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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why 97 Pub and Restaurant Review - Asiatique, Bangkok

Why 97 - Pub & Restaurant with European and Thai Fusion Food at Asiatique, Bangkok

Overall Score  7/10
Taste   3.5/5
Ambiance  4/5
Service  2/5
Value   3/5

Why 97 - European Pub & Restaurant on BumRes.com (For more pictures and menu)

This review is on the pub and restaurant named, Why 97 at the Asiatique.  I have gone to the Asiatique many times and this place had always been so appealing to me.  About the Asiatique in general, I really like the whole set of this huge outdoor shopping plaza with the riverfront concept.  The Asiatique is a very successful project.  I have just recently reviewed the Fire&Dine and the Flann O'Brien.  There are many other attractive restaurants at the Asiatique I want to review, so I want to review them all. 

Due to the warehouse scale of each unit, the Why 97 is quite a large size pub and restaurant, similar to other restaurants on this side of the Asiatique.  The Why 97 is in the Warehouse 9, consist of both indoor and outdoor seating.  Overall design concept of the Why 97 is a crossed culture between the South, New Orleans style and the rustic European look.  The restaurant is quite spacious with the high ceiling.  There is a loft area for higher seating area. A stage is set up for live bands but we were there kind of earlier, so we missed the live music scene.  With this large dining hall, the Why 97 can surely hold the weekend crowd of the Asiatique.       

Regarding the food, the Why 97 is serving a fusion style dishes; mixed of American, European, and Thai.  An average price is around 200 - 300 Baht for simpler dishes and the main course could reach up to about 500 - 700 Baht.  

The first menu was the Stir fried Duo Seafood with special Thai Shrimp Paste - 260 Baht.  A Thai flavored dish with the more classy presentation.  The actual taste wasn't as strong as what a Thai person would expect.  Good shrimp and squid but the sauce was rather ordinary, which are commonly found at most Thai restaurants.  

The second dish was the Angel hair with the river prawns, olive oil, garlic, chillies, white wine : Why 97 style - 490 Baht.  With the restaurant's name labeled, this dish is presumably the signature dish of the  Why 97.  Its presentation was superb, showing the head and the tail of the river prawn.  After getting so excited with the look, the impression of tasting part was mediocre.  I personally felt that there could be more to it with this menu besides the tomato sauce and the shrimpy aroma.  The texture of the angel hair was good though.    

The third dish was the Soft Shell Crab Salad - 320 Baht.  Served in one whole piece, the size of the crispy fried soft shell crab was overwhelming.  To enjoy with the fresh spring mix, this crab was even better.  It must be the balsamic vinaigrette that gave the slightly sour and salty.  For a 320 Baht salad, it was well worth it because of the crab size. 

The fourth dish was the Roasted lamb shank in Thai "Paloe" Sauce - 350 Baht.  Looking at this dish in the menu made me drool.  But the real image wasn't as appetizing as in the menu.  It was a basic stew lamb.  It wasn't that expensive.  I have had the lamb shank this size for 600 Baht before, so this one was a good deal.  The sauce may not be as rich in the lamb meat, though it was quite tender.  

The fifth dish was the Salmon fillet in Thai red curry sauce - 320 Baht.  This dish was simply served with just the fillet and the red curry sauce.  Outer part of the salmon was nicely charred to crispiness and the inside texture was good.  The sauce had the authentic Thai taste.  

As we all know, the Pub & Restaurant or Wine bar these days always create their own special drinks for the customers.  The Why 97 also had their offerings.  We had a couple of cocktails, K&B "Two for the road" - 590 Baht.  Served in ice box with the cool carafe and two shot glasses.  Not so sure what was in it.  I assumed vodka, lime, and something sparkling.  Well, we liked it.  Good drink, fun presentation.  The other drink was the Pink Panther's - 160 Baht.  It was a mocktail, tasted much like typical punch, nothing outstanding about it.  Have it just to be cool.  

In general, my experience at the Why 97 was somewhat impressive if I didn't care about their customer service.  The food was above average and the atmosphere was just perfect.  I was a bit disappointed with the service staffs.  They were just not trained well; the manner, the routine, or the care.  Perhaps our table lacked attention because we sat outdoor.  At night time, many people would love to sit outside; to people watch or to enjoy the night sky, or to whatever.  It shouldn't matter where I sit, the service should be equally the same for every table and every customer.   If they improve on the service, it would be a really good place to be at the Asiatique.Well, the Asiatique was again a wonderful night for me.  I am looking forward to going back and review more restaurants there.  

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