Baan Ying Cafe & Meal (Siam Center)
One of the favorites for teenagers in Siam Square for Thai comfort food.
The bright, modern decor of well-crafted blond-wood furniture, and shelves stocked with white crockery make for a welcoming environment to enjoy Thai fusion favorites like spaghetti tom yam and teen-friendly smoothies. Bold flavors are ever-present, whether it’s in the sweet and sour sea bass with crispy basil leaves or the hot, tangy grilled beef salad, served on a refreshing bed of lettuce and jazzed up with black peppercorns.
7 other branches across Bangkok.
Since the original burned down during the May 2010 protests, Baan Ying has reopened in two new locations, one in the Siam Kitty building and one in Siam Center. Both boast a bright, modern decor with well-crafted hardwood furniture in blond wood, and shelves stocked with white crockery for a homey touch. The lengthy menu has been supercharged with Thai fusion favorites like spaghetti tom yam (B140) but retains solidly executed standards, from stir fries to yam and tom (Thai salads and soups). Despite the word “café” in its name, Baan Ying has no brick walls or half-assed wine list; just a long list of teen-friendly smoothies (B60-100) and plenty of fluffy, multi-layer cakes (B95) that all taste like sugar and not much else. The coffee is from Lavazza, though, so grown-ups can get a serious espresso (B70), too. Whether you choose to Wi-Fi (it’s free) here or not, the food often hits the spot. The calamari fried with chili and salt (B160) is downright addictive, with full-on flavors from the aforementioned ingredients and some spring onion to boot. Bold flavors are present in most dishes, in fact. Sometimes it’s a bit much, like the sweet and sour sea bass with crispy basil leaves (B180), which is spicy and garlic-heavy, but also doused in too much vinegar (and a tad dry). Sometimes it’s just right, like the hot, tangy grilled beef salad, served on a refreshing bed of lettuce and jazzed up with black peppercorns (B200). There’s also an interesting custom-design-your-own-omelet menu at the end (B55 with rice, toppings B15-30), which is kind of fun, with options like bacon (B15) and parmesan (B30) to create the ultimate comfort food pick-me-up. The uncle who owns the place is a bit too friendly and socially awkward but by mall-standards, our general impression is definitely positive. If there were a house in Ekkamai or Ari serving this stuff with some solid cocktails, we’d be there all the time—but can we really blame Baan Ying for its location?