In case you missed it, Muslim Restaurant, the family-run restaurant with the remarkably straightforward name, which has proudly served roti mutaba, biryani, Thai-Indian curries and samosas on Charoenkrung Road since at least mid-twentieth century, is closing at the end of August.
Food writer and photographer Austin Bush
, the author of the James Beard Award-nominated “The Food of Northern Thailand,” the upcoming “The Food of Southern Thailand” and several Lonely Planet guides, as well as a co-founder of the new, interactive food and travel website Fantastic Food Search
(FFS), reported the news on social media over the weekend.
“Citing the advanced age of those running it, dwindling clientele and most pressingly, rent hikes from the restaurant’s landlord, the Thai royal family-run Crown Property Bureau, Mumin [the current operator of the restaurant] says that the business has simply become unsustainable,” he wrote.
The time capsule-like institution, with its wooden booths, blue-walled interiors plastered with old photos and affordable halal food, has often appeared in the pages of some of the biggest guidebooks to Bangkok, as well as on food maps of the city’s most time-honored and treasured mom-and-pop joints
. Every Monday and Friday, Muslim Restaurant serves a special goat biryani (B190), an increasingly rare dish in this city that is so popular it often sells out before noon. Some of its other trademark dishes include the beef brain curry (B90); the green, massaman and kurma curries (from B50); and the sweet-sour beef soup (B80).
“The loss of these type[s] of places over the last few years is leaving an increasingly bland and characterless Bangkok, a city [with] a backstory that requires deeper and deeper digging to reveal,” added Bush.
Muslim Restaurant, located near the corner of Silom and Charoenkrung, is open daily from 6:30am-5:30pm until the end of the month.
Credit: Megan Leon