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Restaurants and food stalls in Bangkok


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#61 pim

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Posted 06 May 2004 - 06:51 AM

When I was a teenager in Bangkok back in the '70's, there was a restaurant that was famous for roast duck served hacked up with white rice. It was frequented by cabinet ministers and cab drivers... does anyone remember what I'm talking about, and is there someplace like this still around? I'm going back in December and already dreaming about the food...tell me where you eat!

I think you are talking about a restaurant called Si-Fah, the original location was in Wang Burapa. It was something of an institution. I used to go all the time with my grandfather.

The restaurant still exists, the best known location now is in Siam Square. Although I think you may find that your taste has changed. Mine definitely has, I now find the ducks there far too sweet, and not enough meat on the bone. I also now dislike the sweet-ish sauce they douse over the sliced ducks and the rice, finding the taste far too assertive and somewhat muddy the taste of the duck meat itself.

Though I admit I sometimes go there anywhere, more for nostalgic reason than anything else.
chez pim
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#62 WHS

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 05:51 PM

Thanks HKDave and Pim. Yes, I've googled Bangkok and the little klong-lined town I remember has changed...see http://thomasriddle.net/index.html for some panoramic shots. The only thing I recognize is the RBSC and Lumpini Park. We lived on Wireless Rd, are all the flame trees gone? Pim, I visited your blog--some great insights, and HKDave, your Chowhound posting was helpful. One of my vivid memories of that time was having dinner with my parents in the old Erawan Hotel at La Rotisserie--the Swiss/French restaurant. They had a fireplace, kept the AC at full blast so the ladies could wear their fur stoles, and served fondue.

#63 snowangel

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 07:38 PM

One of my vivid memories of that time was having dinner with my parents in the old Erawan Hotel at La Rotisserie--the Swiss/French restaurant. They had a fireplace, kept the AC at full blast so the ladies could wear their fur stoles, and served fondue.

As well, one of my fondest memories. Alas and alak, the Old Erawan is no more. Probably replaced with some multi-story monstrosity. I still have a few old Erawan wooden hangers in my closet.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#64 HKDave

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 08:57 PM

Yes, sadly the Erawan was torn down to make way for a (multi-story monstrosity) Grand Hyatt. But the Erawan temple is still on that corner. And there are still flame trees on Wireless Road. The stretch of Wireless behind the US Embassy and Lumpini Park still sort of looks like it used to, if you're looking in the right direction and ignoring the traffic and pollution....

If you're looking for a good deal on a place to stay in your old neighbourhood, there are some newer 5-star service apartments on Wireless Rd and Soi Lang Suan that have quite good rates. Most of them rent by the day. You'll probably want to stay walking distance to the Skytrain.
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#65 ecr

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 10:27 PM

Stayed at the Conrad on Wireless 10 days ago ... very good rates available on the website, and this location is excellent for within-walking-distance eating. Eg. the Mon-Fri lunchtime food market behind Sindhorn Bldg, Sara Jane's for Isaan inside Sindhorn (better at lunch), many many food vendors and some mighty tasty fried noodle huts across from the American Embassy right next to the Diethelm Towers (and IMO one of Bangkok's best versions of muu yang -- grilled pork--sets up his BBQ by the curb at this location about 3pm), and heading up towards Ploenchit, a vegetarian prepared curry shop and a few more vendors stuck in among the travel agents. Round the corner at Ploenchit and you're once again smack in the middle of snackland, with more shops and vendors (I like to hit this area first thing in the a.m. for breakfast noodle soup).

Plaza Athanee is also on this strip of Wireless ... 5-star and good rates.

#66 WHS

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 05:18 PM

We also used to go to a place called Royal Kitchen up around Sukhumvit Soi 47.
Fantastic baw bia tod and a chicken & rice dish served inside a pineapple. Is it still in existence?

#67 ecr

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 10:22 PM

Royal Kitchen ... do they serve Chinese food as well? If so it is still in existence, on Soi Thonglo (Sukh 55). I've not been

#68 pim

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 07:23 AM

Yes, sadly the Erawan was torn down to make way for a (multi-story monstrosity) Grand Hyatt. But the Erawan temple is still on that corner.

I went to school just down the road from the old Erawan hotel, and used to go there almost every afternoon to the bakery to get a Palmier (called Pi-Sueh, or butterfly in Thai). Fond memories indeed.

