BANGKOK — Not everyone has an adventurous palate, and not every meal has to be an adventure.
Those with mild taste buds – or expats recently transplanted to Thailand – may appreciate the mild dishes with a safe taste range on offer at a brunch franchise with dishes geared especially for foreigners living here.
The Coffee Club is a Thai franchise of coffee shops serving both Thai and international dishes. Founded in 2010, the franchise now has 23 branches across Thailand. Bangkok alone has 18 branches, and two each are in Phuket and Pattaya, and one in Hua Hin.
The franchise is part of Minor Group which also runs Pizza Company, Swensens, Sizzler, Dairy Queen, Burger King, and so on.
At a hosted visit to the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit branch, a PR representative said that dishes are geared specifically for expat palates, with a panel of Westerners critiquing new menus.
The Khao Tom Set (200 baht), where a bowl of porridge is served with a choice of sides – pick any four of the eight sides on offer for a flat fee. The stir-fried minced pork with Chinese black olives and the salted egg salad are flavorful and zesty respectively, but the stir-fried kale and the omelet are so neutral-tasting they remind one of “safe” breakfasts on days when one is having a turbulent stomach.
Vegetarians can opt for choosing only the veggie and egg dishes and ask staff to hold the naam pla (fish sauce).
The Spicy Grilled Pork Collar Pasta (220 baht) gives generous portions of soft, grilled pork. The PR rep said that the menu had been adjusted to be more sweet than spicy by their panel of farang taste-testers. Those who prefer sticky and sweet over spice may be more inclined to favor the dish, which only has whispers of grounded rice dusted on top to hint at Isaan cuisine.
Barring the misleading name, the Spicy Sriracha Chicken Burger (195 baht) was the cheapest and yet most potentially satisfying to both Thai and foreign tongues, the non-spicy breaded and fried chicken thigh decorated with cheese and tomatoes.
Contrast that to the Classic Eggs Benedict with Salmon at 300 baht, where a slice of bread is served with two poached eggs, some slightly sour hollandaise and Norwegian salmon similar to the ones at the supermarket that comes in slices.
Even as a non-coffee lover, the slightly expensive Yuzu Lemon Cold Brew (140 baht) disappeared in less than five minutes, while the Flat White (110 baht) served in a mini Central Perk-like mug was a milky cup of Australian coffee that thankfully had no added sugar.
This review is unsponsored and is based on a hosted visit.