Northern, Southern, Isaan—every slice of Thailand has a space in the capital. But elevated Ratchaburi food. That comes from Chef Supara “Titoom” Kittiudom, who titled the oddly-named space after a river pier her family built in 1970. 
 
Located in the tree-lined laneway of Soi Somkid behind Central Chidlom, Grok 1970 is situated in a leafy courtyard in what is fast becoming a foodie destination, surrounded by the likes of Acqua, Quince, and Khaan.
 
The Amphawa-style spicy green mango salad (B190) is a refreshing somtum twist, riper than usual with crunchy mangos dressed in a creamy coconut milk dressing, mildly spiced and topped with cashews and pungent dried fish floss. It’s not a reimagining so much as a playful recreation. The crispy giant grilled beef (B290) is a showstopper and a signature dish: a large rectangle of thinly sliced, sun-dried beef propped up on an artist’s easel with two dips—though neither the chili sauce nor the viscous beef gravy stood out. The beef itself was wafer-thin and flavorful. 
 
Photo: Grok exterior / BK Magazine 
 
The more classic grilled pork belly and black tofu with pickled garlic and sweet fish sauce (B260) was a highlight, featuring two rolls of chasu fatty pork belly and firm tofu chunks soaking up the flavors. The glossy brown sauce seemed more akin to a rich pork au jus than fish sauce.
 
Unfortunately the green curry chicken soup and the red curry with grilled duck with tropical fruit weren’t available on this visit so we settled for the shrimp gaeng som with coconut shoots (B380). The three plump shrimp were cooked to perfection, but the limp, bland coconut shoots added nothing and the intense sweet flavors overshadowed the dish. The strong fish sauce and tomato chunk base were inescapable once spooned over rice—not a favorite. 
 
The fried mushrooms with jaew mushroom sauce (B180), however, was light, tempura-like batter, crisp and golden without being greasy. Mixed mushrooms, including beech and enoki, paired well with the chunky tomato eggplant jaew sauce, making it a standout snack. 
 
Grok 1970 offers two desserts. Our 1st Box of Milk (B290) was inspired by Nong Pho, the first brand of milk to arrive in Ratchaburi Province. This creamy, smooth ring of milky semifreddo, adorned with tart raspberry coulis and an array of textures—including biscuit crumbs, coconut flakes, delicate butterfly tuile, and jelly cubes—was a delight. The adorable and Insta-friendly Suan Pueng pineapple cheesecake (B290), inspired by the honey and pineapple of Ratchaburi, featured a semi-frozen, creamy cheesecake base encasing candied fresh pineapple. 
 
Photo: Suan Pueng pineapple cheesecake
 
We also sampled two of their five cocktails, each at B390. The gin-based Bee's Garden, with Midori, honey mace, lemon, and tonic, was refreshingly tart, and the bourbon-based Photaram Transfer mixed vermouth, riceberry, pandan, and chocolate bitters for a small but punchy drink cleverly topped with three slices of candied chinese sausage.
 
Grok 1970 is a welcoming spot with huge glass windows overlooking a green courtyard. The service was admirable from reservation to recommendations. Despite a few misses and an overall lack of spice, Grok 1970 offers an elevated experience from a lesser-known corner of Thai cooking. 
 
14, Soi Somkid. 065 663 6966. Open Wed-Mon 11am-11pm.