Classic Thai tastes meet modern style on Suan Plu.
Busy, tropical wallpaper, a striking bright orange sofa and Art Deco-style bronze light fixtures complete the look at Plu, Suan Plu’s cozy new Thai dining spot. Set in a standalone building surrounded by greenery and a wooden deck—perfect for alfresco dining—classic Thai flavors rule in dishes like the 48-hour-braised pork belly and soft boiled egg with five-spiced soup and the fried smoked duck breast with chili and garlic. Pair your meal with a sweet Sanuk mocktail, which mixes watermelon, chocolate cookies, lime, rosemary and passion fruit Bangkok Soda.
This review took place in May 2019 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
After dabbling in everything from European fine dining to dim sum, restaurant powerhouse Water Library returns to its owner’s Myanmar and Thai roots in a charming, converted, standalone house.
Tucked down a quiet Sathorn soi, the restaurant is a busy tropical-colonial mix of Sino-Portuguese tiles and fern patterns, with private dining rooms and an impressive outdoor deck geared up for big groups—though on our visit, a subdued Sunday night, we were only joined by two other diners.
The lengthy menu invites sharing, which makes ordering tricky for smaller parties; when asked for assistance, the attentive and well-intentioned staff knee-jerked to the recommended page, rather than considering our other orders. A similar lack of forethought came when we ordered a dish only to be given it in complimentary amuse bouche form moments later—a lovely gesture, but why didn’t they mention it?
Plu still also falls foul of timidity on the spice—a shame when you’re forking out well over the norm on a nicely thick but too mild crab curry (we’d give it one “chili,” the menu promises two; B590). Stray into less familiar territory and you’ll be rewarded with the explosively sweet-salty Myanmar-style tea leaf salad (B150)—so good it could make us swear off somtum—and sumptuous creeping heat in the crispy smoked duck breast with roasted dried chilis (B220).
The impressive balance of flavors doesn’t carry over to the recommended but rather nondescript stir-fried prawns with crunchy sataw beans, sweet pickled garlic and glass noodles (B280), or the equally unmemorable stir-fried cowslip creeper flower (B150).
Like many things, the cocktails are not bad—in fact the light and refreshing Salty Riddle (Siam fragrance, pineapple, salted aromatic bitters and ginger beer, B320) is very tasty—they just won’t knock your socks off. With a wine importer at the helm, you could happily stick to the thoughtful list of bottles from the in-house cellar (from just B990 for a French Chardonnay).
Desserts are Plu on the more inventive and elaborate end of the scale. A gorgeous snow globe-like terrarium houses the pickled guava agar (B190) with sour yogurt sorbet, crunchy fresh guava, sweet meringue and tart but sugary plum granita—flavors that are perhaps too bold to be eaten in unison but show elements of genius. The out-there pumpkin crème brulee (B190) is a deliciously sweet and velvety lesson in how to toy with a classic.
Come in a big group and order well and Plu makes for an impressive dining experience that combines a special setting with some new and exciting flavors.