ozing Bangkok from the word go, Holy Cow’s new enterprise, One Night in Bangkok, really encapsulates the Thai capital starting from the curtained entrance and sliding doors to the slightly dingy though smart red and black interiors and Muay Thai paintings on the walls. Blaring 90s pop music signals a lively evening, though it really picks up post 9 pm. Once your eyes settle to the darkness, you’ll discover that the menu focuses on the popular street food culture.
From the ample list, we picked chicken satay, northern style chicken sausages and stir-fried bamboo shoots with peppercorn. Although the chicken is reminiscent of Indian tikkas, the peanut sauce and 21-day fermented raw vegetables really seal the deal. Sausages (sai krok esaran for those who are more familiar with the Siam delight) are made in-house and are also fermented lending the meat a smoky yet sour flavour – a winner in our books. The bamboo shoots seem mild but leave a kick of chilli after, and make for a lovely change for vegetarians. A chicken version too is on offer and cuts the spice levels immensely. Feeling moreish, even greedy, pork belly and lotus stem were next up, and didn’t disappoint. While the pork wasn’t crispy, it had well soaked the chilli, basil and garlic flavours that the cuisine is best known for. And a fried indulgence, the lotus stem heralds its arrival with the fragrance of ginger and is served with a garlicky tang. Spicy Thai prawns beat out the competitors of wrapped prawn with wasabi mayo, but only because the wasabi slightly overpowers the shrimp.
While soups, mains and dessert are not part of the menu, and you’re encouraged to pile on the finger foods, they do have day specials – Massaman, green and red curry on the day of our visit. The green curry was the perfect balance of sweet, salty and sour notes, plus enough dried chillies to pleasantly numb our lips. The Massaman (chicken) is also high on spice but the steamed rice equalises it beautifully. We love that you get slices of meat on the side rather than it being mixed in with the rest of the vegetables.
Drinks make the place more worth the visit, especially their selection of Thai cocktails. Tom Yam Siam was particularly noteworthy for its bitter sweet flavour and white rum kick – a perfect alcoholic version of the soup! Siam Surprise is great for anyone looking for less vodka and more papaya and passion fruit juice. But it was the Muay Thai Punch which floored us. White rum blend with guava, lemon grass and Kaffir lime for a tangy and tropical drink we could sip on all night long. Service couldn’t be friendlier, and we’re sure that if you don’t get off from work to end up in Thailand, this spot will easily cut it as a replacement.
‘1,500 for two. At 12th Main, Indiranagar. Details: 9739902745