Patara Fine Thai Cuisine's first China branch serves classic Thai dishes especially geared to local customers.
Slices of duck breast with garlic chili sauce and crisp basil, for instance, use duck as the main ingredient. "We understand Chinese people love ducks. They are nutritious and tasty, so here we make it the Thai way," says Patara Sila-on, owner of this high-end restaurant.
There is also braised duck leg soup with lime, blending the typical sweet-and-sour flavor of Thai cuisine with duck meat.
Diners also can try slow-braised pork belly with wuxiang (five spices), coriander and coconut. It takes the shape of the typical Chinese dish dongporou (东坡肉) but is spicier. Thai tocas is like the Beijing snack jianbingguozi (煎饼果子), except that instead of flour and eggs, it uses shrimp-flavored pancakes to wrap the pork.
"Our Thai chefs knows how to use local ingredients to make a Thai dish," Sila-on says. Maybe that is Patara's secret recipe of success.
Although there is no Tom Yum Goong soup, other traditional Thai dishes, such as scallops in yellow curry with pineapple, steamed coconut rice and fried rice vermicelli with egg, carrots and leeks, are sure to satisfy diners.
The decor includes some Chinese elements, such as pillars done in red and gold, and lantern-like decorations. However, you can tell it is a Thai restaurant as soon as you step in, because of the unmistakable scent of lemongrass. Handmade cushions and comfortable chairs give this place a cozy warmth.
Patara has already established a brand reputation in Bangkok, London and Singapore. Its Beijing branch will continue its tradition of high-end Thai cuisine and better-than-average service, management says. The average cost is 500 yuan per person.
11 am-2 pm for lunch, 3-5 pm for afternoon tea, 5:30-10 pm for dinner. 601, F6, Jinbao Place, 88 Jinbao Jie, Dongcheng district. 8522-1678. 东城区金宝街88号金宝汇6层601