In a city jam-packed with great food, it’s pretty amazing that this so-called institution has stayed in business for so long and continues to be packed daily, albeit by foreigners toting guidebooks and sporting fanny packs. “Eat like a local” couldn’t be further from the truth, despite what the “all-knowing” tourist who spends two days in the city will write on TripAdvisor. Suda is about as authentically Thai as take-out sweet and sour chicken is authentically Chinese. The draw of this open-air restaurant is its (relatively) cheap prices in the heart of expensive Sukhumvit (almost every dish is B100) and its vast menu of foreigner-friendly Thai dishes. The latter part should actually be a red flag, as places that attempt everything from Isaan somtam to Southern curries, usually fail due to a lack of focus. Suda is no exception. Take their deep-fried fish with chilies and garlic (B100) as an example. While the heaps of chilies did help mask the oily, heavy batter, it was in no way traditional—more a Thai spin on fish n’ chips. Their spicy mixed seafood salad doesn’t even benefit from being tasty. The salad lacks any spice and the quality of the seafood is downright poor. The panang curry with chicken (B100), is yet another absolute fail. This dish should have quite a kick to it, but Suda serves up bone-dry strips of chicken in watery, bland red curry. They do get some stuff right, like the chicken wrapped in banana leaves (B100), which isn’t too dry, even if the dipping sauce is almost unbearably sweet, but any brownie points were lost on our last visit, when it took 30 minutes to arrive. That’s right, service is no saving grace either; staff can be snippy, forget orders and fail to tell you when certain dishes are not available. Overall, we were left so unsatisfied by our last dinner that when we finally did get out of there, we went to get something to eat. In many ways Suda is a warning of the downside of social review sites, so don’t believe the tourist hype and give Suda a wide berth.
|Suda, Sukhumvit Soi 14. . BTS Asoke, 6-6/1 Sukhumvit Soi 14, Bangkok, Thailand
|daily 10am-10pm; Sun 4-10pm
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