Ain’t No Other Hound, Bangkok, Thailand

You know how that exotic face that you can’t place always captures your attention, keeping you guessing of the origin and lineage like a ghost in your mind’s eye? Well, that sums up Another Hound Cafe for you – a half breed that produces amazing results in unexpected ways. The menu features familiar Italian delights with a twist of Thai for an unforgettable tongue-tickle.

Featuring a chic interior against black painted walls, dark furniture and black coated metal grills, the space is a stark contrast to the elegance of the mall that is Siam Paragon which it is housed in –  in a good way, of course.

Visual spectacle aside, we quickly decided on our orders between the four of us. Starting off with a Greyhound’s favorite – Homemade Paté with Cognac and Fresh Peppercorns served with Crisp Toast. I won’t say its the best paté I’ve had and the promise of the Cognac flavor did not meet my expectations but i love the refreshing crunch and hint of spice of the fresh peppercorn, mixed in whole. The toast was done to perfection and that is a bonus in itself. I’d advise to order this only if you have 4 pax and up at your table or it can prove to be overwhelming. A serving of this will set you back by 150 baht which is oh-so-reasonable!

With our palate tickled, we anticipated the arrival of our array of main courses and i must say, the efficiency of the kitchen should be applauded. Every dish on our order was served back to back and if you’re not sharing dishes, this will ensure that no one at the table is left hanging while the others dance an awkward do-i-wait-or-do-i-start look and shrug.

Going with the pasta dishes first, we had a selection of Spaghetti with Thai Anchovy, Fettuccini with Shrimps and Champignon Cream Sauce and Spaghetti Cha Cha Cha.

Was this my favorite dish? No. Was it unexpected? Yes. The last thing you would expect spaghetti to remind you of is stir-fried noodles but this dish in particular did just that. Asian seasoning and style of cooking with an Italian staple produced a dish that perhaps was too exotic for my liking. The flavors were strong without being overpowering nor pungent with a right kick of spice that whets your appetite but i wasn’t bowled over by this dish which sets you back 180 baht and comes highly recommended on the menu.

Second time here, second order of the same dish, that’s a sure indication of the pleasure this dish brings. Like the name, the spices and herbs used in this dish dances in your mouth and creates a symphony of aromas that is unexpected yet in perfect harmony with each other. The squid ink pasta is al-dente with the right amount of bite and its flavor enhanced by the shrimps and scallops it is stir-fried with. What really places this dish on a pedestal for me is the use of Italian basil leaves that is so aromatic and light in contrast with the saltiness of the sea, it is just sheer genius to me what the chef has created with this. The use of chillies and green peppercorns adds a good spice level without being overpowering. This dance of flavors which i recommend for all to try is worth every 260 baht of it.

Simple, straightforward, a what-you-see-is-what-you-get dish, this proved to be a crowd pleaser with its familiar taste and detail to perfection. Pasta cooked to perfection tossed in a perfectly balanced cream sauce with well sauteed mushrooms and shrimps, the Fettucini with Shrimps and Champignon Cream Sauce will set you back by 220 baht.

If you’re vegetarian, fret not, Another Hound Cafe serves up vegetarian courses as well and we tasted one of their offerings and it was très manifique – Baked Spinach with Cheese. Absolutely heartwarming, it was food for the soul. When served, the bubbling browned cheese caused some major salivation and when we dug our forks in, that beautiful pull of springy cheese caused all of us to exclaim in delight as we fought to direct it to our mouths without causing a mess. The creaminess of the cheese and the fragrance of the baked spinach was an orgasmic delight and before long, that dish stood empty and all 180 baht of it was sitting happy in our bellies.

The gluttons we are, we were not satisfied without a proper entrée and that came in the form of a Grilled Pork Strip Loin with Spicy Thai Hot Sauce, similar to what you may find in Thai restaurants across the city. We had initially order the Grilled New Zealand Beef but it was unavailable – do order it as the steak is done to perfection and should not be missed. Back to the pork, it served its purpose in providing a protein balance to our meal and what’s uniquely Thai is the pairing with sticky glutinous rice and Som Tum salad and costs a reasonable price of 260 baht.

Main courses out of the way, dessert came hot on its heels and we settled on three with two orders of layered crepe cake and a chocolate lover [for me!]. True to its concept, the dessert offering comes under the franchise Sweethound and we palmed through the menu quickly making our choices.

I’m not a huge cream fan so I’m not the best judge of the next two desserts but from the reactions my pals had, it must have been pretty good with every bit of cream licked off the plates.

The Layered Crepe Cake – Chocolate Banana is what i would call comfort food but what makes this dessert outstanding is the layered crepe that anchors it. Multi-layered, light and mildly sweet, it formed a perfect balance for the heavy use of cream and generous slices of banana. For the amount of work put into creating the layers in the cake, I’ve gotta say 110 baht is money well spent.

An extra 25 baht for the Layered Crepe Cake – Mixed Berries, I’m guessing it’s due to the general cost of berries being higher than bananas. What this cake offers over the banana chocolate one is a tartness to contrast the sweetness of the cream to offer a delightful balance and mix of flavor which is worth every 135 baht.

The dessert that brought it home for me has got to be the Chocolate Lover, aptly named, to satiate the taste buds of chocolate lovers all over the world. This sinful delight is a wicked combination of all the chocolate-y sweet treats you can think of and crave. Starting with a drizzle of chocolate sauce to serves as a base, a scoop of chocolate ice cream is piled on followed by a scoopful of cornflakes for crunch. Next, layering in a handful of maltesers [this is when i start melting], topped with a slice of brownie with another decadent scoop of chocolate ice cream, this dessert is not even done yet! Popping in ferrero rocher for that hazelnut crunch, the dessert is finished with whipped cream, a dust of coca powder and sticks of picco to make this chocolate heaven. Needless to say, it proved to be too much and i suffered from a sweet coma after and that was just the small portion that we ordered, shelling out 125 baht for it.

All in, if you’re kinda sick of Thai food but still yearning for that local punch with a foreign flavor check out Another Hound Cafe to satisfy all your convoluted craves and enjoy the attention to detail that the owners has paid to the interior of the cafe.