As in still racked by operational kinks. Try Chaotic Bangkok, as in service that, though clearly well-meaning, is all over the place. Conversely, try Totally Tame Bangkok—because so far the kitchen isn’t taking any of the chances suggested by outward appearance, not to mention by the website’s claim to “authentic” “sophistication” from an international culinary team.

It’s a bummer, because I really want to like this place; here’s hoping the food will soon reflect the Northern Thai accents throughout both the vibrantly pretty space (note the traditional seating)
WB1

& the menu, which lists regional specialties that happen to be among my all-time favorite Thai dishes, including miang khamChiang Mai dip (apparently a variant on nam prik ong, containing chicken rather than the standard pork) & the fish custard known as haw moak (here called “Exotic Ocean”).

Unfortunately, listing them & actually offering them are 2 different things; if strike 1 was the 5-minute wait with 8 other people at the cramped entrance—not because there were no tables available but because the host was flitting about helplessly with a permanent strained smile on his face—then strike 2 was ordering the miang kham & nam prik ong only to hear they were out of both. At noon. Huh.

Putting aside our sweet but scattered server’s failure to bring plates & utensils until after a) our 1st course & b) we asked for them, I was beginning to see strike 3 coming: the food was made to suit American tastes, proving entirely mild &/or overly sweet rather than exhibiting the cross-palate balance for which Southeast Asian cookery is so renowned.

Granted, the appetizers we finally did get—money bags (toong tong) & curry puffs—were almost quite good.

WBapps
In deep-fried rice-flour wrappers, the chicken, crab, corn & peanut stuffing of the former, served with sweet chili dipping sauce, wasn’t as distinctive as it sounded, but as a whole the little poppers were pleasant enough. The curry puffs, meanwhile, might have been a whole different matter if they’d been fresh; having obviously been sitting under heat lamps for a spell, the shells were leaden & stale-tasting, their contents indeterminate: supposedly vegetarian, it sure seemed to include ground pork to me. The fact that I couldn’t really tell was a bit unsettling. But the curried spicing was nice & the dipping sauce of, we believed, apple, red onion, cucumber, honey & vinegar intriguing. In short they coulda been contenders if somebody’d looked out for ’em just a little bit.
WBapps2

The pattaya grouper, however, wasn’t even close,

WBfish
steamed in a cloyingly fruity-sweet “special sauce” & set atop a clump of pasty soba noodles with 2 slightly woody asparagus spears. At least the house rice, a mix of brown & wild, was all right.

My lunch date, Beth Partin, fared much better with her massaman curry (on the right),
WBmassaman

the peanut & coconut milk gravy strong & rich, filled with potatoes, onions, carrots & chunks of beef; too bad the latter, according to her, was on the tough side (I only tasted the sauce).

It came with rice &, for a small supplemental fee, a bowl of the best dish we tried—a wild pumpkin soup (on the left) that, surprisingly, wasn’t sweet at all but curried & slightly tart.

Overall, though, the misses were more glaring than the hits were satisfying—something the folks at Wild Bangkok will have to remedy quick, not least because the prices they’re asking are substantially higher than most joints of its genre command—think 14 bucks for pad Thai. Until then, think too about going somewhere else, at least at the height of the lunch rush.

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