Bangkok eating..

Dec 9th, 2007, 08:28 AM
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Bangkok eating..

I am just beginning to make a list of places to try on my upcoming trip..have quite a few names, but I am wondering about the large outdoor seafood places that I remember from a trip many years ago..

In particular, Somboon Seafood on Surawongse Road

I don't see this mentioned much here..should I give it a try?

ekscrunchy is online now  
Dec 9th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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ramonap, no advertising is allowed in the forum. Your spam will de deleted by the editors.

Kathie is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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I haven't eaten at Somboon (there are several locations) but Kuranosuke recommends it. So if you have time, I'd give it a try. I always have so many places on my list, I nver make it to all of them.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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While I am here, I will also ask about these two:

ekscrunchy is online now  
Dec 9th, 2007, 09:39 AM
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I ate at Pen a couple of years ago and liked it a lot but don't expect any atmosphere. Celadon is a lovely restaurant and was excellent when it opened. But on a recent visit I found it a bit bland and overpriced.
glorialf is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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E-make sure you get to Chote Chitr. It's very basic, but the food is good. It was in the article by R.W. Apple as Pen.
Gpanda is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Panda..yes Chote Chitr is on my list..with all the reports about this place I hope it is not farangs only!! Do I need to reserve here in advance and do they even take reservations??

Thanks to you both..Gloria, I will skip Celadon and put Pen on the list...

I also want to try that Polo Chicken place.

I read here a lot about Harmonique..what kind of place is this?

ekscrunchy is online now  
Dec 9th, 2007, 10:30 AM
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I serioiusly doubt that Chote Chitr takes reservations - oh, except for a 15 person office group eating there when we went for lunch last time (they brought in extra chairs, tables, as it doesn't normally accommodatre that many people total!). I've never seen another farang there. Indeed, the first time we went we saw only one farang on the street in our one hour walk there. As Gpanda says, it's very basic - street atmosphere.

Since it is getting more recommendations in forums like this, you may run into another farang there.

Harmonique is owned/run by two Chinese/Thai sisters. It is renowned for it's bad service but good (though not fabulous) food. A number of the dishes show strong Chinese infleunce. It's cheap, fun (if you don't let the service bother you).
Kathie is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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Thanks, Kathie. I feared that all of these places written up by Apple in that now famous article would be overrun by tourists by now. Good to learn that this is not true.

I care more about food than atmosphere..please feel free to recommend. I will be dining alone, but not sure if that would make a difference anywhere, (??) other than the fact that I will not be able to sample as many dishes as I would like!

Any comments on Ruen Mallika (lilnk below) ??

On those seafood market/restaurants?
ekscrunchy is online now  
Dec 9th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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harmonique is closed now as it always is until early january...

is polo chicken the place where they fling the chicken up in the air to your waiter??
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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I've not heard of or tried Ruen Mallika. There are quite a number of restaurants in old teak houses (one of my favorites, Lemongrass is in an old teak house). It looks lovely, but I would want to know if it is entirely oriented to the tourist trade or not.

Bob, Polo Fried chicken is a place reviewed by Johnny Apple. It's not the circus-like palce where they throw chickens.

I know of people who have tried the huge seafood market restaurants. The reviews said they seemed to be entirely tourists, and the prices were quite high. You can get good seafood lots of places. I'd prefer a smaller, more intimate place.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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i will be going to somboon for the curry crab tonite in ratchada. absolutely delicious. i too, would skip celadon. i was disappointed the one time i went there. the food was so-so, expensive, and no dress code was in effect.

i thought a restaurant of this class, and reputation would have a dress code, but i saw customers in shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, and slippers.

usd=33.45b on suk soi 11.
kuranosuke is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 04:18 AM
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Hi Eks-

Just back from Bangkok and up early due to jetlag.

Went to Somboon many years ago and the crab curry was good. Passed by it this time in a taxi and it was still busy.

This trip paid a 2nd visit to Chote Chitr. It was a Saturday around noon and there was only one other family (Thai) in there. When we left, another farang couple came in. I'm sure they get their share of tourists as they've certainly received a lot of publicity in print and on the web.
For my full report on Chote from this trip go here:

We also enjoyed a meal at a place called Le Lys. I found the recommendation on Chowhound.
It's owned by a Thai/French couple but serves only Thai food in a lovely house/courtyard setting with a Pelenque court. Lots of French expats there. Food was very good.

Another place we enjoyed was Taling Pling, another chowhound rec. Good food in a mid-scale setting. Mix of about 20% Farang, 80% Thai and other Asian. Many mixed groups (business dinners?).

Honestly, probably the best, "authentic" Thai food we had on the trip was out at the floating market during our day with Tong. She knew all the best vendors. See "day 2" on my website for details.

I'll be posting more about Le Lys and Taling Pling on my website in the days to come.
Kristina is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 04:58 AM
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Kristina..Your site is fantastic! I cannot thank you enough for all of the information and the scrumptious photos!

I meant to ask about Taling Pling (read about it in TimeOut guide..)

