Bo.lan Bangkok Review - Thai Eco-Friendly Restaurant

wnfdiary
WNFdiary @wnfdiaryApril 2019 · 11 min read


The lunch at the Saneh Jaan restaurant and Erawan Tea Room awakened our appetite for more pristine Thai gastronomy. This time we headed to another gastronomy venue – Bo.lan Bangkok. To be precise, Bo.lan is not only about gastronomy, but it is also an ideology and revolution in one. So what is making this restaurant so unique? Read our Bo.lan Bangkok review and find out.

Concept of Bo.lan Restaurant

Arrival to Bo.lan Michelin star restaurant felt more like a visit to the friend's house. While we approached the premises down the entryway we got an instant homely feeling. That feeling got enhanced by the sight of the small henhouse on the left side of the pool area. Once we noticed the beehive, we were over the roof.

city oasis
city oasis

Tiny oasis in the middle of Bangkok.

It felt like we found a rural oasis in the middle of Bangkok. Our enthusiasm continued when we stepped inside the house, where every corner celebrates Thailand. The dark wooden interior is a charming background for artistic food images and flower installations. For a change, flowers have their spot on the wall, while the table is reserved for the culinary delicacies. On top of all that this is an upscale dining restaurant that follows the eco-friendly practice.

chicken house in front of the Thai restaurant
chicken house in front of the Thai restaurant

Hi, girls we come in peace.

I will be very brief with their ideology and philosophy. In a nutshell, it's about committed to change the food industry and revive authentic Thai food. Everything had begun with a lack of knowledge about Thai food in the country and close to zero organic product. After the initial shock, they started a mission to find a few small-scale organic farmers that still exist.

hen house
hen house

Careful when going around the pool, close to the chicken house is also a beehive.

The only way to find them was to explore Thailand for their restaurant suppliers and give them much needed support. Not only this partnership is beneficial for the restaurant but is also crucial in preserving rare native plants and organic techniques.

wooden interior of Michelin star restaurant in Bangkok
wooden interior of Michelin star restaurant in Bangkok

Every corner of the restaurant celebrates Thailand.

Restaurant Menu

The menu is based on the local ingredients and it changes with the seasons. No matter what is on stock the perpetual goal is to have an as little environmental impact as possible. With that in mind, we were eager to try everything that is on their lunch menu. The Bo.lan lunch starts at noon and is supervised by Dylan, while evening star is Bo. No matter when you plan to visit them you'll get your taste buds pampered with traditional Thai flavors. To be clear, Thai cuisine includes chilies in many dishes so be ready for some tingling sensations.

small bottles on display
small bottles on display

It's all about personal touch.

Before you make a reservation, I suggest checking the menu if you try to avoid certain foods (not chili!!). When we were there all the dishes included animal proteins, which was somewhat disappointing. I can only guess how the previous menus were, but I hope that individual dishes on the future the menu will vary more.

Thai eco products
Thai eco products

At Bo.lan you can purchase some local organic produce and support the small scale farmers.

Wine List

Wine list hides a surprise for lunch and dinner; the wine from Thailand. Not just Thai rice wine, but "ordinary" wine as well. Along with bio-dynamic and organic produce from around the world, it is a captivating list. For those who don't care about alcoholic drinks, Bo.lan Bangkok offers signature mocktails.

  • Stained glass doors
    Stained glass doors
    Stained glass, brings color inside.
  • Blue stained glass
    Blue stained glass
    This Thai restaurant includes many authentic items that are off the menu.
  • Bangkok Michelin star Thai restaurant
    Bangkok Michelin star Thai restaurant
    For a change, flowers have their spot on the wall.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Among the pink guava mojito and watermelon mojito, we chose the third one; a so-called herbal drink made from lemongrass and pandanus. I expected some bold lemongrass with subtle pandan in the background, but it was the exact opposite of that. Modestly measured lemongrass freshened the drink in which the spotlight belonged to the subtle pandan.

Bo.lan interior
Bo.lan interior

The dark wooden interior is a charming background for artistic food images and flower installations.

