An ordinary-looking mall eatery serving up not-your-ordinary Spanish tapas
In our experience, when shopping malls put their hands on exotic fare like Spanish (well, it’s pretty exotic for typical Thai diners), be prepared for disgraced and spice-bombed Mediterranean-ish attempts. But Rico at Central Embassy seems to be an exception. Tucked in the mall’s bookstore-meet-dining space Open House, this casual eatery manages to break mall food stereotypes by unexpectedly coming up with some of the city’s most delicious Spanish grubs, making it rightfully deserve its Spanish name.
Walking inside Rico is like meeting your easy-going Spanish best friend who happens to have a good eye for matching details. The café-liked, ash-wood space teems with elements that stylishly scream “Spanish!”— blue Moorish tiles, tableware clad in hues representing the Spanish flag, and a bright yellow wall that is so bright it makes you feel required to take a snap.
Food-wise, Rico’s creations benefit from Moorish culture (the Muslims dominant in the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages) so expect influences from North African and the Middle Eastern cuisines as in the spice-packed roasted cauliflower salad (B220). Though the dish may be visually unappealing at first, there is the well-balanced flavors from the crunchy vegetable that is spiked with spicy green chermoula and the bed of sweet-and-sour sauce mainly made from tahini (sesame paste) and yogurt. You can’t leave without tasting the picturesque octopus (B480) that is charred to perfection—The tender meat is flavored by the tangy piquillo pepper purée. There’s also a selection of pincho (snacks on sticks), like lamb skewers (B360), nicely paired with mint yogurt and the succulent prawn (B320) with the peppery romesco sauce.
Besides the commonly-known desserts like churros (B220), you can go for the stunner Crema Catalana (B240), the Spanish version of crème brûlée which has an addictive blend of orange custard and the not-too-sweet topping of caramel.
Look at the drink list and you see refreshing staples like sangria (B190 by glass/B500 in jug). In case it’s too early to get boozy, Rico’s version of Granizado (B190), which is actually a pulpy orange slushy with a hint of honey, is a perfect afternoon treat.
6th floor, Central Embassy
1031 Ploenchit Road
|Opening hours:||Open 10:00-22:00|