Tonhom is easy to spot due to its barn-like appearance and expansive parking lot. The interior is rather minimalist, dominated by white bricks, bare cement and a black curtain to one side of the dining room, though nice, homey touches are provided by the odd colorful decorative piece and a number of ferns. Sadly, however, the kitchen is not as well thought-out as the decor. Most dishes are not bad, just average and made using poorly-sourced ingredients. Take the salted fish in the khao pad khana pla kem (stir-fried rice with salted fish and kale, B90), which is too pungent and overly salty. To make matters worse, the rice is mushy and lacks any sort of aroma. The tab moo pad prik Thai (stir-fried liver with pepper, B180), too, is rather pedestrian, with the chunks of liver dry and overcooked. Typical of many other middle-of-the-road restaurants, the menu comprises a number of pasta options like the spaghetti with mentaiko (spaghetti with fish roe, B280), another disappointment. Too salty and too rich, you won’t get it al dente, either. There’s also Japanese food to please the Thai hordes—mostly sushi and maki—but, again, the quality is a real letdown. On our last visit, the maki with salmon and scallop (B280) didn’t taste particularly fresh, coming with an orangey mayo sauce that was simply overpowering. Despite the many menu mishaps, Tonhom is the kind of restaurant where people still go for its relaxed hangout vibe. If you’re there for drinks with friends, order the gung pad prik gaeng (fried freshwater shrimps with chili, B150) as it’s quite good gab glaem (Thai pub food)—addictive and not too greasy. Better make it a good group of friends, though, as the food here really is a distant second to the tasteful décor and the service is also in need of some serious attention. No corkage charge.
|Tonhom, 44 Ari Soi 5, Bangkok, Thailand
|daily 10am-1pm, 4pm-9:58am
|Live music, Parking available
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