“Life is short, eat dessert first” is a well-known adage, and one I highly recommend you follow when dining at Wilaiwan restaurant. To be more specific, I encourage you to start with their signature orange sponge cake and then go onto your main meal.
Wilaiwan is named after the matriarch of the family “because she’s the boss,” said pastry chef Khun F. “She’s the centre of our family.” It turns out the whole family is involved with the restaurant. “We grew up baking and cooking,” said Khun F. And almost on cue, Wilaiwan herself pops up behind the cash register to do a little work. At the core of the restaurant are two brothers: Khun F and Khun Af. Khun F runs the pastry kitchen and Khun Af the savoury kitchen. The restaurant has the feel of an American-style cottage. The main room has floor to ceiling windows to give the feeling of being in a greenhouse. White washed wicker furniture paired with wood table tops sets the interior tone. A chalkboard menu over a long bakery counter full of the daily pastry offerings lends a homey feel. The restaurant’s signature drink is the tamarind soda. Developed by Khun Surat, the father of the family, the drink is refreshing and not too sweet. We also enjoyed a peach soda which was equally as delicious. My dining companion and I began our meal with the smoked salmon salad. A generous portion of smoked salmon was piled high with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and a balsamic drizzle. Next we ordered the spaghetti with sun dried tomatoes. Besides the tomatoes, there were ample chunks of bacon. Rounding out the dish was oregano, basil, black olives and “burnt” pepper, one of head chef Khun Af’s secret ingredients. While I can highly recommend the spaghetti, their most popular pasta dish is the pasta carbonara – Wilaiwan style. Following the pasta we opted for the fried chicken with French fries. A friend had suggested this dish so we were anxious to try it ourselves. The fries were crisp and the chicken fried but not greasy, all due to a special oil recipe Khun Af uses in the kitchen. Our final entree was the pork chop. Served with spinach and potatoes, the highlight of the dish was the special garlic sauce developed on site. Talking with the owners, we were delighted to learn that Wilaiwan is launching a frozen food line featuring a variety of savoury pies. The pies will initially be sold from the store, but plans are in motion for them to be carried in various locations, including Bangkok. When dining at Wilaiwan, if you follow my advice from the beginning of this article and start with the orange cake, then have your meal and still have a little room left, go for the beautiful coconut cake with real whipped cream. I’ll coin a new phrase, “Life is short. Eat dessert first – and last.” Where: 121/10 Nongkae, Hua Hin When: 9 AM to 9 PM daily Email: email@example.com