Time Out says
Bangkok’s pastry queen flies solo with a hidden Sukhumvit dessert café
Arisara “Paper” Chongphanitkul, the pastry chef responsible for the sugary finales at restaurants by the Issaya Group (remember the deceptive mango and sticky rice surprise at Issaya Siamese Club, or the pumpkin custard at Saawaan?) puts her sweet creations on center stage at Ici, a dessert café hidden deep within one of Sukhumvit’s many labyrinths.
Getting there is a bit tricky. The house (look for number 24) in which Ici is located bears no signage and looks like your typical city residence. But that doesn’t matter—the café has a reservation-only policy and will tell you where you need to go when you book a table. A gate leads to a leafy garden that features a gigantic blue balloon with “Ici” written on it and the compound’s main building. The café part is somewhat oversized, decked out in blue patterned wallpaper and cartoonish reproductions of world-famous art pieces, including a faceless Mona Lisa and a wacky rendition of Jeff Koons’ blue Balloon Dog. Observe more closely and you’ll find tiny depictions of Paper’s dessert hidden within each artwork.
“The desserts at Issaya’s restaurants are works I must create for different challenges and requirements, dictated by the identity of each restaurant. Here, I can do what I really want,” Chef Paper explains. The fancily plated desserts we’ve come to expect are toned down at Ici, and have become cute creations with playful elements. Mr. Religieux (B195) is her take on the religieuse (snow man-shaped choux pastry), and comes with an indulgent layering of vanilla pastry cream, caramel mascarpone and butterscotch. What looks like a contemporized version of the canalé is actually a creamy and citrusy delight of coconut mousse and mango compote (B165). If you want something more classic, try the chocolate tart and flan.
Ice cream lovers will enjoy Ici’s gigantic servings of heavily garnished Hakuna Matata sundaes (B790), which includes amazing house-made ice creams in flavors like banana, mixed berries, and an “exotic” mix of mango, banana, passionfruit and pineapple. Their confectionary drinks are also impressive. Our favorite was the butterscotch drink topped with corn ice cream (B195).
If you want to take something back home, we recommend the macarons. At Ici’s, the French treat takes indulgence to the next level and come with a double (or more) whopping of various fillings like lemon tart, marshmallow and cake.
Plans are in motion for Chef Paper to launch a tasting menu dessert dinner sometimes in the future.
Soi Sukhumvit 27
|Transport:||BTS Phrom Phong|
|Opening hours:||Open Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00|