Jim Thompson Bar & Restaurant
Located in the former home of the Siamese silk expert, the open-air restaurant by a small lotus pond and its air-conditioned dining room serve up authentic Thai food and simple Western dishes in a en elegant decor befitting the Jim Thompson brand. Despite being packed with tourists visiting the house, it's still one of the nicest Thai restaurants in the area.
Located at the end of the non-descript soi in the same leafy compound with the Jim Thompson Thai House, Thompson Bar & Restaurant is ever bustling with tourists and expat families who visit the museum. The tables on the outdoor patio by a lotus pond are the most coveted and the first to be snatched up, but inside is equally packed and pleasant with smooth decor that blends traditional Thai decorative elements and lively, easy-on-the-eyes fabrics. With a full house to serve, the service here is surprisingly attentive and helpful. The medium-sized menu offers Thai and western favorites at hotel prices. For starters, Golden Triangle, a sample of Thompson’s best-selling appetizers, offers tiny prawn cakes, chicken spring rolls and shrimp spring rolls—two pieces each. You’ll get more bang from you baht with other hors d’oeuvres like larb moo thod (deep-fried minced pork with chilies and mints) and yam som-o (pomelo salad). As for main courses, like you would expect from a Thai restaurant cooking for foreigners, the heat is tempered and the spices are muted, like in our tom yum goong, which was a tad bland and one-dimensional. In other dishes like stir-fried softshell crab with black pepper, sweetness reigned supreme. However, despite a number of misfires in its Thai dishes, Thompson Bar & Restaurant excels in western and fusion recipes. Larb spaghetti was very good and paired nicely with deep-fried crispy wontons. Another winner is the delectable spaghetti carbonara, with just the right amount of cheese, hearty bacon and al dente pasta. Still, with relaxing, nostalgic ambiance and reasonably priced fare, Thompson Bar & Restaurant makes a great lunch spot to treat your clients or your date.