Refined Thai traditional cuisine based on old recipes.
Ask locals where they recommend for the pinnacle of Thai dining and they’ll likely say here. Old-fashioned gaeng ranjuan (a shrimp paste-based soup) and gai baan kua bai jan (stir-fried chicken with wild basil) star in a modernist dining room with vaulted ceilings and red design touches.
Saneh Jaan’s traditional Thai fine dining more than holds its own among the international restaurants (names like Cafe Parisien, Milano Cafe, Eiffel bakery, Misho) at Wireless Road’s Glasshouse food complex. This elegantly designed, contemporary space packs plenty of style. The large, high-ceilinged dining hall is lined with photos of attractions from around the country as well as pieces of writing by nationally-renowned poet Naowarat Pongpaiboon.
It’s a majestic setting to indulge in refined Thai cuisine drawn from ancient recipes. With the menu devised by local food guru Torroong Jarungidanan, who has published two cookbooks and also writes a regular newspaper column, the dishes boast powerful flavors. Take the gaeng ranjuan (shrimp-paste pork soup, B380), which is smooth yet complex owing to salty shrimp paste, sour lime, a touch of sweetness and the spicy kick of chili. The hor mok pla chon (steamed curried fish wrapped in banana leaves, B390), too, is a delicate layering of flavor that shows impeccable attention to detail. Even better is the khai palo moo tao jiew (five-spiced egg with soybean paste, B320), where the super-firm, three-day braised eggs with baby pork belly and tofu yield bold flavors just made to be tipped over a bowl of hot steamed rice.
There are no major flaws to the food we’ve tried, but at this price point we can’t overlook the overly sticky crispy pork of the kak moo pad prik khing (stir-fried pork rind with chili, salted egg and kaffir lime, B450). Apart from that, the dish is a wonderful blend of perfectly cooked cowpeas and sweet-tinged salted egg. Likewise, we love the chunks of crab meat and crab eggs in the nam prik poo (crab chili paste, B480), but the taste is too much on the sweet-and-sour side.
Drinks are another strong suit here with some creative cocktails and, somewhat more surprisingly, an extensive list of malt whiskies, ranging from B220 a glass up to Glenfarclas 25-year-old at B2,000/glass or B39,000/bottle. On our last visit, we washed our meal down with khao mao rang (roasted nearly-ripe rice with steamed taro and coconut sugar, B280), a rare Thai dessert served in an elegant porcelain set that mixes crispy rice with a thick sugary cream and ice.
Saneh Jaan’s prices are high but by no means extravagant, and the food lives up to expectations. Full as it is with local executives, this is the kind of place to impress out-of-town business guests without compromising on real flavors or veering into over-the-top molecular territory like nearby Osha.
This review took place in March 2017 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
|Saneh Jaan, Glasshouse at Sindhorn, 130-132 Wireless Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
|daily 11:30am-2pm, 6-10pm
|Reservation recommended, Parking available
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