The Grand Hyatt building is indeed a monstrosity, though they have a pleasant-ish lobby lounge area. My family had a christmas lunch there last year. Yes, we are buddhists. And yes, that would qualify as odd. :laugh:

But if you're looking for a pleasant lounge to have tea and little bites between mad rushes around the Ploenjit area, I suggest the lobby at the Regents (Four Seasons). It is such a lovely and serene place to get away from the hustle bustle just outside the door. The serve ok tea (I'm a tea snob), and nice pastries.
chez pim
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#69 WHS

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 05:44 AM

I remember the eclairs at the Erawan bakery being very good too. I think the Regent/Four Seasons is built on the site of my classmate Janet Steenhuis's old house. It was a beautiful wooden Victorian villa, one of many that lined Rajadamri Rd. BTW, I'm going to Bangkok with a friend who has never been to Asia. What soothing place can I take him to that will be a good introduction to Thai food? I've heard good things about Celadon at the Sukhothai Hotel...

#70 HKDave

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 03:11 AM

Celadon is very nice, and if you want a 'white tablecloth' Thai restaurant it would be a good choice. I was there a few months ago with a large group and they did an excellent job on both food and service. Most of the other 5 star hotels also have expensive 'soothing' Thai restaurants - the Regent has Spice Market (not my favorite, but others like it), the Oriental has Sala Rim Nam (good food, if you like dancing shows with dinner). It would be hard to go too far wrong for a first-timer in any of them. They all tend to err on the mild side as far as seasoning goes, so specify if you want it otherwise.

Hopefully your friend will adapt to Bangkok quickly and you can start to feed him outside of the hotels...
Hong Kong Dave

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#71 WHS

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 06:55 AM

Don't worry--Day 2 we're going to the stall where they sell fried water bugs!

#72 Stupid_American

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 12:59 PM

Here's a scan showing some of my recs for Bangkok.

Yok Yor Marina and Restaurant has great food and a wonderful dinner show.

MBK's 6th floor foodcourt is a good spot to expose a first timer to hawker food.
Because it's inside, it seems more "hygienic"!
At least it is air conditioned.

Kaiton is my favorite for khao mun kai (chicken rice).

Lek Seafood, although now dicovered by those dreaded farang, has good seafood at great prices.
You can still pack it away for a couple hundred baht per person (food).
This photo is taken from the rear of Lek, facing towards the Skytrain stop.

"Pu pad pong kari" (curried crab) is my favorite spot for the dish.
The shop is across from the Lumpini Police station.
For Bangkok eats, check out my Cheap Eats Bangkok

#73 Stupid_American

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 01:07 PM

little klong-lined town I remember has changed...see http://thomasriddle.net/index.html for some panoramic shots.

Actually, the town has changed since those pictures.
Sadly, the Siam Intercontinental has been torn down to make room for the Paragon; a new mega shopping center.
Just what Bangkok needs!
For Bangkok eats, check out my Cheap Eats Bangkok

#74 Stupid_American

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 06:58 PM

If you have some Thai friends, you might head over to ROYYIM STEAK HOUSE, in Thornburi.

It sort of reminds me of a Thai cowboy bar.
Lots of off duty cops, military and moto taxi drivers.
But, it has some of the best "Thai food" I've had.
You'll find families mixed with the surly lot!

Also, in the evenings, there's live "pop/rock/country" entertainment.
Heard a great redition of "You're Cheatin' Heart"!
I almost lost it when they did "Risten to the Lythm of the Fawreen Lain"!

BTW
I don't believe I've ever seen "steak" there!
I did see one other farang once.


On Soi Saladaeng, off Silom, behind the Dusit Thani, is Anna's Cafe.
The food is thai/intl and decent.
But, the desserts are great!
It's also a nice atmosphere.
For Bangkok eats, check out my Cheap Eats Bangkok

#75 prasantrin

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 06:52 AM

I went to school just down the road from the old Erawan hotel, and used to go there almost every afternoon to the bakery to get a Palmier (called Pi-Sueh, or butterfly in Thai). Fond memories indeed.



When we lived in Thailand (granted, I only lived there for the first 5 or 6 months of my life, but everyone else was there longer) my mother used to go there often for the Palmier. She also loved them. The first time I went back to Thailand I sent some back to Canada for her and she said they were just as good as she remembered, even after more that 25 years (at that time). For some reason, when we went last year we never made it there, though it was on our list.

My dad and I had Peking duck at the Chinese restaurant at the Erawan/Grand Hyatt. It was much better than any Peking duck I've had in North America, and even better than that I've had in Hong Kong (which was much too fatty, and I like fatty duck!).

#76 WHS

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 01:19 PM

My dad and I had Peking duck at the Chinese restaurant at the Erawan/Grand Hyatt. It was much better than any Peking duck I've had in North America, and even better than that I've had in Hong Kong (which was much too fatty, and I like fatty duck!).



The thread is taking an interesting turn--Chinese food in Bangkok. I'm up for Peking duck--any other places you all like? Plus, where do you go for dim sum?

