S'uvimol Tea House—A Hidden Exotic Oasis In The Concrete Jungle
While many of us resort to driving far, far away from the concrete jungle that is Metropolitan Bangkok for some green refuge, Patcharapimol Youngprapakorn, founder of exotic skin bag brand S’uvimol, refuses to put herself in such an atmosphere to begin with. "Around six years ago, I purchased this house in Sitthi Prasat Alley, Sathorn to be used as the headquarter of the company," the designer talks about the estate. With a flow of guests visiting her cosy office, she and her son Varujart "Champ" Pavarodom decided to open the S’uvimol Tea House to serve the increasing number of visitors. With Champ as the chef and Patcharapimol's stylish eye on the arrangements, the new restaurant serves not only food and tea but also exquisite, laid-back surroundings.
The gates guard an otherworldly venue shaded by a large banyan tree with green lawn and animals. Every table is prepared by Patcharapimol herself with fresh flowers and her private collection of chinaware. The excitement is that you will be served with a different dish from the person sitting next to you. Before sitting down, many cannot help but enjoy the company of all the animals roaming freely in the garden. Tiny the pig greets visitors with excitement while hens and chicks go about their business. Tortoises and koi fish also add to the variety.
Speaking to the chef of the establishment, Champ explains, "many of the recipes belong to mother while others are created by me with the help of many different people." The signature dish is the tiger prawn with blue butterfly pea rice and a side of Senegalia sprouts. The prawn is cooked just right so that the flesh is crispy yet tender and the fat still creamy. Another popular one is the spicy fish sauce with green mango, a special recipe from Patcharapimol.
Two different courses are offered at S'uvimol Tea House: the afternoon course and the evening course. Starting both menus is a cup of refreshing seasonal fruit sorbet and dried fish flake with chilled Kanchanaburi watermelon. For the afternoon course, miang pla gleeb bua, or grilled fish wrapped in homegrown sacred lotus petal, comes next, topped with aromatic herbs and shrimp paste to enhance the taste of the whole bite. A recent addition is the baguette with smoked duck breast, caramelised onions, basil and green apple. Then, of course, comes the signature tiger prawn with sweet fish sauce and Seneglia sprout.
For dinner, in lieu of the smoked duck breast will be the bruschetta with homemade sweet egg served with fermented wasabi dip. In addition to the lunch menu, more dishes such as the simple fried tofu topped with Korean anchovies and black beans are on offer. Another main course served during dinner is steamed bass with tofu and kimchi, where natural juices from the fish, tofu and fermented vegetable form a rich and highly satisfying broth.
Chef Champ adds that he personally prefers each ingredient to be straightforward, both visually and on the palate. "What you see is what you taste," he sums up. This philosophy also applies to the tea that is served at S'uvimol Tea House. Fresh tea brewed from newly picked herbs such as rosemary, peppermint, basil and other seasonal ingredients is served in the afternoon. For dinner, rare tea from Kengtung, Burma takes centre stage. Because the leaves are obtained from an ancient tea tree deep inside a forest in Kengtung, the brew gives off a deep, woody aroma, not common in tea leaves.
S'uvimol Tea House
Sitthi Prasat Alley
Open daily noon-10pm (reservations required)
- Photography Nopparut Charoenwattana