Nestled down an obscure Silom alley, this Sichuan Chinese food joint is much-loved for its delicious dishes and more-than-fair prices. Don’t expect extravagance; everything here is kept pretty simple, from the plain red and white sign out front to the standard square and round wooden tables in the plain white air-con room. Generally, the atmosphere inside is enlivened with the vivid chit-chat of groups of work friends or Chinese-food-loving night owls (it’s open until 4am, just like its counterpart, Liao Ning Restaurant, situated opposite).
The large picture menu features a lot of the usual Chinese stir-fried and steamed dishes, many of which are pretty salty and some a little oily. The steamed goby fish in soya sauce (B400) is one dish that’s wonderfully fresh, though: the meat is tender and juicy, while the sauce is perfectly rounded. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, the deep-fried squid with salt, chili and garlic (B200) is more of a guilty pleasure, but equally rewarding. The aromatic Sichuan-style fried bean curd (B90) is similarly up to standard, as are the stir-fried eggplant with salty fish (B100) and stir-fried string beans (B100).
While most of the comforting menu hits home, some dishes, like the Hong Kong fried noodles (B80), take a bizarre turn. Served in a crispy style, the largely dull-tasting noodles are far too oily for our tastes. Similarly, the steamed hog maw in soy sauce (B200) comes in a diluted sauce and does not have the tenderness you would expect in such a dish.
At these prices, though, you can expect to endure some missteps. But if you’re after simple Chinese dishes you can enjoy with friends in a no-frills environment, Boon Pochana delivers big-time.