Greyhound Cafe: Introduction and Showcase #1- Thong Lor and Emporium Mall, Bangkok.

There will be a series of posts about this spectacular establishment. Mainly due to the number of times I have visited and had my tastebuds tantalised since my first meeting with ‘The Greyhound’ in the summer of 2012.

Their concept in a nutshell: They serve a variety of thai and “thai fusion” dishes- each one I have tried in subsequent visits goes onto the list of items I must include. (It is getting rather long, and I have to step up my post targets from one a day to at least two or three if I am to finish the Thailand chapters before the end of this week- when I would like to begin posting recipes of my own! Exciting!!) Yes, so their fusion dishes range from pasta to noodles to exotic salads often presented de-constructed, for a haptic interaction with the food on a whole other level. Very novel… and I love dishes that, quite literally, question methods of consumption.

What I would like to showcase first is their “Complicated Noodle”  dish which I first sampled along with their Pomelo Salad (Yam Som O) and traditional Pad Thai. The pad thai noodles were disappointing and I found the salad paled in comparison to others I had eaten in the past. However, when the Greyhound fetched me my Complicated Noodle, all was forgotten.

It came to me on a wooden board with a bouncy stack of iceberg lettuce leaves and fresh coriander. Next to it, a stack of square sheets of what I figured was the ‘noodle’ component in my deconstructed order. Next to that was a bowl filled with some succulent stir-fried pork mince  and another more shallow bowl of a dressing comprising of fresh chilli, sliced garlic, chopped thai basil, vinegar, ginger, sugar, and a little fish sauce. (I have a knack for tasting ingredients in sauces and re creating them. It’s actually how I gained an interest in cooking, through making my own sauces and dressings… but I’ll save the rest of that story for my recipes page…)

The pork was fragrantly cooked with garlic and subtle spices. I could almost taste that zing of the raw ginger and chillies against the comparable sweet aftertaste of the basil in the sauce…I could tell this was an incredibly well thought out dish before I even tasted it, as the aromatics mingled in the balmy air of my outdoor table… giving me a prelude to what they would soon repeat on my tongue.

The incredibly presented Complicated Noodle-  Otherwise known as Pork and Lettuce Wraps !

Presenting: Complicated Noodle.

I didn’t want to waste another second. I observed my sister taking a leaf of iceberg and scooping a little of the pork, a few fresh coriander leaves and a sprinkle of the dressing. Arranging all of the components on her lettuce cup before neatly folding it up and taking a bite. I followed suit and was instantly reminded of the pork and lettuce wraps my mother used to make for us when we were younger as a starter to our Far-Eastern themed dinners.

Absolutely delicious. The dressing and fresh coriander leaves lifted the exceptionally seasoned, succulent pork. Each spice spoke for itself and never out of turn. I could taste black pepper, something earthy and also sweet so I am tempted to guess the use of five spice powder- which commonly contains anise and cinnamon.  More to the point, I was blown away by this perfectly balanced dish- harking back to the original formula of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy that I mentioned in the previous post.

After the lettuce ran out, we were left with half a stack of square noodle sheets. Waste not want not. No seriously WASTE NOT! It is an offence to this dish of a criminal nature.

I invented a rather novel way of assembling wraps of the remaining ingredients so I wouldn’t end up a slip-sloppy mess of noodle, dressing, and pork. See picture below. 😉

'Complicated' Assembly

‘Complicated’ Assembly

I laid a square sheet of noodle on a spoon. Arranged a leaf of coriander, some pork and a little of the dressing. Fold the flaps over and send the spoon on a collision course with your, at this point, rightly salivating mouth.

This is easily polished off between two or three people as a refreshing starter or even one person as a light lunch. That day, the Greyhound and I knew our loyalty to each other was sealed… in little parcels of deliciously dressed meat!

All of the food I ate in Thailand was excellent value for money and reasonably priced… Naturally, this followed suit and ranked very highly in my ratings. Which are as follows:

The ratings:

Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5
Innovation: 5/5 (stellar!!!)
Texture: 5/5
Haptic engagement with my food and sealing my loyalty to the Greyhound: 5/5

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