The chef from Le Du does Thai family recipes in a sleek modern setting.
At Baan, one of Bangkok’s leading Thai chefs, Thitid Tassanakajohn (Le Du, Baa Gaa Din), retreats from the modernist culinary techniques he learned in New York in favor of homey, everyday Thai meals. Co-run by his younger brother Chaisiri and girlfriend Manintorn Maksiri, Baan dishes out unpretentious meals which prove chic, high-quality dining can be delivered at pocket-friendly prices. Though the interior’s geometric white furnishings and black walls might be at odds with Baan’s name, the stylish design does create a warm and inviting environment that’s at the same time sophisticated.
The menu highlights how seriously the chef takes his produce, telling you all about the eggs from Udomchai Farm, beef from dry-aging king Company B, seafood from sustainable fisheries in Prachuap Khiri Khan and organic rice from Sisaket. The benefit of this really comes through in dishes like the pla gung (spicy shrimp salad with herbs, B280)—fresh-tasting and packed full of hearty chunks of shrimp. Their signature kai palo tom sap (spicy five-spice egg soup, B280) also offers well-rounded spiciness along with tender, guilty-pleasure chunks of pork belly.
Though sweetness dominates the flavor of many of Baan’s dishes, we do really enjoy the som tam pa (spicy papaya salad with mixed vegetables and fermented mussels and fish, B120). This refined version of an intense dish lacks nothing in terms of freshness, but you may want more of a kick of pla ra if you’re a big fan of this fermented Isaan fish. Their tod mun pla (spicy fish cake, B280) is perfectly fried and has a nice spongy texture that goes well with the house-made sweet dipping sauce. The signature stir-fried pork neck in red curry paste (B350) is another safe bet—rich and aromatic.
But not everything hits the right note. Baan’s kraprao nuea (dry-stir-fried minced dry-aged beef with holy basil, B350) leaves us disappointed due to a lack of flavor and the oily fried basil. The desserts, too, are nothing to write home about—instead save your cash for delicious cocktails like the tea-infused rum and lime Cha Manao (B200). All considered, Baan’s combination of authentic food and modish setting offers something new to Bangkok which we think is well worth trying. Corkage B500 (waived if you also open a bottle of house wine).
This review took place in April 2016 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
|Address:||Baan, 139/5 Wireless Rd. (between Japanese Embassy and Lumphini Police Station), Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BBB|
|Open since:||June, 2015|
|Opening hours:||Wed-Sun 11am-2pm, 6-10pm; Mon 11am-2pm, 6-10pm|
|Nearest train||MRT Lumphini|
|Reservation recommended, Parking available, Takeaway available|
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