Michelin Star Lunch

For our Bo.lan lunch, we turned to the four-course tasting menu instead of the single plate dishes. Even so, it is good to know about the less time-consuming option full of delight. On the side, we got free flow of organic Gaba brown rice and organic white jasmine rice, both cooked perfectly to the tooth. Maybe more known name for the Gaba rice is germinated brown rice or sprouted rice, which is easier to digest, very healthy and more flavorful.

  • rice bo.lan
    rice bo.lan
    They will serve you Organic Gaba or Jasmine rice. Gaba rice is germinated brown rice, which is much healthier option.
  • Michelin restaurant table setting
    Michelin restaurant table setting
    This braided eco-friendly greeting could be a piece of jewelry.
  • Hanging decorative plant
    Hanging decorative plant
    This Thai restaurant is about commitment to change the food industry and revive authentic Thai food.

Amuse bouche hit the pallet straight away to show us what is coming. The mixture of minced pork, large mint leaf and plenty of shallots sent us through individual characteristics that worked well together.

bo lan bangkok michelin star restaurant
bo lan bangkok michelin star restaurant

Amuse bouche right away.

Thai Hospitality on the Table - Main Dishes

As we are used to in Asian cuisine, we got all the dishes at the same time. This “course-prohibited” act filled our table instantly and left us to enjoy all of them as we pleased. Naturally, Ian and I had a taste of all eight Thai dishes, which all tasted great and were portioned adequately

bo.lan restaurant
bo.lan restaurant

For our Bo.lan lunch, we turned to the four-course tasting menu instead of the single plate dishes.

Let's Start With the Salad

Even though we were advised to combine everything with rice I had to taste the first salad on its own. That way I could savor the tender grilled pork with lively additions of pomelo, santol, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and mint. Each ingredient served the purpose of flavor, texture and aroma, all rounded by a sweet kick of chili dressing.

pork salad at bolan bangkok
pork salad at bolan bangkok

Grilled pork neck with santol and pomelo fruit, seasoned with chili jam dressing.

The honey coated aroma of the second salad proved to be the opposite of my predictions about the fish salad. This refreshing appetizer starred with abundant mint leaves and aromatic herbs. Even so, I quickly included the rice, to balance the saltiness which led to the evolving flavors.

fish salad at thai restaurant
fish salad at thai restaurant

The honey aroma of this fish salad got minty refreshment and was the best with the brown sprouted rice.

Soup

Combination of creamy coconut, chicken and young galangal is absolutely delicious. The flavor profile of this soup starts with young galangal that provides the piney-herbal notes with mild heat and goes on with milky coconut.

bo.lan lunch coconut soup
bo.lan lunch coconut soup

Combination of creamy coconut, chicken and young galangal at Bo.lan restaurant is absolutely delicious.

The dominating seasonings in "Boat noodle" style soup were the cinnamon and coriander. Both of them and many others masked the thickening agent of this soup, which by tradition is the blood. Don't be appalled! It's not weird to use all the animal parts instead of throwing them away. What is wrong are artificial additives and lack of respect for food in the modern world. I'm thrilled that at Bo.lan ethic reach beyond the food and include the environment as well.

thai soup at Michelin restaurant
thai soup at Michelin restaurant

The dominating seasonings in "Boat noodle" style soup were the cinnamon and coriander.

Thai Curry is a Must

Thai Curry is unlike any other even though some spices are the same as in Indian curries. At Bo.lan kitchen stuff goes a step further and makes each curry paste from scratch. For the occasion, we got a portion of aromatic chicken curry and a bowl of thick pork curry.

chicken curry
chicken curry

The intense yellow color of the southern style chicken curry indicated the use of fresh turmeric which blended well with other spices, especially the shrimp paste, black pepper, and of course chili.

The intense yellow color of the southern style chicken curry indicated the use of fresh turmeric while taste added the bouquet of shrimp paste, black pepper, and intense chili heat. Thankfully I was able to get all green chilies out of the bowl and enjoyed the remaining tender meat and pickled bamboo.

Thai southern curry
Thai southern curry

At Bo.lan kitchen stuff makes each curry paste from scratch using eco-friendly local ingredients.

The "Tair Po" pork curry with crunchy morning glory had a strong citrusy taste with dried fish addition for more depth. With the fishy twist came the part I didn't enjoy, even dough it complimented the pork ribs just fine.

