This busy neighborhood spot serves consistent Vietnamese meals at decent prices.
This busy neighborhood spot serves consistent Vietnamese meals at decent prices. The dining room is nothing fancy, decorated in an old-school style with bamboo-patterned wallpaper, while the menu comes with helpful pictures. Dishes like pak mor yuan (shrimp and minced pork wrap), goong pan oi (fried shrimp meat with sugar cane) and guayjab yuan (broad rice noodle soup with meat and herbs) are made using better ingredients than most places use—and it shows in the distinguished flavors.
Along the busy traffic jams and bustling street food scene on Rama 4, there is a quiet eatery offering something just a touch different. Ngon Lam has long been a meeting point for family and friends who live around this densely populated neighborhood, serving up consistently decent meals at decent prices, with a dash of friendly service thrown in. It’s far from novel or exciting: the dining room has a glass façade and is decorated old-school with bamboo-patterned wallpaper, some green built-in shelves and an extensive wall display of news clippings, reviews and photos of celebrity customers. Their menu comes with helpful pictures covering the classics and some hearty house specials. The classics fare pretty well with good ingredients, such as the pak mor yuan (shrimp and minced pork wrap, B80), which has a great texture from the sticky but soft flour sheets and the crisp vegetables. The goong pan aoi (fried shrimp meat with sugar cane, B140) is comprised of fresh shrimp and juicy sugarcane, and the guayjab yuan (broad rice noodle soup with meat and herbs, B80) has meaty moo yor (Vietnamese sausage) that will make you forget the adulterated, floury ones sold by many street vendors. We’re also fond of some of their heavier mains, like the house special goong Ngon Lam (B200) which are shrimp fried with a special sauce. The shrimp are fresh and the sauce is a lovely salty and sour balance of ginger, tamarind and garlic that goes great with the accompanying rice noodles. There are some misfires, though, like the ban tai miew (mince pork wrap, B80). The flour gets too sticky if you don’t eat it the second it arrives at your table. But they do nail one of the most important aspects of Vietnamese cuisine (at least in our book): the dipping sauces, which here are neither too sweet, nor too bland and each distinguish themselves, unlike at many other shops. If you don’t care for fancy décor and just need some comfort food and shelter from the market madness, Ngon Lam is a great weeknight choice.
|Address:||Ngon Lam, 556-558 Rama 4 Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Area:||Si Phraya-Sam Yan|
|Opening hours:||daily 11am-10pm|
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