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These buzzing restaurants are dedicated to the local cuisines of the North, South, East and West

They've put themselves on the map with uncompromising flavors and well-rounded heat.

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By BK-PROMOTED | Sep 06, 2017

  • These buzzing restaurants are dedicated to the local cuisines of the North, South, East and West

Baan Ice

The glamorous Thonglor location belies an approach to Southern Thai dishes which is down-to-earth and traditional. Owner Supaksorn Jongsiri draws his recipes from his grandma’s cookbook to produce powerful and memorable dishes. Classics like the pad sator kapi goong (stir-fried prawns with sataw beans) and gaeng luaeng pla sam lee (spicy sour soup with black-banded trevally and fermented bamboo shoot) come in a bistro setting that’s polished but relaxed.

115 Somerset Building, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-381-6441. Open daily 11am-10pm. BTS Thong Lo

Café Chilli

Cafe Chilli serves Northeastern Thai food amid a chic contemporary decor. Offering staples like somtam and tomsaeb (spicy soup with pork) and twisted fare with premium produce like diced salmon laab and Australian beef namtok. By street standards, the servings are small for what you’re paying, but the kitchen does a solid job, the service is smart and the ambiance is oh-so-cool.

8/F, Emquartier, Sukhumvit Rd., 02-003-6291. Open daily 11am-10pm. BTS Phrom Phong

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Dara Dalay

Run by the same people behind Chiang Mai organic farm and homestay Dara Dalay, this restaurant is, for many, home to Bangkok’s best khao soi (noodles in Northern-style curry). From a tree-enshrined shack in Dusit, they do a brief list of Northern dishes like kanom jeen nam ngiaw (rice vermicelli with spicy pork and tomato soup, B40) and, of course, an addictive take on khao soi (B40) whose perfectly rich soup features a nice balance of flavors and tender chicken. Almost every dish here is made with organic vegetables grown on the farm either here or up North. Keep an eye on the restaurant's facebook page (www.fb.com/daradalay) for news of when they’ll be serving special dishes like hed nueng namprik kha (steamed mushrooms with galangal paste).

Pichai Market, Pichai Rd., 086-378-3837, 089-499-2878. Open Mon-Sun 12-7pm


Fai Sor Kam

Fai Sor Kam emphasizes Northern dishes in a cutesy Lanna-style setting that is supported by an elaborate collection of dark wood furniture, giant lion sculptures and a craftsy gift shop filled with silk pillows and colorful candles. Dining here will not be done right if you don't try the gaeng ho (mixed vegetables, noodles and pork stir-fry) or the powerful bamboo shoot salad with crab sauce and chili paste that hits all the right notes.

4/F, Siam Paragon, 991 Rama 1 Rd., 02-610-9717/8. Open daily 10:30am-10pm. BTS Siam

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Kai Yang Sua Yai

This colorful shop-house transports the Northeastern dishes of an old street-food favorite into a proper dining setting. Tuck into a whole chicken, along with namprik pla ra (chili paste with fermented fish) and somtam poo (papaya salad with freshwater crab). Wash it down with Singha, fruit juice or wine by the glass. They offer about 15 vegetarian dishes, too.

Piman 49, Sukhumvit Soi 49, 02-662-6428. Open daily 11am-9:30pm

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Khua Khling Pak Sod

The crowded and boisterous premises and occasionally surly service are a fine match for the unapologetically fiery food at this Southern Thai institution. Among the heady highlight dishes are pork and beef iterations of kua kling, the minced meat palate-rouser served with a basket of greens from which the restaurant takes its name, and the perfectly pungent stir-fried stink beans with shrimp paste.

21/32 Sukhumvit Soi 29 (access through Sukhumvit Soi 23),02-259-5189. Open daily 11am-10:30pm. Other branches: Ratchakru, 02-617-2553; Thonglor Soi 5, 02-185-3977

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Kruajiangmai

Formed as a delivery service over a year ago, Kruajiangmai serves Northern Thai food made using ingredients its Chiang Mai-native owner sources directly from the North. These she turns into delicious staples like the intense khao soy gai (chicken curry noodles), housemade nam prik noom (green chili relish) and gaeng huang lay (Northern-style pork curry) with pork knuckle. But you'll also find some rarer dishes like khao ngiao (steamed rice with pork blood and herbs in banana leaf) and stir-fried pak chiangda (a Northern local vegetable) with egg.

Sukhumvit Soi 55 (between Thonglor Soi 5 and Soi 7), 099-196-2464. Open daily 11am-10pm. BTS Thong Lo

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Som Tum Der

This restaurant won a Michelin star for its sister venue of the same name in New York. Those familiar with its well-balanced salads will understand why. The kitchen’s only compromise to Bangkokians’ with weaker stomachs is to pasteurize the pla ra (fermented fish sauce). Apart from that, you can expect full, well-rounded heat in the dishes that call for it. Don’t miss the wonderful pork skewers marinated in coconut milk or deep-fried minced pork balls, either.

5/5 Saladaeng Rd., 02-632-4499. Open daily 11am-2:30pm, 4:30-10pm. MRT Silom

Sri Trat

This restaurant specializes in one of the lesser-known regions of Thai cuisine: the eastern provinces, especially Trat, which is where it sources all its fish sauce, salted fish, sun-dried squid, chamuang leaves and shrimp paste. Order the Eastern staple of moo chamuang (stewed pork belly with chamuang leaves) and crab roe chili dip, as well as creative takes on the cuisine such as a chili dip version of moo chamuang in which the pork belly is replaced with minced pork. The setting—azure leather sofas, rich teak paneling, pop-art murals—is a stunning blend of old and new. 

90 Sukhumvit Soi 33, 02-088-0968. Open  Sun-Mon 12-11pm; Wed-Thu 12-11pm; Fri-Sat 12pm-1am

Zaab Eli

This faux-retro, air-con Isaan joint packs out not just for the food, which is good, but also thanks to vibrant decor with cutesy tablecloths and hanging wicker lamps. The extensive menu is like 20 street stalls rolled into one: grilled stuff, fried stuff, som tam, fruit salads, larb and yam that come in very shareable portions. The somtam Thai is solid—crunchy, spicy and not too sweet—and the pla ra not for the faint of heart.

2/F, Arena  10, 225/11 Thonglor Soi 10, 02-392-2317. Open Mon-Thu 11am-9pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-10:30pm; Sun 11:30am-9:30pm

Exclusively for Citi credit card members:
Get 10% discount when spending THB 1,000 or more /sales slip or special price THB 49 on specially selected menu when spending THB 500 or more /sales slip Today – 31 Oct 17


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