Bangkokian vegetarians often bemoan the serious lack of options in our city. Khun Churn is therefore a welcome addition to the meat-free dining scene. Originally from Chiang Mai, this family-run eatery is tucked away in the relatively quiet Bangkok Mediplex. But despite the unassuming location, Khun Churn, though not bustling, manages to draw a good number of health-conscious regulars. The atmosphere is quite classy, yet casual, with wooden paneling, cushioned banquettes and intricate bamboo lanterns adorning the ceiling. The menu is down-to-earth and straightforward. We admire the kitchen’s attention to detail— coconut milk is substituted with non-dairy, transfat-free cereal cream and white rice with brown. And unlike some vegetarian places, Khun Churn doesn’t try to fool the carnivores with faux duck or mock meatballs. Instead, it shows you that it’s possible to enjoy a delicious meat-free meal prepared using tofu, mushrooms, and rare, indigenous veggies as the core ingredients. The recommended fresh spring rolls and salad kaek (mixed veggies salad with peanut sauce) make for pleasant, light starters. In light of its original location, Khun Churn also whips up a handful of Northern recipes like hed kham waan (spicy and sour deep-fried assorted mushrooms salad with sliced garlic and Chinese kale) and a nam prik num set, which goes well with mock kaab muu (crisp gluten rolls). Not every item on the menu reaches such impressive heights. The deep-fried tofu with tamarind sauce, though crispy and non-oily, is standard. The khai mongkol (deep-fried stuffed half eggs) is a bit bland and we aren’t sure deep frying eggs with the eggshell still intact is a good idea. The execution of the man kratiem also fluctuates. On a good day, the fried potato chunks tossed with chopped garlic and parsley are crisp and finger-licking addictive, but on our recent visit they were a tad too oily. We also have other complaints like the early closing time and having to walk across the mall to use the toilets. But we’re willing to overlook these minor gripes thanks to the affable, well-informed servers. Plus, here, you can wash down your meatless meals with house wine and even a vodka shot! Thank God booze is vegetarian. In the end, Khun Churn works because simple food, reasonable prices and endearing service go a long way. Corkage B200.
|Address:||Khun Churn, G/F, Bangkok Mediplex Bldg, Sukhumvit Soi 42, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Cuisine:||Thai, Vegetarian or Organic|
|Price Range:||B - BB|
|Opening hours:||daily 10am-8pm|
|Nearest train||BTS Ekkamai|
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