Bangkok Dining Scene & Restaurants Recommendations

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Kalboz, Feb 17, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Kalboz
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    Bangkok is a food heaven; eating options are limitless 24/7. Great value-for-money food courts, riverside eateries, Thai-style dining in antique teak houses, dinner cruises, trendy restaurants, and food markets are only some of the options available. Apart from renowned Thai cuisine with its blend of spicy, sour, sweet and salty, the smorgasbord includes every other famous type of cuisine found in the world. In Bangkok, you will find the best Italian, French, Japanese, Indian, or any other cuisine that you can think of.

    Here, we will start a thread to discuss such a rich dining environment. Please post your experience and tell us about the place, its address or location, what did you have, approximate cost, photos if any, do you recommend, etc. I am starting here with Chote Chitr, the ultimate "hole in the wall" with great food and reputation. We have dinned at Chote Chitr over a dozen times and never been disappointed with the food or its value. Our favorites are: the eggplant salad (Yam Makhuiao), crispy rice noodles with prawns (Meekrob), banana flower salad which is a bit earthy, and other noodle dishes, curries, etc. Very affordable: dinner for two (5 dishes) with drinks cost less than $30.
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    More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/sets/72157625524602378/
    New York Times' article: http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/travel/06bangkok.html
    NPR's article: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14053297
    Located about a mile south of Khao San Rd. off Tanon Tanao in Banglamphu area.
     
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  2. Chimpy
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    Looks very nice, I just love your photographs.
     
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  3. kwai
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    It was good on my last visit to see Khun Tim walkign around. I'd recognize each of those dishes if there was no context included!!! [​IMG]
     
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  4. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    I call her 'yai khai gai', literally 'grandmother selling chicken'. It's my favorite grilled chicken in BKK... but I'm always capable of sampling others' creations.
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  5. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    Around the corner from the chicken, across from Wat Bowonniwet (in the alley next to K-Bank) is this vendor:
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  6. Chimpy
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    Last time I went to Bangkok it was our wedding anniversary so to do something special we went to the Sukhothai Hotel for dinner. It was expensive compared to Thai standards but cheap compared to Australia for that standard of meal. We were staying at the metropolitan which was only a few doors away. We had a fantastic evening, the food was great and the service was superb. Sorry that I did not take any photographs.
     
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  7. Kalboz
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    Thank you Chimpy ... there's more coming up!

    Another hole-in-the-wall that we regularly enjoy is the Home Kitchen Restaurant. This kitchen shines as one of the best places in the city for "authentic" local cuisine; it's where many local groups of friends go to celebrate the simple act of eating delicious food. Don't miss the tom yum kung (spicy-and-sour soup with giant river prawns), which is redolent of lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, and galangal; a delicately crispy oyster omelet; green mango salad (yam ma muang); or the fried whole fish in chili-and-lime sauce. Such classics simply excel here, and you owe it to yourself to try all of them before leaving Bangkok. Here are the dishes we recently ordered:

    - Stir fried shrimp morning glory
    - Glass noodle seafood salad
    - Oyster omelet
    - Pan-steamed noodles with crab.
    - Fried whole fish
    - Guang Liang soup
    - Steamed rice, spring rolls, and drinks
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    All for around $45 and all tested very delicious. Located on Langsuan proper across the street from Langsuan Soi 6. See our complete photo set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/sets/72157625761397694/with/5252822653/
     
  8. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    I've started trying more hoi taut, oyster omelet, and have had some good ones. Also, green mango salad can be either tam ma muang or yam ma muang. It depends upon whether it's been mashed in a mortar/pestle (the former) and just tossed (the latter). Som tam, without any further descriptors, is used solely for green papaya.
     
  9. kwai
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    I wasn't intending to step on toes. Just to clarify for those who might be new. :) Rest assured I know that YOU know the difference.
     
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  10. Kalboz
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    Yes, it was great to see her mobile again but she told my wife that she is tired and thinking of retiring soon and that her daughter who is married to a Swiss guy and lives in Europe is not interested in continuing the legacy. Go and enjoy the offerings before this one closes down after being there for almost a century.
    You are a champ :)
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    It was raining that evening
     
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  11. Kalboz
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    You can find good street food anywhere in Bangkok. Here's is my favorite list of street food areas:
    - Chinatown or Yaowarat Road area.
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    Photo by seua_yai
    - Ratchawat market neighborhood, Nakhon Chaisi Road in the Dusit area.
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    - Ratchatewi to and including Victory Monument area.
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    - Sukhumvit 3/1 Soi Arab (or Soi Alab as the Thais would call it)
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    - Thanon Tanao just south of Ratchdamnoen Rd. in Banglamphu area.
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    If you go north you will be in the very touristy, chaotic and noisy Khao San Rd. district.
    Where's your favorite street food area?
     
