Bangkok is home to an everdiversifying number of cuisines, but Southeast Asian restaurants remain inexplicably rare. First opened in 2013, Rasa Khas has built a steady following as the city’s best bet for a legit Indonesian meal.
Earlier in 2016, it alarmed its fans by upping sticks from its Balinese bungalow-inspired dwelling on Sukhumvit Soi 23, only to resurface again deep down Soi 22. Though not as exotic, the new shop-house home is no barebones affair, striking a pleasingly intimate mood through a combination of sparelighting, gorgeous patterned wallpaper and a few bamboo and rattan touches.
The thick menu spotlights heady dishes which make liberal use of spices shipped from Java. Some flavors are quite familiar, such as the sate ayam (chicken satay, B100/5 skewers). These plump skewers are slightly different to the Thai street treats, though, carrying an extra smoky flavor and coming smothered in a thicker peanut sauce. Adventurous souls can add a dollop of chili sambal for an extra, delicious hit.
Some of the curries are reminiscent of Southern Thai flavors, too, such as the nasi ayam padang (B180), a quarter chicken in a yellow, turmeric-laden coconut curry. The standout beef rendang (B250) features chunks of fall-apart meat in a thick brown stew of coconut milk, star anise, cardamom and other spices. We also rate the pepe ikan (steamed fish wrapped in banana leaf and then grilled, B200), which is like a saltier, spicier hor mok with lovely, flaky fish.
The back page of the menu is dedicated to Indonesian beverages, most of which can easily double as dessert, from the es kopi alpukat (avocado coffee shake, B120) to the es teler (avocado, jackfruit and other fruits in coconut milk, B90)—just beware, things get pretty sweet.
With plenty to offer halal eaters and vegetarians (try the crisp and spicy perkedel jagung
[corn fritters], B90), and more-than-affordable prices, Rasa Khas’ menu is one worthy of repeat excursions. Corkage B300.
This review took place in August 2016 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.