece of Thailand in BarcelonaGeneral
The restaurant was born in a tiny local (where we now find the Thai Noodles of the same owners) in Zaragoza street and was the best kept secret of the district of Farró in Barcelona. At that time there were only 3 people: in the Saowa and Pui kitchens and in the Dani room. At the time, this same blog made a criticism, and it can still be valid, because despite having moved (to an apple) and having expanded both its size and the staff -all Thai-, has not changed the quality of their dishes. For more info, please visit us on https://www.yuzuramenthailand.com/th/.
Dani and Saowa, partners in the restaurant and in their personal lives, met in Bangkok years ago while Dani was travelling with a friend. They got lost in the streets of the city and went into the local police station to ask for a map. There she found the guidelines for her own life, as Saowa, his future wife and mother of his daughters, was there as a translator from Spanish into Thai (the language she learned in Guatemala). Saowa, dreamed of going to Paris to live, but it was Dani who convinced her to go to Barcelona.
He worked as a sound technician and when she arrived in Barcelona, she worked as a cook -without experience- in the Thai Lounge. She is a great observer and learned quickly. She tasted a dish, and without asking how, how much or what, she was able to replicate it perfectly. This is called a person with talent and sensitivity.
Thai cuisine is composed mainly of the mixture of the 4 “s’s”: sweet, sour, spicy and salty. That’s why their dishes are always so exuberant in the mouth and so interesting for their contrasts in both taste and texture. It’s one of my favorite cuisines, largely because of the use of cilantro in their dishes, one of my favorite aromatic herbs.
The people of Bangkok ride their particular mopeds everywhere and on a daily basis, they eat at the street stalls instead of at home, and not only because they offer delicious, freshly made food, but also because it is very inexpensive. In addition, they bring their own whisky from home to mix it with soda and fight spice better.
On our short trip to Bangkok, we ordered as a starter some Pho Pia Sod nem rolls that are wrapped in fresh rice pasta with prawns, vegetables and fresh mint. Very fresh, light and crunchy.
Then came our Tom Yam Kung, his country’s most traditional spicy soup, consisting of shrimp, Thai herbs (coriander, lemongrass and lime leaves), spices, lime juice and a variety of mushrooms (mushrooms and shiitake).
his soup, like his cousin Tom Kha Gai (based on coconut milk), plays with contrasting and intense flavors while being very floral. The spice stays on the palate and becomes a delicious anesthetic that still allows you to notice the flavors of its ingredients.
It is a soup with introduction, knot and outcome, that is, it is transformed with each bite. First it burns and the sips are small with little seasoning. Then, during they are presented and you get to know the list of ingredients and at the end, it is a fresh farewell where the most herbal and aromatic flavors predominate. But always wrapped in that first spicy impact that does not abandon you even in the last spoonful. Ideal for diners looking for strong sensations.
Then comes, as always, the Thai Pad. Another of the street dishes par excellence. Normally, as it is more neutral in flavor and not so spicy, it is consumed with the popular and spicy papaya salad, to appease and neutralize.
The Pad thai, for those who do not know this delicacy, are rice noodles with tamarind sautéed with prawns, soya sprouts, egg and grated peanuts sprinkled on top. The ingredients melt together, making each bite an amalgam of their ingredients. They are mouthfuls that start sweet (by tamarind) and continue fresh (lime).
But what is interesting is, in addition to the contrast of flavors, the contrast of textures: the pasta is soft and warm and the sprouts of soybeans, chives and peanuts provide the cold and crunchy. It is also a complete and balanced dish (animal protein comes with shrimp and egg).
We also ordered a red curry with tofu and vegetables accompanied by perfumed long grain rice. The most to least spicy curries are: green, red, massaman curry and yellow and can be ordered with a choice of chicken, veal, prawns, tofu or duck.
The vegetables with which the dish is served bathed in curry are little boiled, so that once again we have crunchy bites that contrast with the softness of rice or tofu. In this case, the curry is the protagonist and the rice the conductor of its flavor (it makes us bread) and the vegetables and the tofu its companions, giving it crispy and sporadic freshness (above all with the beans and almost raw carrots). This time the spice is different, it is in tongue, instead of palate and remains in mouth much longer.
Accompanied by a Singha national lager, we dined in a family atmosphere, cheerful and informal. The protagonists of the place are the coloured lamps hanging from the ceiling and the mustard coloured wallpaper, which I don’t think they know, but I chose it for them.
My interiorist friends from Mis-mas had a sample of the paper I put in my house in their shop window, in the neighbouring premises when the Petit was under construction. They saw it and asked them where they had found it.
With this detail, I can only say that more in my house I can not feel (besides being the restaurant in Barcelona that I have visited more times and I have done take away). A must. And remember, call ahead, and if your attempts are frustrated, you’re always left with the Van Van Market.