This long-standing seafood joint is clearly doing something right as the crowds of diners will testify. Even on a stormy Monday night, this two-story shophouse is packed to the rafters with office workers, families, the occasional farang with girlfriend and even a couple of hi-so types popping in for takeaway. They certainly don’t come for the setting. Just a few steps off Rama 4 and with the BBQ grill pumping out heat, the vibe manages to be both deafening and sweaty outside, and, to be honest, thanks to the low ceilings and big screen TV, it’s not a whole lot better in the cramped interior. The atmosphere is definitely chaotic, but the legion of pretty wait staff (there are clearly strong genes in this family) are perfectly drilled in the art of feeding an army of hungry diners with minimum fuss. What keeps people coming in droves is the affordable, fresh seafood, which will give you a little wave to prove it as you walk past the tanks. It can be enjoyed in a huge range of classic dishes with a heavy Chinese influence, which probably explains the popularity of the place with everyone’s aunties. For the most part, we have to concur with our elders, the seafood, and the crab in particular, is delicious but we would counter the platitudes by saying that not all the dishes work. Take the steamed prawns with soy sauce and garlic. The prawns are huge and juicy, but the accompanying sauce is just tasteless, despite the plentiful chopped garlic. The same could be said for the fried crab with red curry, which has a hint of sweetness but is otherwise pretty insipid. This shouldn’t put you off; just know to avoid some dishes in favor of treats like the rich and creamy crab with yellow curry or the deep fried soft shelled crab with garlic and pepper, which manages to be both wonderfully crispy and melt in the mouth. We could go on but you get the point. Sorn Tong is not the place for a romantic meal or a innovative culinary experience but, if you can handle the crowds, then its old school seafood is hard to beat. No corkage.
The neighborhood near BTS Phra Khanong is booming. And here's the proof.
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