Supanniga Eating Room
by Khunyai (ranked 9th in our Top Tables 2014) is widely considered one of the best restaurants in Bangkok for Thai home-style food. Building on Supanniga’s Trat-meets-Khon Kaen cuisine, EAT (which stands for Eat All Thai) combines Supanniga favorites and some new regional dishes from all over Thailand. The consistency is not quite on par with Supanniga, but EAT is still doing some pretty amazing food. The atmosphere also manages to belie the restaurant’s mall location. The materials are homey, whether it’s the roughly hewn wooden furniture or the ceramic crockery. The open kitchen is meant to evoke a market, with its jars, pots and pans, while bell ornaments, a shattered glass fresco and a stucco wall provide nods to Buddhist temples. Finally, the soaring ceiling and wall of windows to one side provide the necessary feeling of modernity and space. As for what’s on the plate, EAT has a strong regional theme with specialties like big, plump Ayutthaya river shrimps and a green curry fried rice with salted eggs from Chaiya, in Surat Thani (B160)—that salted egg makes its way into a few other dishes and is reason alone to visit EAT. Other new dishes include the competently executed hoi joh jew (fried crab dumplings, B230) and the comforting khai pa loh (stewed pork and eggs in Chinese five spice, B150). We like that the place works both for a quick single dish, or an assortment of dishes to be shared with friends and family: fried, sun-dried squid bursting with umami (B230), pork ribs in a penang sauce (B180) and stewed beef with fried basil (B180). On top of the aforementioned river shrimps, EAT’s other specialty is crabs, such as the complex and vibrant nam prik khai pu (crab eggs relish, B190), the spicy, chunky and rich pu pad prik kee nu (crabmeat stir-fried with garlic and shallots, B480) or the rustic curry with cha plu leaves (B520). Drinks, too, include many Thai classics like toddy palm syrup on ice (B85) or cola and salted plum (B85). They also have cocktails and, while a bit sweet, the toddy bay (Chalong Bay Rum, lime, toddy palm, B220) is a worthy local variation on the daiquiri. If we really mustissue a verdict, we’d say Supanniga’s dishes are almost all great, while EAT’s range from good to great. That also means EAT could well be the best Thai food you can get in a mall.