OSS-5

Silky Smooth Teatime

By Asaree Thaitrakulpanich
In partnership with Jim Thompson

January/ February issue ‘Innovation’, 2024 

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Look out at tropical palms and a koi pond while sipping tea and lounging on a slice of Thai history in downtown Bangkok. On the grounds of the legendary Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter, The O.S.S. Room opened in November, offering visitors a Thai-US fusion afternoon tea set that’s full of tributes to the Silk King himself.

Tearoom by day and bar by night, The O.S.S. is styled in vintage Americana vibes and is named after the Office of Strategic Services—the WWII-era CIA precursor responsible for sending Thompson to Thailand. The Afternoon Tea set here is priced at 1,990++ baht for two and includes two teapots and 11 sumptuous bites featuring curious local Thai ingredients and infusions of Western cuisine culture.

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The first four bites are savoury and already set us off on a rollercoaster of spice and fusion flavours. We begin with a yum-like, zesty fish ceviche served in kratong tong cups, followed by a sourdough tostada topped with moo palo pork belly. A kale-wrapped Meang Kum – Korat bite is a nice follow-up to the hearty pork, and the last savoury bite of pate with chili blueberry sauce is a savoury-sweet, East-meets-West wonder to scoop up with a crunchy tuile.

 

For the dessert portion of the ride, following the staff’s recommended eating order, we begin with the Cream Biscuit, a lighter version of the scone served with clotted cream and homemade roselle jam. Next, the Som Jeed Meringue Tart is a jammy kumquat tart topped with meringue, a wonderful contrast with my personal favourite of the box: the Thai Custard Choux with Silk Mott Crust. Complex, nutty, and made crunchy with literal silkworm, this bite exemplifies the tearoom’s commitment to the Jim Thompson theme. A Cashew Nut Financier brings back the zestiness of the kumquat within a festive nutmeg bake, while the Double Fromage Cheesecake, a Japanese-like fluffy cheesecake topped with a hint of chilli, brings a nice heat to the sweet. The Five-Spice Snickerdoodle is a true transnational marriage, mixing the American cookie with the airs of a palo soup, and finally we close out the delightful box of treats with assorted chocolate from local craft chocolate brand Paradai.

Among the locally-grown, sustainable teas included with the set, we chose Monsoon Tea’s Jim Thompson Exclusive Blend (a sweet green tea with lychee) and Sawanbondin’s Kanom Thai mountain green tea with vanilla.

The OSS Tea Room is open daily, noon–5pm, at the Jim Thompson House Museum. For reservations, contact 02-612-3601 or 085-115-6321.

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