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Sunday, April 15, 2012

99 Rest Backyard Cafe - Rama IX (Eng Version)

99 Rest Backyard Cafe (1st Visit) Rama IX Bangkok 

Overall Score  9/10
Taste   4.5/5
Ambiance  4.5/5
Service  4.5/5
Value   4/5

See other reviews of the 99 Rest Backyard Cafe on www.bumres.com

The review is on a restaurant named 99 Rest Backyard Café.  This restaurant was fairly new on my first visit (April of 2011).  It is owned and operated by a famous chef in town, Chef Ian.  He also owns the well known restaurant in the CBD, named Hyde & Seek.  The 99 Rest is located in front of a community project under the name of 99 and something.  With its location, nearby the Praram 9 road, they had put together a cool name.  Then for the latter part of the name, Backyard Café; you will understand when you go there or see the photos.  A simply mind soothing and comfortable set up of their garden deserve to be called the Backyard Café.  So tranquil and cozy; it would make you feel right at home.  They have both outdoor and indoor dining areas.  During the later time of the year when it is less hot, sitting in the outdoor would be quite a relaxation.  On this day in the middle of the rainy season, please let me be in the air-conditioned and enjoy the garden through the windows.

I have read about the architecture of this restaurant, I recall that the architect who designed the 99 Rest is the same as the one who did a famous and exclusive hotel in Thailand (but I can’t remember the name).  I admit that the overall environment of this place was simple and spacious; effortlessly fine tuned.  Regarding the customer service, the staffs were definitely disciplined.  We received really good service, paralleled to a standard of the five stars hotel (maybe better than some five-star).  Essential elements to be a great restaurant are atmosphere and service; the 99 Rest already had both.  Now, the third element is the food, which is the most crucial of all.  The menu here consists of Thai, Asian, European, and Fusion.  You can find out more about dishes available in the tab menu like usual, I have already listed for you.  I noticed that choices for European dishes are not as many as the Hyde and Seek.  At 99 Rest, they offered only about 30 European dishes.  I don’t understand.  Then for the Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes, they had about 300 dishes; 100 dishes for each.  The huge food selection confused me a bit; I mean they can’t all be good, right?  I say it would be better to have fewer dishes but only great ones. 

Today I ordered four dishes.  The first one was the Rocket salad and Italian sausage.  This one was looking fabulous.  So much of the many condiments, it was very kindness of the chef.  In terms of the deliciousness, I sort of had a high expectation but I still think it is better than Rocket Salad of many restaurants that I have been to.  The second one was the Angel Hair stir-fry with the crab.  It was not as good; so bland that I could barely taste anything.  There was not enough crab, mostly scraps of crab meat.  Lucky we had the just enough drib of sauce to cover the noodle (I like it more saucy).  With the sauce, this one became passable.  The third one was a steamed white fish with the seafood dressing.  I was a bit confused when I first saw the dish; it didn’t look like a fish fillet.  Once I had the first mouthful, was convinced that it’s a real fish.  But I had no idea what was the reason for the unknown orange color sheet to be on the fish.  The texture was like the skin of some meat, I still don’t know what it was.  Anyways, this one was yummy; fish was soft and juicy, intensely splendid flavor, especially with the unknown orange sheet. 

And then the last dish arrived; the Hong Kong pork over Rice.  Many reviewers recommended this one, so I could resist to trying it myself.  Wow! Unbelievably outstanding, I wanted to cry.  The taste and the experience was similar to eating the Kao Ka Moo (Street dish-Braised pork shank over rice) but it was a thousand times better.  The pork was so tender, savory, and juicy.  I could not describe more; you have to try it for yourself.  The side vegetable was the tip of kale, which I believe to be a Chinese kale; so fresh, it was revelation.  Most importantly the broth over the rice, top grade jasmine rice with the heavenly dark sauce; all united to a flawless dish.  Let’s give Chef Ian a big round of applaud for this culinary creation. 

We had two desserts; The Crepe Cake and the Guava & Apple Crumble.  Due to the fact that I am not an expert over the sweets, I didn’t have my hands on them so much.  Well, I don’t know how to put this.  Let’s just say that I didn’t like them.  I have had better.

The bill totaled to 1695 Baht, which included the service charge and the tax (like in any upscale restaurants).  High priced meal came with the quality that you would find in the fancy hotels.  We experienced the extravaganza; atmosphere, food, and service.  For six dishes, there is no way we could get away with this price.  In the exclusive hotels, a bottle of sparkling is already 300 Baht.  To conclude, the table for two at the 99 Rest Backyard Café was satisfying.  Writing this review six hours after the meal, I am still stuffed.  If I have a chance in the future, I would bring my family here to try other dishes in the menu.  So many of them looked really interesting and yummy!

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