We dined at Supanniga Eating Room in Sukhumvit our last night in Bangkok.
If you find yourself in Bangkok, and are looking for restaurants that will satisfy your foodie sensibilites without setting you back drastically, here are four good places to try. (To note: You can always have a delicious curry at a Bangkok street market, though the ambience may be lacking.) We consulted a few resources, including BK Magazine, to find these winners. This list would be longer, but alas….we had limited time in Bangkok!
Pictorial essay follows the list.
1.) Issaya, 4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chua Ploeng Road, Sathorn. This is located in a lovely 1920s Thai home; we sat on the verandah and enjoyed the sights and sounds (frogs!) of the garden. The boyfriend in particular loved the chili-glazed baby back ribs, pictured farther down this page. Our bill would have been much lower if we had shown any sort of restraint; however, we couldn’t pass up trying the delicious cocktails and numerous appetizers. Romantic, stylish, laid-back, chill place.
2.) The Local, 32-32/1 Soi Sukhumvit 23, Khlongtoey Nuea, Wattana. This is also located in a converted old house, and the tables on the outside deck seemed particularly nice (the interior of the restaurant, while nice, was a bit brightly lit for my taste). Note to the wise: If you are headed to The Local via taxi, allow yourself some extra time to deal with legendary Bangkok traffic. We got a late start that was made later by gridlock…the wait staff was not happy to see us arrive at close to 11 pm, but were very gracious. We loved the pomelo salad and the Southern fish curry.
3.) Tongue Thai, 18-20 Charoen Krung 38, Bangrak, basically behind the Mandarin Oriental. If you happen to be near the river during the day, this is a wonderful place to pop in for lunch. Cute, charming and small, Tongue Thai has tasty, beautifully presented dishes and friendly service. We had Pad Thai with Singha and enjoyed a break from the heat.
4.) Supanniga Eating Room, 160/11, Soi Sukhumvit 55. This is the type of place we’d die for in the West Village, where we live. (In fact, the owner told us he planned to open a location in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.) The dishes are based on the owner’s Grandma’s recipes, and there is some charming kitsch — notably, the entrées are served on flower-patterned china — mixed with trendy design, perfect mood lighting and good people watching.
Here’s a closer look at the restaurants and the dishes we sampled….
Here’s a view of the restaurant’s charming exterior….it’s a gem of a spot, located so close to Bangkok’s hustle and bustle, yet so far away.
We started with a string of Issaya’s tasty appetizers, including the can’t-miss chili-glazed baby back ribs (left) for which chef Chef Ian Kittichai is known, and the banana flower salad (right).
And one of our entrées was this fine-looking crab dish…
At The Local, we started with the pomelo salad with prawns, diced red bell peppers and fried shallots — which sadly, I do not have a photo of — but it would be a delicious summertime dish to try recreating here in New York. For our main dish, we had the Southern fish curry, pictured below. It was quite fishy (indeed, the fish used may have been mackerel) with some nice heat. There were veggies mixed in, including string bean and pea eggplant — a vegetable that I can never, ever find in New York, so that was a thrill. The dish was served with cucumber, which I believe was to counter the spiciness, though we didn’t find this overly potent. The waitress came around with a basket, from which she scooped out rice for both of us, something I have only seen done in Thailand.
We wandered out of the heat and into this cute little place for lunch, where we nibbled on some delicious chicken larb….
We also tried the pad thai (When in Thailand…), which was a winner, especially when paired with Singha.
SUPANNIGA EATING ROOM
For our last night in Bangkok, we wanted to dine at a special place, and we were not disappointed with Supanniga. On the menu, the Penang curry beef was advertised as “melt in your mouth” and it does. The sauce was deep red, featuring a few slivers of red pepper and a dollop of coconut on top. I was struck by how super-fine the paste was…and how many shredded kaffir lime leaves were used! All of the ingredients made this one incredibly aromatic dish.
Throughout the course of the evening, we also had the crabmeat appetizer, some delicious pork wrapped in leaf, and sautéed mackerel…and yet somehow were still hungry for more. We concluded with this yummy dish, Southern wild beans stir-fried with prawns & shrimp paste. Oh Bangkok, it is so difficult to leave you!