Samsensoisam, 10 Samsen Soi 3, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Hours:daily 5pm-1am
If you want to get dinner for two and impress your date with good food and an intimate riverside atmosphere, Samsensoisam is the place to go. Tucked into a small soi, Samsensoisam is inconvenient to reach and has no parking lot, but you can leave your car at the nearby temple and take the little golf cart shuttle to and from the restaurant. We remember when Samsensoisam first opened: It used to be passable pub grub and so-so service. What drew a decent crowd here was the great river views. Its alfresco terrace overlooking the Rama 8 Bridge is often populated by lovers or potential lovers. But now we are happy to say that its food and staff have evolved to match the stunning river views. Feel free to follow servers’ recommendations as everything lives up to expectations. Samsen Lemongrass Chicken surprises with chunky breasts and wings, deep-fried till brown and crisp. Though it would have gone better with jaew dip than the accompanying sweet chili sauce, the dish still makes a great appetizer. Another favorite is deep-fried sea bass with spicy mango salad. It’s one of the most expensive dishes on the menu but the fish is tasty without fail. Even regular fare like tom khaa gai (chicken and coconut milk soup) shine and can be considered specialties. Don’t miss the signature Yum Neua Samsen (spicy beef salad). Instead of grilled meat, which can be tough and chewy, the waterfront restaurant opts for the kind of tender, juicy chunks of braised beef often found in noodles. It is a real delight. End the meal on a sweet note with banoffee, homemade ice cream (scoop) or lychee in syrup. The service is fast and friendly. The attentive staff is ready to take orders and keeps refilling your glass before it is empty. There’s nothing to complain about here unless you’re a dieter, as every dish comes in a big portion. Reservations are required if you want a table by the river.