Traiporn Pochana started out more than 50 years ago as a khao tom gui (made-to-order Thai and Chinese dishes) stall on the street. The next generation then expanded the business to three different branches around town—Prachachuen, Ramkhamhaeng and Theparak.
When you visit the Prachachuen branch, the first thing you’ll spot is the kitchen sat in a small room at the front of the old shophouse, behind which sits the air-con dining area whose walls are lined with old press clippings and the numerous awards they have won. The small, family-run place sees mom and dad cook in the steamy kitchen, while the two kids run the front of house.
The restaurant is big on pork offal with the first page of the menu dedicated to dishes like pork liver (B90-B120), which is stir-fried to a pinkish color. The heavenly accompanying sauce is a bit like namprik pao—very aromatic due to the prik haeng (dried chili) and yee ra (tree basil seeds). The sieng jee pad gratiem (B90-B120) is similarly impressive—properly cleaned and jam-packed full of garlicky goodness. It’s not easy cooking the bladder, but here they do it to perfection—moist and tender, with that distinctive tangy flavor, a real acquired taste.
One of their other signature dishes is the fresh pla jaramed (white pomfret, B220-B440), which is fried to give it a brownish skin and topped with a rich delicious gravy and celery. The tom yam krapoa moo (pork stomach and mushroom in spicy soup, B90-B120) offers slightly sour notes, which are balanced out by a sprinkle of cilantro to produce a pretty satisfying bowl. The classic pad pak is another delightful dish, the puay leng (Chinese spinach) naturally sweet and the moo sub (minced pork) juicy and very tasty.
Overall, Traiporn Pochana’s flavors are quite different from the fiery ones of Thai restaurants like Soei. Dishes are milder and more balanced, here, letting the good ingredients do the real leg-work. If you can stomach eating some stomach, then it doesn’t get much better than this.
|Traiporn Pochana, 88/7 Prachaniwet Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
|daily 10am-1pm, 4-8pm
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