Way out in the far west of Bangkok is this hidden gem of a Vietnamese restaurant. Danung 45 is owned by a Vietnamese family and run by a woman whose parents moved here from Vietnam. Dining here could almost feel like you’re not eating at a restaurant, as you take a seat on the terrace surrounded by the mostly Vietnamese clientele. While the food served is Southern Vietnamese, the owners tell us that they adapted the tastes to suit the Thai palate, not that we’re complaining. Almost every dish we tried is impressive and everything is evidently homemade, from the rice paper to the many types of dipping sauce. The star of the place, though, has to be the nam nueng (Vietnamese meatballs wrapped with flour, B120), an absolute must-try. The pork is very tender, but what really excites us is the rice paper. The texture is amazing—moist, light and delicate yet chewy. It’s good enough to eat on its own, but sure enough the dish also comes with a well-balanced sauce. Similarly, the moo yang bai chaploo (grilled pork wrapped with betel leaf, B120) is truly tasty. The pork is slightly dry, but we really appreciate the homegrown chaploo, which tastes fresh, a little bitter, but very, very pleasant. The recommended jaa or tord mun (deep-fried featherback fishcake in Vietnamese style, B120) has a nice, crispy texture, but do hurry to finish it as the dish gets chewy quite fast. The fishcake is really rich in flavor, with a pleasing peppery touch, while the accompanying seafood dipping sauce is great. Soak it all up with the refreshing coconut juice (B20); as the place is much closer to Nakhon Pathom, they use Sampran coconuts—very fragrant and sweet. Danung do a wonderful job in their kitchen, with many dishes priced at just B120 and served in very generous portions. To top it all off, service is super friendly. It might not be the hippest place or even hidden in a quirky location, but whenever we cross the river, Danung is near the top of our list for places to fill our stomach. No corkage charge.
|Address:||Danung 45, 82/2 Suan Pak Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 9am-9pm|
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