Home   Blog   Classes   Trips   More   back

Archive for June, 2009

Favorite Bangkok Restaurants

Michael Babcock, Saturday, June 6th, 2009

There are some very good Thai restaurants in Bangkok, as you might expect. Here are some of our favorites.

Roasted Eggplant Salad at My Choice

Roasted Eggplant Salad at My Choice

Kasma was once asked: “Do you have any suggestions for good eating places in Thailand? What do you think about the Baab Khanitha, Blue Elephant, Banjarong or Bussaracum restaurants?”  Kasma replied that she’s not very enthusiastic about any of those. They are basically upscale, Royal Cuisine type places that cater largely to tourists. She ate at a similar type of restaurant last year because her driver said he dropped a lot of people off there and it was terrible. These sorts of restaurants that cater to tourists and are given lots of coverage in the guidebooks are the ones she tends to avoid. She prefers the more modest places with good food. Many are holes in the wall where you need to be able to speak or read Thai to get good food. Here are a few of Kasma’s favorites.

My Choice

My Choice Chicken Curry

My Choice Southern Chicken Curry

(Click on an image to see a larger version.)

One of our favorite restaurants in Bangkok is “My Choice” on Sukhumvit Soi 36 a fair ways into the Soi from Sukhumvit Road. Every group that Kasma leads to Thailand eats here at least once. It is not a “pretty” restaurant but we’ve never had an even merely good dish there – everything is great. The Southern Style Curry, Roasted Eggplant Salad, Duck with Greens, Bitter Melon Salad, and on and on and on. Terrific food. Address is: 19 Sukhumvit Soi 36 (Soi Napasap). Telephone: 02-258-6174. We have an article on My Choice that includes numerous pictures of its surroundings and appetizing

A. Mallika

Ostrich <em>Pad Chah</em&gt at A. Mallika

Ostrich Pad Chah at A. Mallika

There are two restaurants run by the same company with the name Mallika. Our favorite, and where Kasma always takes her trips to Thailand is actually called A. Mallika. It is a large indoor and outdoor restaurant in the outskirts of town on one of the new highways where many large garden restaurants are located. It has a more extensive menu with unusual dishes not seen in any other restaurants; the food is also better and spicier since it caters mainly to Thai families with cars. Get the sour ribs. They also have a peppered ostrich dish that is good, as is the soft shell crab. Wonderful coconut ice cream. It’s address is 13/10 Moo 9, Kaset-Navamin Road, Boong Koom District, Bangkok 10230, Tel. 0-2946-1000. Check out the photos by a former trip member (click on the photos to see a larger version with caption). Also, check out Michael’s 2012 blog on the subject: A Mallika Restaurant in Bangkok.

Ruen Mallika

This is a fairly fancy restaurant, more so than A. Mallika, and a bit of a splurge (though still reasonable by US standards).  It’s found in the Sukhumvit area, not far from the tourist hotels, in a romantic setting in an old teak mansion with a lush garden. It’s more expensive than A. Mallika, catering to upscale Thais and tourists. The address is 189 Sukhumvit 22 Road, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110, Tel: 662 663 3211 2. It is a challenge for taxi drivers to find! Here’s the restaurant’s website — there’s a map you might want to print out to help you get there: www.ruenmallika.com.

Sorndaeng

Soft Shell Crab at A. Mallika

Soft Shell Crab at A. Mallika

One of Bangkok’s oldest Thai restaurants, located not far from the Democracy Monument on Radjadamnoen Blvd. is Sorndaeng (possibly spelled Sorn Dang). It’s upscate, expensive and has a stiff mixture of western colonial and Thai Royal ambience that may make the casual diner feel a little out of place, but the food is excellent and menu extensive. It’s stayed in business as long as it has because of its impeccable service and the high quality of its food.

Taling Pling

Another one we like is Taling Pling, at 60 Pan  (or Pun) Road, Silom – it is on one of the sois just off Silom road – I think it is Soi 20, but may be wrong: it is the Soi that has the Hindu temple at the corner. However, they tend to tone down the food for foreigners, so it’s best to go with a Thai or learn to communicate with the staff that you like really spicy, full-flavored authentic Thai food. One of their specialties is Miang Taling Plingtaling pling is the name of a tart fruit that gives the restaurant its name and is used in many of their dishes when it’s in season. Address: 60 Tanon Pun, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok. Phone: 02 236 4830, 02 234 4872.

You might enjoy seeing Kasma’s Thai food photo sampler. I’ve also written an article on Eating Out In Thailand.


Written by Michael Babcock, June 2009.

Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Basil Pork

Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil

Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil

I’ve borrowed one of Kasma’s photos for this Wednesday’s photo. It shows one of my favorite Thai dishes – Basil Pork (Moo Pad Gkaprao). It’s one of the earliest dishes I learned to cook by myself without a recipe, using Kasma’s Spicy Basil Chicken Recipe (Gkai Pad Gkaprao).

It’s actually the very first Thai dish I tried to cook by myself after watching Kasma cook it during class. She made it look so easy that I approached the dish with confidence. Then things started sizzling and I realized it was happening a LOT faster than I thought!

Almost anything can be made stir-fried with basil (pad gkaprao). Kasma’s recipe calls for chicken but you can do a straight substitution with pork. You can also adapt it for beef, shrimp, squid, lamb, fish of any kind or anything else you can think of. One of my favorite adaptation uses salmon – I cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces and add it later on in the recipe so that it will still be pink in the middle. When I use salmon I prefer to use Thai basil rather than holy basil – Thai basil tastes a better to me with salmon. If you can’t find the holy basil you can always substitute Thai basil with any of the variations, though I think pork tastes much better with holy basil.

This picture, taken in a restaurant on the way from Mae Hong Son to Pai, shows the dish served with a fried egg; this is fairly common in Thailand.

Basil anything is a common one-dish meal served over rice. A perfect lunch.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.