#77 jrufusj

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 03:01 PM

The thread is taking an interesting turn--Chinese food in Bangkok.  I'm up for Peking duck--any other places you all like?  Plus, where do you go for dim sum?

There's a hotel in Chinatown...maybe it's Grand China Princess, but my memory could be off. It had the best Thai Chinese food I've had...probably the best "Chinese" I've had in Asia outside China.

A huge group of us...Thai/chaochiu friends, my visiting parents, other farang friends...went on the night of the Man U - Thai National team exhibition match in 2001. Place was absolutely deserted. Gotta say, an empty Bangkok chinatown is a wierd, wierd sight.

Jim

Edited by jrufusj, 26 May 2004 - 03:02 PM.

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#78 ecr

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 10:10 PM

Chinese food in Bangkok --- there is an excellent place on Soi Ngamduplee, off of Rama IV (across from Lumpini Night Market). Don't remember the name, just look for the Chinese characters. No atmosphere whatsoever but truly authentic homestyle cooking, mostly Sichuanese and northern. The jiaozi are fantastic.

Also Xian Restaurant, 10/3 Sukhumvit Soi 40. If you take the BTS get off at the Thonglo stop and exit the side of the street opposite Thonglo (Soi 55). Walk ahead and turn right at Soi 40. More Chinese spoken here than Thai. Some excellent dishes (in Thai) are muu sen phad phet (yuxiang rousi or "fish-taste" fried pork), yam taohuu sen (cool tofu threads tossed with chili oil), soup makhyya gap kai (tomato-egg soup) and the zhajiang mian. This place is not upscale, very reasonable price, and very yummy.

For congee and a few dim sum items there is a place on Silom, on the lefthand side of the street as you're heading away from Rama IV. It is on the second story of a shopping center, right above a McDonald's, maybe a 5 minute walk from Soi Convent. Unfortunately I don't know the name ... but the congee is very nice. Decor is sort of tacky/tatty upscale.

There is a Shanghai restaurant on Sukhumvit somewhere between Phrom Pong and Thonglo BTS Stations, on the even numbered soi side of the street. It may just be called Shanghai. Haven't eaten there but checked out the menu which was in Chinese (promising) and looked to have a good variety of Shanghai cold dishes.

J Lor (or is it J Ngor?) is a restaurant in the YMCA building on Sathorn, they also have a branch on Narathiwat. I have had excellent Cantonese-style seafood there, and stir-fried pea sprouts. But the dishes that stray from that sort of thing are just OK. It's pretty expensive.

#79 prasantrin

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 03:25 AM

The thread is taking an interesting turn--Chinese food in Bangkok.  I'm up for Peking duck--any other places you all like?  Plus, where do you go for dim sum?

I don't really remember names of places because my dad just took me around and didn't tell me where we were going. The Chinese restaurant at the Ambassador hotel also had good Peking duck--carved at the table as good Peking duck should be (so my father used to say). There was also a place near Chatuchak (sp?) market that had amazing Peking pig--that's what I called it. A little piglet, butterflied, roasted, and eaten just like Peking duck. Mmmm.

Another place I loved is called the Joke Club. It's around the corner from the Ambassador Hotel. It's expensive (we spent B3000 for three people) but the seafood is very, very fresh and very, very good. Their mixed meats appetizer plate (barbeque pork, barbeque duck, roast chicken) was the best I've ever had, and their steamed fish with ginger and scallions was out of this world! I was told they make very good jook/congee but we concentrated on the seafood so we didn't try it. Plus we went for dinner...

I've never had dim sum in Bangkok, though, so I can't help you there!

Edited to add: I know this is about Roast duck and Chinese food, but might I also add a hearty recommendation for Dosa King for Indian food? Excellent dosa and malai kofta. I dream of it sometimes. And there was a Vietnamese place, too, but I can't remember the name right now.

Edited by prasantrin, 27 May 2004 - 03:28 AM.


#80 ecr

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 06:37 PM

Dosa King is good but for snacks only a small Indian cafe on Silom Soi Dtai (steps from the Hindu temple on the corner) is better. Everything is made by the granny in the kitchen, one at a time --- dosa, idli, and another large flattish pancake thing of fermented batter name of which I can't remember ... lovely chickpea curry and chutneys to go with. You may wait a while for your food and I can't say the service is super friendly, but one taste and it's worth it. Good sweets too.

#81 WHS

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 09:58 AM

There was also a place near Chatuchak (sp?) market that had amazing Peking pig--that's what I called it. A little piglet, butterflied, roasted, and eaten just like Peking duck. Mmmm.