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  12. Mangy
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    Nice pics
    I usually take friends and family here. Not so keen on the banana flower salad everyone raves about, but I love the squid and heart of palm with garlic
     
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  13. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    Yaowarat is great, with one caution: Just because it's busy does not mean it's good. Places stay open rather late. Stands seem to be more expensive than in other parts of Bangkok.

    Two blocks to the east of, and parallel to, Thannon Tanao is Thannon Denso (Pencil St), it's directly south from Democracy Monument. During lunch time, running almost to Sao Ching Cha (Giant Swing) and Wat Suthat, there are uncountable restaurants and streetside tables. Wander and taste.

    Samsen, north of the Khao San area, is also a treat in the evening. Vendors line the eastern side of the road from Soi 4 to Soi 8. On some of the side streets, like Soi 2 and 4, there are also many places to eat.
     
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  14. Kalboz
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    If sampling street food seems a bit overwhelming at first, try a food court (similar to a Singaporean Hawker Center) to get a taste of everything. One of the best is at the Food Loft located at Central Chitlom (shopping center) with easy access as the building is connected to Chitlom BTS (skytrain) station.
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    Food Loft is located on the seventh floor of this huge Central Chitlom. Inside, there are several levels of seating booths usually packed by beautiful and fashionable people. This is very clean place with excellent service to match and great views of Bangkok. They have every food kind you can think of: Thai, seafood, noodles, French, Italian, Japanese, Sushi, Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, vegetarian & salads, desserts, and other selections. You pick what you'd like to eat and given a card by that outlet then after finishing your meal, you present the card to a cashier to settle your bill upon exiting. I've had many meals there and all were very delicious and satisfying. The seafood noodles in clear soup (photo below) cost about $4. Tips are not required but I left a 20 baht bill for great service I received (promptly brought utensils and towels by a server).
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  15. TRAVELSIG
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    I absolutely love Bo.Lan on Soi 26 Sukhumvit.

    For Japanese Ten-Sui Soi 16 Sukhumvit is wonderful, although very expensive.
     
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  16. Kalboz
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  17. Kalboz
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    Remembered you when I saw this article today about Bo.Lan: http://www.cnngo.com/bangkok/eat/bolan-803369

    As for Ten-Sui, I've read some mixed reviews ...

    They're both added to my list to try on our next trip [​IMG]
     
  18. TRAVELSIG
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    Bo.Lan is really great- if it is not too hot, humid, and wet- ask for a table outside on the deck.

    Ten-Sui has very high quality sushi- but the prices are also on par with sushi in Tokyo (and not the value priced ones). The clientele I have seen there are probably 2/3 Japanese at least.
     
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  19. Kalboz
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    It makes sense now ... hence the farangs complaining on tripadvisor and other places about the high prices and I am presuming that they did not recognize the high quality, preparing techniques, or the origin of the ingredients that are most important to Japanese clientele.
     
  20. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    Ate at Lek Seafood a few days ago. Absolutely UN-impressed. Will post pics etc shortly. Rater disappointing .
     
  21. Kalboz
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    Staying with the food court topic, I'd like to suggest another down to earth but good place for lunch. Asok TOPS grocery store and food court at the basement of Robinsons' next to the WGS. For lunch, we had glass-noodles seafood salad, fried rice with sausage and vegetables, fried fish (Platu) and Somtam Lao. Everything tasted great and was delicious as they prepare the food right in front of their customers using fresh ingredients. Total cost for two of us was THB 180 ($6) and we were full and happy.
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  22. Kalboz
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    In addition to offering the usual fare of Tom Yum soup and Pad Thai, this cafe also highlighting rustic Issan and northern specialties (such as Chiang Mai’s Neua Pad Kapaow). Cafe Chilli is sleek mall restaurant that has a very spiffy decor with high ceiling, dark furniture, colorful cushions, tiled floors, and an old som tam trolley which gives its Northeastern vibrant with a fusion feeling.



