Ko Khum, 2/F, Liberty Plaza Bld., Thonglor Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Nearest Train:BTS Phrom Phong
Opening Hours:daily 11am-3pm, 5pm-midnight
Open Since:June, 2012
The buzz: Owned by a group of friends led by Pongthum ‘Tong’ Kunrungseeteeraphab, who used to own the popular but now-closed Ekkamai bar Sode Samo, this is no hip pub but just the latest restaurant to bring Isaan food indoors while promising to retain its street soul and flavor.
The décor: Even though it’s situated on the 2/F of the building, the owners have tried to create a space that feels like you’re eating somtam on the street—that means an actual mortar and pestle, a proper street grill and no air-con. They even went as far as to track down old plastic chairs so you really feel the street side vibe. The soon-to-be-finished upstairs is a little less baan baan with the promise of air-con, vintage couches and low tables. In a quirky touch there’s also a colorful wooden cow keeping an eye on diners.
The food: Go straight for the recommended somtam hoy dong (spicy papaya salad with marinated cockles, B60). Side dishes cover other Isaan standards like Laab Ja-ruad (shredded pork with herbs, B80), fatty grilled pork (B70), tom saap (ribs in spicy soup with herbs, B80), classic namtok nuea (grilled beef with spicy herb salad, B80) and paak ped (deep-fried duck beak, B80). They also do some single dishes during lunch such as khao namprik long ruea (stir-fried rice with paste, B35) and khao na nuea saap (rice topped with stir-fried beef with chili, B50).
The drinks: For now, there’s just Singha (B120 for large) and Leo (B90 for large). But you can always bring your own, with a corkage charge of B200.
The crowd: Office people craving somtam but who want to stay dry and relatively cool as well as friends of the owners looking for a chill spot to hang before the party really starts. Pieng-or Mongkolkumnuankhet