Baan Narathiwas, BTW Chong Nonsi, 6 Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Hours:daily 11am-2pm, 5-11pm
Price Range:BB - BBB
The menu boasts pictures, steep prices (for a green curry) and chili logos to rate spiciness; the red letters spelling out the restaurant’s name are a foot tall and the crowd is mainly Western—you probably don’t need this review to steer you away from such an obvious tourist trap. In case you’re curious, here’s what’s going on inside. It’s pretty. Everything seems to be made out of wood and the open-air deck on the second floor offers both a view and a breeze. However, your positive first impression won’t last long. The waiters look at you with an air of bewilderment that is only a taste of things to come. On top of being ignorant, they’re aloof. We’ll spare you the shopping list of their affronts; there are so many other annoyances to describe. The music is horrendous bossa nova renditions of past hits that were playing in every “hip” restaurant a few months ago. “I Just Call to Say I Love You,” sung in slow-motion by some chick on Valium would spoil even a good meal, not that you’ll get one here. A dozen dishes on the menu are either prepared with mayonnaise (green—they’re cooked with pandanus—deep-fried prawns with mayo, anyone?) or “salad dressing” (with seabass). It’s not even good in that way junk food can be. On our last visit, the deep-fried sea bass with mango salad ended up drenched in a ketchup-heavy sweet and sour sauce. We complained and the waiter disappeared 10 minutes before bringing a mango salad (half peanuts, half mango and a lot of MSG), saying that’s how it is meant to be served. We’re reminded of many a restaurant in Phuket or anywhere else in Thailand where the food is not prepared for Thais, although not everything is mangled. The tom yam is standard, as is the omelette with shrimps. With a deep knowledge of the menu (think of it as a mine field) and deep pockets, that cute porch might be an option: go on a cool night and get very drunk—just make sure you don’t end up punching your waiter. Corkage B150.