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    Northeastern food is a traditional Thai cuisine that’s mostly healthy and spicy. Our family-style meal began with a classic som tam, som tam balances Thai cuisine’s main flavors: salty (fish sauce), sour (lime juice), fiery (chili) and sweet (a sprinkle of palm sugar). Som Tam, it will come with fresh vegetables and deep fried rice.[IMG]http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5212/5506733446_69ee7722f1_z.jpg[/IMG]We've eaten here at least four times, for lunch or dinner, and we had tried several dishes and all are totally spicy but good. The dipping sauce that came with my Deep Fried Lemongrass Chicken is so good ... so does the taste of the chicken. In addition to the sum tam, we also had Bamboo soup (Gang No Mai), and Spaghetti with pesto sauce (because its photo looked good in the menu). The pasta was not alla dente (a bit mushy) and the portions were on the small side, but everything tasted great. Total bill was around THB 1300 ($43) including drinks and ++.
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    Expect a relaxing air-conditioned atmosphere, sophisticated and beautiful clientele, bilingual full menu including desserts, and pleasant efficient service. Cafe Chili comes highly recommended by locals. Cafe Chilli, Ground Floor, Siam Paragon, 991 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan; (66-2) 610-9877-8.
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    Restaurant Website: http://www.cafechilli.com/
    Our photo set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/sets/72157625636162129/
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  23. Kalboz
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    The best Thai food for your money ... we were taken there by a friend who highly recommended the place. Referred to by locals as “Sabai Jai” Issan Restaurant, but its real name is Sabai Jai Kai Yang. It is known for its charcoal grilled chicken (kai yang) but is enjoyed by patrons for its other dishes like somtam, spicy minced pork (lab moo) and grilled pork (moo yang). The “Thai” dishes are also superb. This restaurant has a full menu including seafood items and live fish tanks.
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    The ambiance is family oriented and casual. The place is always packed and the crowd is a good mix of Thais and expats. Many Japanese frequent the restaurant also.
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    We had Southern Thai Dishes of Gang Tai Pa-Fish Kidney Soup and Kung Passa Toe. We also had the grilled chicken this restaurant is famous for, Crab cooked with curry (Pad Poo Pung Kari), fried baby crabs (Poo Tod), table-side steamed whole fish, two kinds of somtam, and the pan-steamed glass noodles with prawns (kung ob wunsen). All tasted great and spicy delicious. We left happy and full.
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    The prices are very very very reasonable! We had 10 dishes plus rice and drinks and the total cost was around THB 1,800 ($60) including a bottle of JW Black Label Scotch Whisky. The service is informal but good and very friendly.
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    Opens late and the dining is outdoors but there is also an air-conditioned indoor section. It is located at a corner of Soi Ekkamai (Sukhumvit 63) within walking distance from the BTS Station (about 500 meters) and just across the street from Healthland Ekkamai. They also have (I was told) a beer garden with live music and cute beer girls.
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    Our photos of this dinner are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/sets/72157625761382060/with/5265586834/
    Recent article about the new US Ambassador having lunch there: http://www.enjoythaifood.com/thai-food-blogs/thai-lunch-with-us-ambassador-kristiekenney.html
     
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  24. FlyingFree
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    Thanks for starting this thread...I'll be visiting Bangkok and Phuket this December and this information will be VERY helpful!
     
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  25. Kalboz
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    Located across the street from Lumpini Park at the corner of Langsuan and Sarasin, Nugan Lee is a Chinese-Thai restaurant popular with both locals and expats alike. This open air "mess hall" is very casual and opens late, making it a perfect place Late-night snacks after clubbing. At first glance, it is rather simple looking place, but do not let appearances deceive you as theirs is the most amazing food you can imagine. Seafood and fish are a specialty, and "crab with curry" served here may be the best in this part of the world.
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    We have dined here at least a dozen times since 2008. This time, we had the fried whole fish with garlic & chilies, morning glory, pan-steamed glass noodles salad with prawns, fresh raw oysters, steamed rice, 2 beers, and water all for about Baht 1240 (less than $42). All tasted delicious and satisfying.
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    At this typical Chinese-Thai joint, waitresses bring out fresh local sea bass, plucked from tanks outside and steamed with chilies, chopped raw garlic and a broth of lime juice and rinds of kaffir lime. Not just sprinkled on top, the chilies have been embedded into the fish meat, so they pop out of the soft flesh onto the tongue. NYT Article.
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    Still, Nguan Lee, becoming popular with visitors, seems to have watered down the garlic in this dish. A a more full-on garlic experience, plaa tod kratiem phrik Thai, fish coated in garlic and thin chilies and then deep-fried satisfies the garlic craving. The fish skin crunches like cornflakes, and squirts hot, oily garlic into my mouth, like garlic’s purest essence. Inside the crunchy crust, the sea bass remains tender.
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    Flickr Map:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/177263...at=13.7348&fLon=100.5426&zl=2&order_by=recent
    New York Times' Article: http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/travel/06bangkok.html?pagewanted=2
    Our photo set from last dinner- December 2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/sets/72157625635863249/
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