Pla Mae Nam
Sat on the edge of Bangkok, Pla Mae Nam is just the type of restaurant worth eating at when you head out of town—the plain décor and rough service forgivable thanks to the good food on offer. Set in a traditional Thai house, there’s no air con, only wooden seating and the staff are a bunch of grumpy aunts joined by some hard-working kids on the weekends. The menu’s only brief so it pays to take a look at what they’ve just got in from the market. The fish is generally Asian redtail catfish, horseface loach fish and sheatfish, which the owner says they get in from Nakhon Sawan almost every day. The list of ingredients may not amount to much—rather, it’s all in the preparation, which is where Pla Mae Nam really shines. Just about all the fish dishes we’ve tried have been impressive. The choo chee pla nuea on (sheatfish in curry paste, B240) is naturally sweet beyond the rich coconut sauce it is cooked with. The dish is very well balanced with a nice touch of basil and slices of kaffir lime lending it a wonderful aroma. It’s a similar story on the deep-fried side of things; the pla maa tord (deep-fried croaker fish with garlic, B240) is a delight. Without a hint of grease, the superbly cooked fish is crispy on the outside while the flesh is moist and flaky. The dish also comes with a refreshing side of pineapple. The tom yum pla buek (Mekong giant catfish in tom yum, B160), too, is simply wonderful, providing a welcome kick of spice. Just be warned, the dish might be a little on the oily side, such is the nature of the fish itself. Not all dishes measure up, though. The only mildly spicy tord mun pla krai (clown featherback fishcakes, B140) are overly chewy and lacking in flavor. Not bad, just underwhelming. While service and décor may leave much to be desired, Pla Mae Nam makes for a top stop-off for those seeking a satisfying spot of fish. No corkage charge.
|Address:||Pla Mae Nam, 145 Rama 2 Soi 100, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 11am-8pm|
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