Farmhouse Kitchen has revamped the 4,000-square-foot space at 1165 Merrill St., across from the Caltrain station, decking it out with opulent decorations (including handmade gold Thai chandeliers and flower wall), a private dining room, a lounge area with velvet chairs and gleaming full bar. The restaurant opened barely a week after San Mateo County announced that indoor dining could resume at 25% capacity or with 100 people, whichever is fewer.
The ornate dining room at Farmhouse Kitchen in Menlo Park. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.
But the "new normal guidelines" for dining in at Farmhouse Kitchen includes a health screening, temperature check, masks required when diners aren't eating or drinking and parties of no more than six people with reservations capped at 90 minutes. The restaurant also charges a $3 "COVID-19 sanitation fee" per table.
Kasem Saengsawang, a native of Thailand, opened his first Farmhouse Kitchen in San Francisco in 2015. The restaurant was inspired by the food he ate and cooked growing up in Loei, a rural province in northeast Thailand, but he spent much of his adult years in Bangkok.
Saengsawang now runs five restaurants, including one in Portland, Oregon. He recently moved to Menlo Park so plans to be a frequent presence at this location.
A Farmhouse Kitchen appetizer: sesame-crusted ahi tuna with cucumber, seaweed salad, lemongrass and spicy chili lime. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.
Saengsawang describes his cooking style as "contemporary." The Farmhouse Kitchen Menlo Park menu spans Northern and Southern Thailand, including dishes like pineapple fried rice, lobster pad thai, 24-hour beef noodle soup and slow-braised short rib served with panang curry, a dish the menu says is "reminiscent" of the large childhood meals Saengsawang would cook in Thailand for his family.
The "Little Lao table set," a $120 chef's choice meal set that includes numerous dishes and drinks, is available at the Menlo Park location. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.
Desserts include mango sticky rice, Thai tea crepe cake and the very Instagrammable "Thai vacation," a halved coconut filled with sticky rice, coconut ice cream, coconut cream, peanuts and sesame, garnished with a brightly colored drink umbrella.
Outdoor seating at Farmhouse Kitchen on Merrill Street in Menlo Park. Photo by Elena Kadvany.
One end of the outdoor patio, dubbed "Son and Garden," serves a different breakfast and lunch menu with dishes like omelets, ricotta pancakes, mascarpone-stuffed French toast, Korean bibimbap and a Wagyu beef burger.
The Menlo Park restaurant also serves cocktails, beer and wine.
Farmhouse Kitchen is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 9 p.m.