For mains we ordered a beef Thai green curry and a slow cooked pork dish comprising pork in a Chinese 5 spice with shiitake mushrooms, fragrant rice and a chilli sauce. As an avid pork fan – I love the stuff, I embrace the fat. Pork belly (cooked well) any day. But this pork was one step too far. In my humble opinion, when you order pork and the fat to meat ratio exceeds 60:40 then it can be deemed excessive, and this pork coming in at 80:20 certainly pushed my porky sensibilities. I don’t want a piece of jelly to chew on – I want some meat. Pulling jellied pieces of fat out of each mouthful doesn’t form an enjoyable experience. I know that that is just the style of cooking but it's not for me. The sauce though was a rich reduction that retained its opaque gleam of Chinese 5 spice, meat juices and vegetable liqour. Aniseed notes emerged just a little too prominently out of the essential 5 spices for my liking, for once you had taken a mouthful it transformed into the overwhelming feature and sadly the flavour assumed that ability that aniseed has to remain fixed in your taste buds for some short time to come. My idea of the place for aniseed falls within the realm of subtlety. It is the all too common mistake that can really cross the lines of acceptability for those like myself, particularly prevalent in new wave trendy BBQ restaurants, cough Pitt Cue Co, that can really spoil a meal. If however you love aniseed in this more hard-hitting fashion, then this dish is probably for you.
The green curry contrastingly was probably the best I have ever had. The beef was soft, though could have benefited from the blessing of size - larger slow cooked chunks of braising beef might just have been perfect. The sauce was delicately flavoured with an abundance of lemongrass, an undertone of chilli whilst being creamy though not too rich. A triumph, in simple terms.
Despite the obvious let downs, I have to say I just loved this restaurant. I don’t doubt that if I go back the story will be one of success. It is a refreshing change to be in a spacious and airy setting, an all-round pleasurable experience since when you couple that space with the expertly constructed flavours that Kaosarn deliver, you’re left in an ideal mid-week dining situation. Affordable food accompanied by BYOB means this restaurant is a genuine success. Which is why you will see the place packed out each evening and why you need to book for a table. It’s a veritable haven for girly catch up mid-week dinners. Like.