Steve Café & Cuisine
The buzz: Located in the small community behind Wat Devarajkoonchon next to Thewet pier, Steve boasts river views and a wooden house. Sounds touristy? Steve, despite its name, claims it’s going for an authentic Thai taste.
The décor: This 60-year old house was damaged by the floods last year but has been revamped with bright colors and homey wooden furniture. The owners did the work themselves so the overall effect is more guesthouse than riverside hotel, and there’s a nice open-air terrace to take in the breeze.
The food: One of the owner’s moms is behind the stoves, but she’s no amateur. She’s been in kitchens for some 20 years, such as at Ad Makers. Moreover, she’s a true Southerner. Her signature dishes are powerful, pungent classics like gaeng luang sai bua gung (Southern sour soup with lotus stems and prawns, B160), sen mhee pad kai khem (stir-fried noodles with salted egg, B140) and gang tai pla (Southern style fish curry, B160). But if you’re yearning for something like bai liang (stir fried leaves in egg) or sataw beans, you’ll need to call ahead. They only carry these when they’re in season, and get them delivered straight from Chumphon. As for less fiery fare, try the lemongrass salad (B160), pla duk foo pad prik khing (deep-fried catfish with long beans and salted egg, B180) and deep fried prawns with tamarind sauce (B180).
The drinks: They only have four labels of wines (with wine by glass starting from B150). Otherwise, you’re welcome to bring your own (B300 corkage charge). Beers are Heineken (B120), Leo (B80) and Singha (B100).
The crowd: Government and UN officers on weekdays, occasional tourists, and families with kids on weekend visits to Wat Devarajkoonchon. Pieng-or Mongkolkumnuankhet
Almost everything about Steve seems tailor-made for tourists—from the name to the riverside vibe. But when it comes to the food, the flavors appeal to the Thai crowds, too. Located in the small community behind Wat Devarajkoonchon, next to Thewet Pier, the venue is a 60-year-old house that’s been made bright and bold with a few licks of paint and the addition of some wooden furniture. The food is mostly typical Thai dishes served on plain dinnerware; it’s not the most authentic, but it’s very pleasant and comforting. As the head of the kitchen is a Thai Southerner (the mother of one of the owners), there’s the added bonus that dishes like gaeng luang sai bua gung (Southern sour soup with lotus stems and prawns, B160) pack a serious punch. This particular dish is perhaps a little too acidic, but overall quite piquant. It helps that the lotus stems are so fresh and crisp. Another highlight is the kua gling moo (stir-fried minced pork with herbs, B160). While the kua gling here is not dry, as in the authentic recipe, it’s flavorful enough despite only a modest aroma. Similarly, the tom klong pla salid (spicy soup with dried fish and mushroom, B160) lacks the usual smoky, dried fish aroma, but it’s otherwise pleasant. However, the deep-fried sea bass with herbs (B390) was not so successful on our last visit, when it tasted as if it had been left to sit for some time, rendering the usually bold-tasting dish almost flavorless. The fish was also less-than-perfectly fried. Despite these culinary missteps, the service here is unexpectedly good. Staff are graceful even when accommodating special requests and are always active. While the food is not the very best, Steve’s casual and simple vibe makes for a relaxing experience—one that’s only enhanced by the sunset views and sounds of the river. Corkage B300.
|Address:||Steve Café & Cuisine, 68 Sri Ayutthaya Soi 21, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Open since:||August, 2012|
|Opening hours:||daily 10:30am-10pm|
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