Thai-Chinese comfort food in the Chatuchak neighborhood.
Chatuchak recently welcomed Bangkok's latest Thai-Chinese comfort food specialist.
Konchong Konprung's rather simplistic design complements just what the menu has to offer: down-to-earth dishes like nam lieb moo (stir-fried Chinese olives with minced pork, B115) and holy basil fish cakes (B70).
On the sweeter end of the scale you'll find Thai-inspired takes on classic desserts like sakoo piek (panna cotta with longan and coconut meat, B105), young coconut cake (B95) and French butter bael fruit cake (B90).
Coffee costs B70 for an Americano and B85 for a cafe mocha. There’s also a range of matcha options, herbal drinks, tea and fruit smoothies and juices on offer.
Tucked in the unusual foodie location of Soi Inthamara 3, Konchong Konprung takes homey Thai-Chinese family recipes away from the usual drab shop-house setting and places them in a voguish little cafe. The yellow decor is light and bright, with nods to Chinese culture in the delicately patterned tableware and tastefully chosen vintage drawings of old Chinese ladies from the Warlord Era.
It’s a charming match for down-to-earth comfort dishes like rice with pad nam lieb moo (stir-fried Chinese olives with minced pork, B115), served the old-school Chinese way in a high, ceramic curved bowl, its beautiful arrangement of minced pork and nam lieb flecked with colorful chopped shallots, chili and green kajorn (tonkin jasmine) flowers. The taste doesn’t disappoint: salty yet balanced with a handy slice of lime. The khai jiew gark moo (omelet with pork crackling, B85) might be oily, but shallots and chili help cut through the fat for a guilty-pleasure treat.
Not so special are the snacks like hae guen (shrimp ball wrapped with tofu, B95), which despite their crispy skin and tender interior just don’t have enough shrimp meat. The overly sweet and salty flavor of the crispy chicken in red shaoxing sauce over rice (B140) also makes it hard to really get into. Nor do we buy into their Konprung kanomjeen (a restaurant signature that sees spicy pork soup served with kanomjeen from Nakhon Ratchasima, B135)—a tasteless attempt to improve the dish with shredded pork instead of fish.
Other dishes are satisfying but without fireworks: the sakoo piek (floor ball) panna cotta with longan and young coconut (B105) dull; the tom buay kratiam dong moo sub (pickled Chinese plum and garlic soup with minced pork, B135) an obvious second place to the excellent version at Saeng Chai Pochana on Sukhumvit Road (between BTS Thong Lo and Phrom Phong).
OK, so there’s not much reason to go routing out Konchong Konprung purely on the strength of their kitchen, but with solid and satisfying staples, as well as prices which are a far cry from its hip neighbors in Ari, it still makes for tasty, satisfying and super-casual, Thai-Chinese dining.
This review took place in April 2017 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
|Address:||Konchong Konprung, 109 Suthisan Winitchai Soi 3 (Inthramara), Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||Wed-Sun 10am-8:30pm; Mon 10am-8:30pm|
|Nearest train||BTS Saphan Khwai|
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