The Last Main Dish on Our Bo.lan Lunch Menu

The strongest dish of them all, in my opinion, was the stir-fried pork with Andaman shrimp paste and sator beans. The sator beans are also known as stinky beans for the apparent reason. Even so, their distinctive smell is not off-putting. I'd say the bouquet tells you they are healthy, but not everyone can handle them.

bo.lan lunch
bo.lan lunch

As we are used to in Asian cuisine, we got all the dishes at the same time so we could enjoy all of them as we pleased.

Ian, for example, tried one and gave the rest to me. That, of course, didn't happen with the pork even though it is much less healthy. I like the differences in the texture and taste, which goes beyond words - Umami and more… Anyway, I'd be happy to have these beans on their own in the same thick gravy with paprika and aromatic caffer lime leaves.

thai restaurant
thai restaurant

The strongest dish of them all, in my opinion, was the stir-fried pork with Andaman shrimp paste and sator beans (stinky beans).

The last goodness was all from the sea, with crunchy Thai samphire sea-vegetable and tender stir-fried prawn. Here the prawn is indisputable king, especially with prawn stock covering everything. Its tender meat gets crispiness from the samphire, which is also salty by nature. This succulent plant receives the salt from the sea, while it grows in the coastal area.

sea asparagus with prawn
sea asparagus with prawn

The last goodness was all from the sea, with tender stir-fried prawn and crunchy Thai samphire, sea-vegetable also known sea asparagus.

Classic Thai Dessert for Finish

I finally found pleasure in quintessential Thai dessert that I tend to disapprove due to the artificial syrups. This shaved ice is a way to combat the tropical heat, with 100% natural toppings made of aromatic jasmine syrup, sour green mango and ginger warmth. At the bottom of the glass, it was also rambutan and santol fruit for a more satisfying finish. In the light of the whole meal also the dessert combined the unforeseen contrast by a pinch of salt.

shaved ice
shaved ice

I finally found pleasure in quintessential Thai dessert at Michelin restaurant, only because of the 100% natural toppings.

What More is There to Say? Critique.

There is no point in denying we didn't enjoy our time. We did, everything was very flavorful, only the dessert was to a bit too simple. However, we missed some of the warmth we experienced at Erawan Tea Room, Le Normandie or Saneh Jaan Michelin star restaurants before. And those restaurants aren’t even ‘family businesses’ like Bo.lan.

Flower decoration
Flower decoration

Not so eco-friendly! These plastic bouquet could be easily swapped with a lovely real plant in a pot.

Is it really that hard greet your guests and put some personal note? Well, we were warned about this. Celebrity chefs deserve the praise, but I suppose with the exposure they change. In this case, the holistic homely feeling is gone. Unless they want to change the design of the homely restaurant, the owners should be more personal with the guests.

recycled art
recycled art

Something is missing in this piece. I know, homely touch.

Final Thought

Cooking from scratch is part of the gourmet cookery which ends in an utterly delicious meal. The cherry on top for Michelin star meal is the chef's deep passion, which in this case concerns more than just quality ingredients. It starts with running the zero-carbon footprint restaurant and personal twist to the Thai gastronomy and ends with supporting local and autochthonous ingredients.

Bo.lan courtyard
Bo.lan courtyard

Outside the restaurant is a lovely place to chill after a meal.

The only missing link here is homely feeling. If you prepare place like your home, cook your food like moms used to at Thai homes, act like we visit your home. After all, that’s why we visited you!

  • Thai chandelier
    Thai chandelier
    At first I thought this chandelier is made of straws, but I doubt this would be possible for this design.
  • 3d art
    3d art
    This 3D art piece goes in the details! Not only the tiny AC is a necessity in tropics, but also all the doors and windows are turnable.
  • Thai food at Michelin restaurant
    Thai food at Michelin restaurant
    At Bo.lan restaurant we got the authentic Thai food presented in a classic way.

Bo.lan Review Card


[wp-review id= "7890"]

Price and Location

Lunch like ours will cost you here about 40 USD per person. When you are in Bangkok I warmly recommend paying a visit. Here is a link of location for easy peasy navigation. Bon appetit



Posted from my blog with SteemPress : https://wnfdiary.com/bo-lan-bangkok-review-thai-eco-friendly-restaurant/

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