t-Ten Caf้é

Toy, Ten and Trendy

The interestingly named “t-Ten Caf้” apparently refers to the children of the owner, whose names are Toy and Ten. There have been many less deserving ways to name a restaurant, and if nothing else, t-Ten is certainly a short and catchy name.

It is not difficult to find, being on the busy Huay Kaew Road, next to Boat Restaurant, and is a long narrow eatery, with a bar along one side at the rear in the air-conditioned section, which then leads out to a non air-conditioned ‘pavement’ area at the Huay Kaew Road end. The seating and tables are simple, with solid wood inside and arty metal and plastic items outside.

The menu can be perused in two ways. There is one complete wall with an illustrated menu on it (I shudder to think what happens if they want to change the menu. Change the wall, perhaps?) or a large colourful one you can have at your table. The ‘portable’ one begins with Soup and Sandwiches. Cream soups are B. 35 and sandwiches B. 30-59. Salads are next at around B. 50, with the next section just called Steak which includes chicken, pork and fish (B. 99-199).

Next up are Pastas (B. 49-89) with spaghetti and macaroni offered with chicken, fish or ham. Rice dishes are next and dominate with 52 of them, and almost all under B. 50 and feature the rice cooked in different ways, plus beef, shrimps and seafood.

The next section is called “Take by Order” with around about 100 items with most under B. 70, including stir-fries, soups, deep fries, noodles and Thai salads. There is also an a la carte grouping which has items such as salted beef and local fermented items.

Beers on offer are priced around B. 45-50 for local brews, but there appeared to be no wine list as such. There are some bottles on display including Australians Hardy’s and Highcliff around B. 630, with an interesting Mae Ping Lychee or Honey, OTOP Gold Medal winners at B. 280 and 11 percent alcohol. A cheap headache! There are also Happy Hours 8-10 p.m. with a pitcher Carlsberg Draft B. 99.

The management decided we should have a tom yum goong, a larb seafood, a fried rice vermicelli with soya sauce and a mixed grill sausage. This turned out to be a good range, with the tom yum and the larb being hot, spicy Thai dishes, while the others were not, despite the fact that the vermicelli had sliced red chilli winking at me from the tangle of fried vermicelli.

The tom yum goong was hot, as it should be both in temperature and spiciness, but the dish that had me enthralled was the seafood larb. The common lab moo (pork) or larb gai (chicken) are well known, but a seafood variant is not. T-Ten Caf้ has managed to impart the flavour to the seafood, while still retaining the seafood taste. A successful marriage!

For those who did not want too much Thai chilli heat, the German sausages on the hot platter were excellent, with some very tasty sausages and crisp fries. The other dish with the fried vermicelli was another success at our table. Again it was not spicy, but you could taste the mushrooms and the crispy vermicelli.

I finished with one of their large iced coffees, very pleasant!

There was no doubting the ‘trendy’ atmosphere of this small bar and caf้ restaurant. Light jazz style vocals coming over in the background and the trendy smart service staff in black and dark green aprons. The food was fine, and the larb seafood was one dish I had not had before. There are enough choices on the menu to find one to suit all palates. It won’t break the bank and would be a good meeting place for lunch or a place to chat in the evenings. Try the Mae Ping lychee (and let me know!).

t-Ten Caf้, 237/15 Huay Kaew Road (next to Boat Restaurant), telephone 053 212 236, fax 053 219 849. Open 11 a.m. till 12 midnight (if the bed-time police allow you to stay up that late). Parking on side soi.