Hidden in a restored old cinema, Krua Kratae, formerly located in Suphanburi, is almost 20 years old. Unfortunately, age may have taken its toll. Aside from the almost migraine-inducing fluorescent lighting and canteen ambiance, the kitchen seems to have lost its edge, and the flavors of yesteryear are all but gone. On weekdays, however, it still is packed with office workers enjoying some standard Thai dishes and some specialities from the owner’s hometown. Even though the owner likes to boast about the ingredients, such as fish brought in from out of town, we find most of the dishes weak and boring. The pla moh na choo chee (climbing perch in red curry, B200) is one such dish on which they pride themselves, saying you can’t find it anywhere else in Bangkok. However, that might be for a reason: it’s nothing special, especially when it comes with a light coconut milk. Our biggest gripe is with the pla kang pad cha (stir-fried redtail catfish with basil and fresh pepper, B200). Although it comes with a pretty strong flavor, the fish itself smelled fishy on our last visit. Next is the gang leang gung mo fai (spicy soup with vegetables soup, B160), which is half-way decent but, again, lacks the punchy flavor we expected. Khai kem (salted egg, B28) is another recommended dish that’s a fail; your average street stall version has a far more complex taste. The only saving grace (albeit small) here is the lod bua pad gung (stir-fried lotus stem with shrimps, B120)—crispy and lovely, although the shrimps’ texture is too tough. With its long-standing history, Krua Kratae raises expectations; too bad, the reality is utterly disappointing.
|Address:||Krua Kratae, 226 Between Pradipat Soi 18 and Soi 20, Pradiphat Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 10am-10pm|
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