Time flies so fast, it’s really hard to believe that it was 13 years ago that Tawandang German Brewery first opened its signature restaurant on Rama 3 Rd. Despite being around for so long, this place has clearly not lost its appeal. Packed every night, you nearly always have to wait for a table despite the vastness of the space. The chaotic but entertaining shows are clearly a big part of the draw, as is the home brew beer. However, the good news is that high levels of service and delicious food are present too, leaving the big groups of locals who come here happy and sated. The giant main space is very rustic, reproducing the spit and sawdust vibe of German beer halls, while outdoors it’s a little cozier and quieter if you simply have to escape the less-than-subtle stage performances. While Tawandang markets itself as the first Thai-German microbrewery in Thailand, the main focus of the large menu is on spicy Thai food that goes well with their dunkel and weizen beers (from B95 for 0.3L to B780 for 3L). Their pla kra pong nueng ma nao (seabass steamed in spicy lime sauce, B420) is a perfect match, spicy and strong in flavor, it’s also a well-balanced mix of sour and salty. The same can be said about the gaeng lueng lai bua (spicy yellow curry with lotus stems and seabass meat, B260), which is actually something of a rarity in this town. Even a potentially humdrum dish like the khao pad rot fai (fried rice with pork, B90) gets high marks. The wonderful aroma of the dry but fluffy rice conjures up memories of the old style street recipe for cooking khao pad, one that’s now very hard to find in Bangkok. The fresh and sour Yum Sam Sae (spicy raw shrimps, oysters and soft-boiled squid salad, B280) is another decent dish, though their big seller, the deep fried pork knuckle (B420) is a little disappointing as the spicy sauce is a bit one-dimensional and the mashed potatoes are soggy. This place is certainly not about grace and sophistication—portions are big, the shows and live music are noisy (and slightly insane)—but if you take it for what it is then Tawandang is a great place to come with a big group of friends and family to sing, dance and enjoy some honest and well-balanced Thai dishes. Corkage B300.
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