Started by Duangporn Songvisava (bo) and Dylan Jones with the belief that the best Thai restaurant should be in Thailand, armed with this belief, years of experience from working with such great chefs as David Thompson and Amanda Gale and doorstep access to the amazing produce offered from the markets in Bangkok you know they are onto a winner. After a quick taxi ride down Sukhumvit and only one missed turn we find ourselves outside Bo.lan a renovated thai house with a big beautiful balcony,
as it's raining we slip inside to find the interior is just as beautiful.
The menu is seperated into the traditional Thai divisions of salad, soup, stirfries, currys, relishes and desserts with a couple of choices on each. You can just order a la carte or as we did go for the Bo.lan balance where the chef decides on the dishes to created a balanced Thai meal, perhaps also with some dishes not offered on the menu.
We started off with an amuse bouche of pandanus juice with rice wine, a Thai whisky sour, chilli salt and some other little thing (told you sorry). The raucous flavous of the whisky as well as the sipping smooth pandanus rice wine definitly amused our taste buds and had us raring to go.
This was followed up by a plate of delicious tidbits to keep us going till the meal arrived.
On a long white plate we had a son in law quails egg; depp fried soft quails egg topped with a salty fish sauce caramel and deepfried shallots. Well balanced and delicious.
A thin slice of steam pork wapping something delicious (oh please forgive me)
A small puffed rice cake topped with a spicy fresh lemongrass salad
A small bowl which Kat seems to think had a betal leaf wrap inside.
And finally on the end nahm makam boran (ancient tamarind relish) atop a sliver of pineapple (thanks for the correction anon)
After swooning our war through the first two courses our meal was ready and in usual Thai style all brought to the table at once.
We were asked if we would like jasmine rice or red rice from the north. Of course we both the red rice, it had much more body than regular jasmine but not as much fragrence.
Moments after the rice arrived the table was covered in a delicious feast.
A salad of river prawns and grilled eggplant, all tossed in a garden of fresh herbs a soft boiled egg on the side and topped off with a cloud of fluffy prawn floss and several wickedly hot deep fried chillis. Yum.
Our stirfry was one of fresh squid and garlic chives with a few orange chillis thrown in for the fragrance. Of course it was delicious and of course I tried one of the fragrant chillis to find out it was also tounge meltingly hot (though we may have just been away from Thailand for to long)
Luckly we had a rich, soothing, tounge coating coconut curry at the table. The mon style gaeng khi lek with fall apart braised beef. The mon being one of the hill tribes living in Thailand and khi lek a leaf for which I know no other name. The curry was mild and loaded with coconut cream and with the beef super rich.
The relish we were given has from the first mouthful become my favourite lon of all time as well as one of my top ten farvourite things ever eaten. House made naam (fermented sour pork sausage) gently simmered in coconut cream, expertly seasoned and topped with shredded galangal to create a master piece. The artistic arrangement of the assorted garnishes only highlighting this dish was a work of art. I especially loved the little prawm mince stuffed dok kee flowers and the, well and all of it. Unreal.
Our final part of this awesome meal was the soup as we had ordered we were asked if we would both like the same soup, as it was we had both had our eye one the muslim style beef shank soup so we ended up the same, but I loved that you could get your own one person size soup.
Feeling very happy well fed we were just sitting bach going "ahhhhh" when a little pre-dessert arrived. An elegant martini glass of deseeded lychees and rambutans topped with shaved ice and a perfumed syrup, drapped across the top candied pomelo peel. Just the pre-dessert, wow.
And the spectacule was still going with two plate of three different dessert brought out.
Plate one; Mango sticky rice, palm sugar agar and a light and crispy palm sugar meringue.
Plate two; A cute little paper bag of sweet taro chips, a candied coconut ball and a bowl of sweet coconut cream and banana.
By now were swimming in a delirious haze of contentment but there was still more to come as if just to really let you know you were somewhere really speacial.
We sat and just stared at the petit for plate for a good five minutes. It was so beautiful.
With mangosteens (favourite fruit ever) wafers, tuilles, hand made candies and caramel puffed rice, really incredible.
If we were to have eaten any of that meal as an indivudal piece we would have been happy to .. to have it all in one meal was amazing!!
Bo.lan is well on their way to creating one of the finest Thai restaurants in the world, and doing it in Thailand.
42 Soi Pichai-rongnarong-songkram
Sukhumvit, Soi 26