THE NEW CAFÉ PANDAU
Change of location for this charming café-restaurant
Many readers will have been familiar with the Café
Pandau, formerly located off Nimmanhaeminda Road. This
friendly establishment has now relocated to the attractive
area between Loh Kroh Road and Tha Pae Road, you enter Soi 3
from either of those busy thoroughfares and you will find
their conservatory-style building roughly in the middle.
It’s well sign posted and is, of course, not far from the
The good news is that they have not only created a pleasant
venue, comfortable, with dashes of vivid textiles in a
predominantly white setting, but have used the move as an
opportunity to ‘upgrade’ the menu. They are open all day and
might be thought of as primarily an early day place or ideal
for lunch, but since they do not close until ten in the
evening, dinner is certainly an option. It is not simply a
One of the main additions to the menu is a range of
sandwiches, made to order from their home-made bread, using
organically grown wheat from Northern Thailand. Fillings
include hummus with eggplant, spicy fish with herbs, egg
salad and others. All around 70 baht. But try the sandwich
‘set’ at just 100 baht. This is ideal for sharing and gives
you five ‘mini’ sandwich choices. I went there recently with
a friend and we had that plus a salad each for lunch. His
was mushroom and mine avocado. With his iced tea and my
lemon drink, sweetened with honey (they bring a little dish
on the side) we had a tasty and healthy meal for around 300
baht for the two of us.
The menu is quite extensive and although by no means
vegetarian, there is an emphasis on salads, fruit, eggs
vegetables, rice, noodles and tofu plus a few fish and meat
dishes. They also have a drinks menu, including a house wine
by the glass right up to a litre at a modest 500 baht. Beers
are around 60 baht and coffees start at 50 baht for an
espresso and 80 for a double jolt. In this area, though, the
teas and the fruit drinks are possibly the most interesting.
They serve organic green tea from Japan, Rooibos from South
Africa and a range of yoghurts and lassi.
The emphasis is on freshness and quality ingredients and,
for example, the eggs are free range as is the chicken
breast, stuffed with spinach and ricotta, which is one of
their meat dishes. Another is spaghetti with home made
sausages in a tomato sauce (160 baht). Omelets are from 70
baht and they offer ‘all day’ breakfasts.
There is also a range of so-called ‘light’ dishes, based
around white or brown rice or noodles, including one with
vegetables and topped with a fried egg at just 70 baht. Or,
more substantially, there is a tofu steak at 180.You won’t
find obscenities such as foie gras or milk fed crated veal
on this menu but a range of simple dishes all offering well
prepared healthy options.
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed and the service
attentive. There are about 16 places inside and a further
half dozen on the leafy verandah, which faces the quiet part
of the soi. In closing I should cite just one example of the
care involved in this pretty establishment. At the end of
the lunch mentioned we were invited to try a wedge of baked
apple, topped with ricotta cheese. It was absolutely
delicious, with the apple just perfect. It was, we were
told, from New Zealand and was organically grown. The owner
had sample apples from China, which had also tasted good.
But she had rejected them because of the excessive use of
pesticides. It is encouraging when someone realizes that we
are what we eat. There’s more to ‘dining out’ than filling
up with junk food or even seemingly half way decent food. We
share at least a modicum of responsibility for our role in
the ‘food chain’ and a place like Café Pandau offers, in an
unassuming way, the ideal venue to do just that.
You will find Café Pandau on Soi 3 off Tha Pae Road, not far
from Loh Kro Temple. They are open from 10 in the morning
until 10p.m. at night. Tel: 053 280 386.
Mussels in White Wine Sauce
Mussels are plentiful in Thailand and safe to eat - as long
as you discard any shells that have not opened after steaming.
Ingredients Serves 4
Mussels in their shells
Dry white wine 300
Onion, finely chopped
Garlic, finely chopped
2 - 4 cloves
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
Bay leaves 2
Butter, melted 225 g
Scrub the mussels well and
remove any barnacles and beards.
Place the mussels in a basin full of cold water and leave to soak
for 30 minutes.
Drain the mussels and place them in a large, deep saucepan with the
remaining ingredients, except the butter and lemon juice. Cover the
pan and bring to the boil.
Stir the mussels occasionally while they are cooking to help them
cook evenly. Cook about 5-8 minutes, or until the shells open.
Discard any mussels that do not open.
Spoon the mussels into individual serving bowls and strain the
cooking liquid. Pour the liquid into 4 small bowls and serve with
the mussels and a bowl of melted butter mixed with lemon juice for
each person. Dip the mussels into the broth and the melted butter to