When I was still teaching English in Thailand, most of my adult and teen female students were always talking about Secret Garden. A Thai restaurant with several branches all over Bangkok, Secret Garden is liked for its Thai-fusion food but adored for its huge selection of cakes and desserts.
Over time, it seemed like every Thai woman I knew was telling me I must eat at Secret Garden so, a couple of weeks ago, I dragged an American friend with me to the branch at Central World Plaza. While I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite restaurant in Bangkok and I wouldn’t eat lunch there again, I do now see what all the fuss is about when it comes to Secret Garden’s desserts.
Location of Secret Garden in Bangkok – Secret Garden has several branches in Bangkok with its signature restaurant in the Sathorn area of Bangkok, as well as branches at Major Avenue Ratchayothin (also known as Suzuki Avenue) and Central World Plaza.
The signature restaurant in Sathorn is Secret Garden’s most beautiful restaurant. A front coffee shop opens out into a lovely English-style tea room, complete with lots of seating both inside the restaurant and outside in the gorgeous garden. Everything is minimalist-designed and it’s all in lots of shades of white.
The location we ate at was in Central World Plaza, Bangkok’s largest mall. Slap-bang in the middle of a huge open-area in the mall, with people walking past the restaurant on both sides, it’s not the coziest or most relaxing place, no matter how much they’ve tried to pretty it up.
Food at Secret Garden – Commonly known as ‘Thai Fusion food’, Secret Garden serves a mix of traditional Thai cuisine and dishes that are slightly Thai, with a heavy emphasis on Western-style dishes like spaghetti, Thai fried rice and deep fried dishes.
The main menu however is where Secret Garden falls down as, honestly, from the four dishes we ordered (Thai fried rice, stir-fried morning glory in oyster sauce, chicken green curry and a deep fried fish) we didn’t particularly care for any of them.
Highly-priced too, for Thai food, don’t eat at Secret Garden if you want an inexpensive meal out. It’s main meals are too expensive and there are far better Thai restaurants in Bangkok.
However, having said that, and at the time being disappointed with our meal, my friend and I decided to splurge and go for the cake. Secret Garden is famous in Bangkok for its crepe cake with a strawberry sauce, so of course we had to order that. We also decided on a slice of strawberry cheesecake and a chocolate mousse cake to share, both of which looked amazing.
Now, in Thailand, cakes often look just like a cake in any Western bakery but, when you bite into them, they’re often dry, flavorless and, in some cases, far too sweet.
At Secret Garden however, the cakes are superb and, as the final mouthful of the incredible strawberry crepe cake melted in my mouth, I knew exactly why my students had insisted I eat here. The food itself is just a necessity (my mom always told me, you can’t eat dessert until you’ve eaten your main meal) and not what most Thais go for. Instead, it’s the enormous glass cases full of cakes in various styles, flavors and creams that are…..absolutely divine.
On my next visit to Secret Garden, I will be avoiding the main meals completely. They make a pretty decent latte and superb cakes and, for those two things alone, Secret Garden is well worth a second visit.
Look for Secret Garden’s main restaurant at 17/1 South Sathorn Road, or the one we ate at in Central World Plaza Mall, next to Chidlom sky train station.