Florida Hotel Restaurant
Located in the slightly haunted-looking but wonderfully retro Florida Hotel, this restaurant has been in operation since 1968. Back then, they were boasting about their Hainanese cook who worked for King Rama V’s farang chef. And it’s obvious that this tired old eatery has seen better days. But Florida’s former glories live on in some of their recommended dishes, which are best described as Thai interpretations of Western food staples. Even innocuous offerings like their buns (B35) are like bread crossed with salapao: soft, sticky and slightly sweet, a kind of fusion brioche. The BBQ spare ribs (B235), too, have a distinctly Asian taste. Fall-off-the-bone tender, the meaty flavors still shine through the tangy sauce. What we’re really impressed with, though, are the Thai-Chinese dishes, like the bowl of noodles (B110), with its well-balanced and comforting broth, emanating fragrant notes of cilantro root. Equally impressive is the nuea pad nammun hoy (beef in oyster sauce, B175). Despite its run-of-the-mill appearance, this dish is anything but typical. The delicious gravy makes it taste like a homemade Chinese dish, and even though the beef is a bit dry, it’s still highly enjoyable. While the khao pad kraprao nuea (stir-fried rice with holy basil and beef, B110) is a bit light on flavor, it does show off some impressive wok frying skills—the really quick and really hot type. Dry on the outside, the rice is still moist on the inside. Florida Hotel Restaurant is far from a fine-dining or even trendy hangout spot, but the old-school establishment is the kind that’s welcome in any neighborhood; its simple but well-executed food having you return time and time again. Corkage charge B100.
|Address:||Florida Hotel Restaurant, Florida Hotel, 43 Phaya Thai Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 7am-11:30pm|
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