The first week we were in Bangkok back in 1964 my parents took us to the "Kinareenava" Floating Restaurant in Lumpini Park, where we had roast baby pig. My brother and I sneaked into the kitchen after dinner--picture lots of bamboo cages with squealing baby pigs on one side, a big pile of dead baby pigs in the middle, and roaring ovens on the other side. Needless to say, we were traumatized, but I still love that crispy skin!

#82 Stupid_American

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 12:25 PM

Posted Image
MEMORIES!
For Bangkok eats, check out my Cheap Eats Bangkok

#83 Stupid_American

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 07:44 AM

And an even better way is to take yourself, on your first day in Bangkok, to a market that has almost everything, like Dalat Aw Taw Kaw


Definitely a must do!
But, for someone not accustomed to Bangkok's heat and humidity, I always suggest a couple days acclimation before a trip to Aw Taw Kaw / Chatuchak.
Head there during the weekend to take full advatange of both.

MBK's 6th floor foodcourt, although not in contention with Aw Taw Kaw, is a good, air-conditioned introduction.
I haven't been since they've remodeled.

I, too, believe that the Nancy Chandler Bangkok Map is a must have.
I also recommend Bangkok Walking Tours, New Bus Map by Bangkok Guide.
The streets are more detailed and it includes bus routes.
They are both widely available in Bangkok.
For Bangkok eats, check out my Cheap Eats Bangkok

#84 ecr

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 08:38 AM

I would recommend that you *not* combine a trip to Aw taw Kaw with a Chatuchak visit. Chatuchak is overwhelming, and extremely hot (esp this time of yr!) --- you'll be too sweaty and tired to enjoy Aw Taw Kaw. Get there by 10am, prepare to roam and observe before diving in to sample. And weekdays are best -- when the place is quieter, a bit less crowded and less frenetic. It's not hard to find ... any taxi driver in Bangkok will know "Dalat Aw Taw Kaw."

Khanom Chine in MBK center (first floor, near the Patumwan hotel) for khanom jeen --- an upscale, but spicy and authentic version. Few farang sample this dish when they are in Thailand, even though it's one of the best noodle dishes, IMO.

#85 Stupid_American

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 09:34 AM

We often hit both,...and I'm out of shape!
Although Aw Taw Kaw is of peticular interest here, Chatuchak is always mentioned as a "must visit" by most guidebooks.
I thought 2 trips up that way would be a bit much for a casual tourist.

This time of year is wet, but not extremely hot.

Just uploaded some cards from some of Bangkok's eateries and other businesses
Still working on more cards and some write ups.
Going on the road; might be a while.

Bangkok Recs

One of the restaurants, ROYYIM, is a place best visited with a local Thai host.
The clientele is down-home locals; it doesn't see many Westerners.
For Bangkok eats, check out my Cheap Eats Bangkok

#86 beetee

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 11:03 AM

Sidewalk seafood in Bangkok, Siam area.

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#87 tooearly

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 09:33 PM

Nice to see folks on this thread know the truth about Thai food: the very best is found in places you would wander past 99 times out of 100 and never think to step into. Sometimes really and truly amazing cooking comes out of these places. (brings tears to my eyes thinking of it). I can think of a simple Guaythiow noodle shop south of HadYai that was dark and dusty, and made the most inncredible bowl of noodles I have ever tasted, anywhere, for about 40 cents. wish i was ther now.....
try the Som Tam in the food court of Chatuchak market: reputed to be Thailands best.

#88 beetee

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Posted 24 August 2004 - 03:05 PM

Sometimes really and truly amazing cooking comes out of these places. (brings tears to my eyes thinking of it).

Good, I'm not the only one who gets sad thinking about it. I miss Indo China more than any of my ex-girlfriends :)

The first meal I had in Bangkok was 'pork hocks simmered with intestine' (I don't know the Thai name) for breakfast and it was some of the best damm pork I've ever had. I tell my friends, "the huge pot of pork intestines was sitting out on the street in front of a hole in the wall filled with patio tables," and they say they would never go to this place. It's a shame lots of people pass up the good stuff and settle for the hotel.

#89 quack

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 06:56 PM

OK, guys...*exactly* where is Aw Taw Kaw? (Even its own website doesn't say.) Please try to be more specific than "across the street from Chatuchak" (which is so huge that "across the street" could be anywhere). I've looked on the most detailed maps of Bangkok that I could find (I haven't been able to locate my copy of Nancy Chandler's, however) but without success.

Thanks in advance.

#90 Stupid_American

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 03:16 PM

If everything went as planned, it will be across the street from the new subway station, the south end of Chatuchak, the direction from which the Skytrain comes.

Edited by Stupid_American, 22 September 2004 - 03:20 PM.

For Bangkok eats, check out my Cheap Eats Bangkok