Siam Orchid weaves fresh organic ingredients into upscale Thai dishes, served in a bright and airy dining room. Rolled lavender napkins and crisp white tablecloths greet patrons as they slide into a high-backed seat and begin perusing a menu of aromatic dishes. Each dish is based on traditional Thai classics, such as the pad thai with river shrimp or complex curries with stewed organic beef, slow-braised New Zealand rack of lamb, or organic sliced chicken breast. Homegrown kaffir lime leaves star in a curried dish of fried prawns, and shrimp, and a crispy taro nest cradles a medley of crispy chicken breast, vegetables, and spicy brown sauce.
The restaurant’s respect for the environment shines in their choice of eco-conscious ingredients, while their décor evokes the natural world with tall arrangements of branches and sprays of flowers painted on violet walls. Gold-striped curtains part over wide picture windows to allow views of the street and of petite tables that sit outside.
In Istanbul’s Taxim Square, the aroma of roasting lamb and beef wafts from street vendors’ stalls. Café Taxim’s menu of gyros and kebabs pays homage to the metropolis’ bustling street cuisine scene, though from within more serene environs: geometric light fixtures illuminate the casual eatery’s sleek hardwood floors, and vibrant orange walls rescue eyes from the strain of tracking doner kebabs’ RPM.
Tucked away in the kitchen of each Paris Baguette, bakers trained in French techniques craft buttery, flaky croissants and tart crusts, and their success at this has earned attention from the likes of the New York Times. In addition to pastries and sweets such as mocha rice balls, the bakers knead bread for their namesake baguettes and yeasty creations that hold an Asian twist, such as red-bean-paste-filled donuts. The experts also create fondant-cloaked cakes that venture beyond classic flavors into green tea, cappuccino, and sweet potato, delighting partygoers bored of the same laminated sheet cake that makes its appearance at each year’s birthday celebration.
To wash down these treats, patrons sip cups of java or more exotic drinks such as wheatgrass and black-sesame lattes, persimmon smoothies, and bubble tea. At lunchtime, many locations layer sandwiches, filling hungry stomachs with croque monsieurs and baguettes stuffed with chicken and pesto.