I often find inspiration for places to check out through friends, foodie groups, or just walking by and seeing something interesting. Clik (official Facebook page) is the first place that I’ve discovered via TripAdvisor. I’d recently reviewed Bacchus&Co and because I’m a repeat diner there I thought I’d go ahead and offer a glowing review on TripAdvisor, too. After my submission TripAdvisor suggested Clik which was nearby–the pictures and reviews certainly piqued my interest.
In my research I discovered that Clik was the new culinary playground for the very well known Singaporean Chef Clement Ronald Ng. One look at their menu and I just knew this place would be perfect to write about. It had everything I look for: great food, great value, great service, and a story.
I was not disappointed.
Their menu is a roadmap for unique fusion dishes to tempt and excite the tastebuds. My journey began with an appetizer I’ve never seen before.
A great way to wet the appetite…
I kicked off my foodie experience with an appetizer of pan fried Watermelon with Feta on Rice Crackers. These little bites of joy are a sure fire way of getting your appetite going. It is sweet, tangy, salty, and full of texture sensations. The crunch of the baked rice crackers is balanced with chewiness from palm sugar holding it together. The pan seared watermelon retains its crispness and sweet juiciness. The blend of dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar has just the perfect consistency to stay on top of the melon and deepen the natural sweetness of the melon. While the tiny bit of feta cheese offers the perfect amount of saltiness.
My favorite salad!
Thailand’s famous for its Som Tum salads but my personal favorite salad is their Pomelo Salad (Yam Som O). There is so much flavor in this salad. Clik only uses the larger, juicier Muntang pomelos and they are only peeled and shredded when needed to make a salad fresh. This ensures that the pomelo kernels are fresh and juicy. This salad is made with pomelos (obviously), onion, lemongrass, red chili, peanuts, toasted coconut, sea prawns, and thinly sliced kaffir lime. It’s tossed with a dressing made of 3 kinds of chili, tamarind, fish sauce, and palm sugar. All of these ingredients combine to ensure that each bite offers new taste sensations.
Is this menu correct? Peanut butter fish?
My eyes did a double take when I read the menu: Ginger Leek Peanut Butter Fish. I’ve heard of Thai Peanut Butter Chicken before…but nothing like this. So of course I had to try it. Color me impressed. This is a simple dish with few ingredients: very flavorful tilapia filets (pond raised), coated with a mixture of blended peanut butter, leeks, and ginger. This is then baked and dusted with a bit of seasoning and parsley. I thought it would be sweeter because of the peanut butter, but it isn’t. The ginger and leek seem to tone down the sweetness and bring out the richness of the peanut butter. The peanut butter coating also locks in the flavor and juices of the fish, so that the filet is light and flaky. This is a highly popular dish at Clik. One bite will tell you why.
At Clik you MUST have dessert(s)!
The dessert sizes and prices at Clik are designed so that diners are able to have room for and afford a decadent treat at the end of their meal. Don’t judge me–I had two. I first tried the Rose Petal Brownie with fresh whipped cream. This dessert is made with 70% cacao dark chocolate and ground rose petals.
This dessert is incredibly rich and pairs well with their cold brewed coffee (a blend of Guatemalan, Columbian, and Sumatra beans) which is cold filtered through a ceramic filter. The brewing process is so slow they are only able to brew 10 glasses a day. But it completely captures the flavor of the beans with each sip.
Next I had their most famous dessert, the Modena Mousse Cake. This dessert is also known as the “Mystery Dessert”. I promised not to reveal what the dish is made with, because that would spoil the fun of trying to figure it out on your own. Thus far, no one’s figured it out on their own. The owner is happy to share the secret (and you will be shocked once you learn what it is), but he does ask that you keep it a secret so that folks can try it without knowing what it is. It is made with all natural ingredients, without sugar (though very rich and sweet), and was a stand out winner in Singapore’s Time-Out Magazine for their Creative and Healthy Dessert award category (very rare for a cake!).
A chat with the chef and owner…
I had the good fortune to have a long chat with the chef and owner of Clik, Chef Clement Ronald Ng. Originally from Singapore, he is quite famous there for his creativity and culinary prowess. He decided to sell his restaurants (the well known Eden cafes) and start over again, semi-retired in Thailand.
Chef Clement chose Thailand because of the availability of fresh, inexpensive ingredients and reasonable costs of running a business. He felt that in Singapore restaurants were being “priced out” of being able to offer high quality, healthy, and affordable food. Chef Clement was so impressed by His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej’s Royal Project Foundation success with organic, sustainable agriculture at affordable prices that he decided Thailand was the place to start anew.
Two and half years ago Chef Clement opened Clik with a cooking philosophy: “Cook with Honor”. He feels that food should be cooked with love and respect in order to honor the ingredients and all those persons involved in the growing and distribution of that food. Everything should be used, lemons are not just juiced and tossed. They are zested first, then juiced, and finally the rinds are extracted for marinades. Clik has a food waste of less than 5%, and this savings is passed on to the customer so that gourmet food can be priced affordably.
Artistic inside and outside of the kitchen…
Chef Clement isn’t just creative in the kitchen. He also does the decor and art painting for the restaurant. One large painting in the restaurant is the main focus of the dining area. The painting is called “Clik”. It is painted with 3 colors red (life force), black (darkness), and white (purity). The painting represents his coming to Thailand and bringing a bit of Singapore with him. He paints only with these 3 colors and tries to find a balance in his works. Just as he works to balance flavor, texture, and costs in all of his menu dishes.
Chef Clement feels that Clik is a place where people can “click “with other people and with the food. In the future he foresees cooking more with edible flora. In Singapore he was known as the “Floral Chef” and his restaurant Eden Sanctuary Floral Cafe was very famous for its fresh, floral cuisine. From my experience, I’d say that Bangkok will benefit from the culinary creativity of this new resident.
Located off of Soi 16, Clik offers both inside and outside seating and is also available for private dinners (with a minimum of 2 guests) at very reasonable rates.