Since I am not a huge curry crab fan, I am wondering about the other dishes at sounds like a solid bet for all kinds of seafood and the fact that it looked packed is a good sign. I think I will put this on the tentative list and skip the Seafood Market, as from what I read here and elsewhere, it appears that those are really oriented towards tourists..

A place on the river that I read bout in Jancis Robinson's site is Baan Klang Nam, south of Silom; it is also in the Fodor's guide..

I found a great site about small restaurants and street food in general via Chowhound (Kristina I know you are a poster there and have seen this,) but for anyone else:

ekscrunchy is online now  
Dec 10th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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Eks-Thanks, glad you like my website. I've enjoyed all your postings about food as well, and will be using many of your Rome recs in March.

Yes, I've also heard the Seafood Market is "touristy" and overpriced. Checked it out many years ago but did not eat there.

I ate at Ban Klang Nam in 2002. Was good.
No photos, sorry.
My Somboon experience in 2000 is on this page:

As for the link to the food walking tour, I also printed that out (and posted the link here) before we left, but we didn't do it. Next time I hope. I believe Gpanda did part of it (see his latest trip report).

I'll be very interested to hear about the places you go when you return. Are you going to do a day with Tong?
Kristina is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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If you don't mind someplace small and a bit downscale, we really enjoyed Lek Seafood right underneath the Chong Nonsi skytrain station. We had crab, lobster, fried river crab, shrimp (including those big river prawns), cockles, and something they called "wing shells." (They also have whole fish, but we were too fixated on the shellfish!) Prices were good, portions were good, and usually we were the only non-Thai people there. Many of the waiters don't speak English, so there was a lot of pointing and sometimes we were surprised by the disparity between the menu description and the dish, but with simple seafood we pretty much got what we expected.
PegS is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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Thanks to both of you

.PegS:.I will put Lek Seafood on the tentative list. I do not mind "downmarket" as long as the food is good!

Kristina: I have two days booked with Tong and am now trying to decide how to spend them...

I am so pleased that you mentioned the reports on your earlier trips to Bangkok, so now I can read these as well..I had not realized you had been before.. Somboon Seafood sounds terrific and I think I will give it a try..and if they give me another dish for the crab, I will know what to do!!

I arrive after midnight on Saturday night. I suppose I should try to visit the Chatuchak Market on the morning of the next day, Sunday, right?? (This will be a day on my own..) I would try to get there early to avoid the heat...IF I can get up in time!!

Also, are shops and tailors generally open on Sundays?

ekscrunchy is online now  
Dec 12th, 2007, 06:52 AM
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If you check my current report, I just posted about Taling Pling.

You have 2 days booked with Tong? Lucky you! You will have fun. Yes, I've been to BKK many times now. I always avoided the floating market because I thought "too touristy!". If I'd gone on a bus tour, it certainly would have been. However, I believe being with Tong made all the difference. Her emphasis was on FOOD, not shopping and she made that very clear to us. Fortuantely for us, we did not want to shop, we wanted to eat!
So, since you have 2 days, and you like food, I would recommend the floating market. Apparantly, she also knows plenty of good places in BKK to eat as well. Just don't ask her to take you to Chote Chitr.

Are you going to Siem Reap this trip? I wish I could report on good food there, but unfortunately, I cannot. There certainly is some decent food to be had, but nothing "amazing". More like "good for Cambodia" or "edible".

As for the weekend market, we went on the last day of our trip. I went on a Friday my last time in BKK and most things were closed. This time it was a Saturday afternoon and it was a ZOO! So hot too! I didn't end up buying anything. I don't know if you have to get up too early to go as I'm not sure all the vendors are even open before 10AM (check that...)
You might enjoy the Aw Taw Kaw food market across the street from the weekend market. Look at my 2006 report for pictures. It's located right across the street from the Kamphaeng Phet (M17) subway station.
Kristina is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Kristina, I am loving your site!!

To answer your question, I am not going to Cambodia..I spent 5 days in Siem Reap in 2000 and someday will return to explore more of the country, but not on this trip. After BKK I will head for LP and then spend 2 weeks in it looks like tasty eats every step of the way, at least I hope so...

Anyway, I asked on the other board about Somboon Seafood..I was concerned about reports that taxis take you to a "fake' Somboon" of all things!! I know you found it fine, but someone on CH mentioned making sure that the sign had some other word in neon, after Somboon...does any of this make sense to you??

Now I m busy reading all the old posts here, going back a few years...there is so much information on Bangkok!!
ekscrunchy is online now  
Dec 16th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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Eks-I read that too about the taxi scam.

I think what you can do is have your hotel point out where the restaurant is on a map and then take the map in the taxi with you. I usually do this. It makes me more comfortable to know where I'm going and sometimes the drivers don't have a clue either!
Also, make sure the concierge writes down the address in Thai for the driver.
I seem to remember Somboon being at a big intersection, so it shouldn't be too hard to determine if you are in the right place.
Finally, make sure you have the hotel name and address in Thai for the taxi for the return to the hotel. We found this useful many, many times.

If you do get a chance to go back to Siem Reap, you will be shocked at how much it's changed since 2000. It's no longer a sleepy little town.

PS-saw the post on chowhound too.
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