Tired of midnight khao tom at Rex Hotel? This Thai-Chinese restaurant on Thonglor is another great place for night owls looking to soak up the alcohol with a bite to eat. Rooted to the same spot for over 30 years, Saengchai Pochana’s popularity has never dropped thanks to the consistency of their elevated street food-style dishes.
Occupying two shophouses between BTS Thong Lo and Phrom Phong, it’s easy to notice thanks to the big red sign and an entrance filled with cooking pots and live crabs. Inside, you’ll find walls plastered with food pictures as well as the owner’s personal collection of celebrity portraits from both showbiz and political circles.
The menu of over 100 items can be daunting for first-timers, but regulars know to get the steamed snow fish in soy sauce (B180 per 100 grams), served with a salty soy bean dipping sauce. This isn’t really needed since the dish is already so perfect. The fish is fresh, tender and sweet, while the soy sauce is light and well balanced.
The stir-fried blue crab with curry powder (market price around B500 per crab) doesn’t come in the kind of thick, oily paste that most places now serve, but rather a delicate sauce cut with aromatic Chinese celery that reminds us of how the dish is meant to be. Of course, the crab is super fresh, too.
The stir-fried white Chinese chives with crispy pork (B120) is also up to standard with big chunks of pork and tofu, as is the spicy prawn fish sauce salad (B120) and stewed pork intestines (B100)—a real guilty pleasure. Whatever you do, don’t miss the gaeng jued gium buay (salted peach soup with minced pork, B120), which has a wierdly satisfying, sour taste that can bring you straight back to life if you’ve had too much to drink.
The only real downside to Saengchai Pochana is hygiene, both in the kitchen and the dining room. But if you’re OK with eating somewhere that could do with a good tidy and a lick of paint, then this place really hits the spot.