This project from the masterminds behind Bo.lan goes for a more casual and raw vibe.
When chef couple Duangporn Songvisava and Dylan Jones, who previously worked at David Thompson’s London Michelin-starred restaurant Nahm, opened Bo.lan in 2009, they beat the master to opening the first uncompromising fine-dining Thai restaurant in Bangkok. Today, Bo.lan stands for some of the best Thai food in town, some of the most expensive, and some of the most unyielding (no a la carte).
With Err, you’re far enough from the mother branch’s Michelin-star aspirations to relax a little but you’re getting the same meticulous research and virtuoso execution as at Bo.lan. Best of both worlds? We think so. The menu spans a lot of crisp, fried, grilled, comforting, finger-food favorites like Isaan sausage (B220), Chiang Rai sausage (B195), a simple bowl of green mango macerated in fish sauce and chili powder (B65), or braised mussels in a clay pot (B280). All of this is excellent, if not quite “best in town.” In particular, we find the wok-fried dishes (the stir-morning glory, B165, the pad krapao, B380) lack that requisite smokey, quickly-seared quality.
But there are a few dishes that knock it out of the ballpark. The pla som (garlic- and jasmine-rice-cured ocean fish, B260) has perfect texture (crispy outside, tender flakes inside) and fermentation (fresh, yet acidic). The whole chicken’s skin (B150) is a veritable tour de force, stitched together with a couple toothpicks in the shape of the absent chicken, and served on a little sieve with a homemade Sriracha sauce. And there are also a few very unusual dishes, like the delectable and beautiful “pak dong ruam” skewers (B65), which combine pickled garlic, turnip and mustard, or the freshly toasted watermelon seeds with kaffir lime leaves (B85).
All of this comes in an adorable parade of tiffins, wooden bowls and rustic pottery, a fitting match for the decor’s nostalgic and whimsical mix of ‘50-60s Thai ads and kitchen accessories. While not hugely original (you could be at Phranakorn Nornlen Hotel or at half the shop-houses in Chiang Khan), it conjures a charming atmosphere ably supported by very attentive service.
Markedly cheaper than Bo.lan, Err can still leave diners shell-shocked with the flurry of little dishes adding up to a bill more like dinner in Thonglor than gab glaem in the Old Town. On our last visit, the clientele was exclusively tourists; and it’s definitely a fantastic place to bring out-of-town guests. As for us locals, while the whole package (those drinks!) is definitely special, we’d need even more fireworks to justify repeat treks in pursuit of Isaan sausage at fancy hotel prices.
This review took place in November 2015 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.