Royal Thai Cuisine from the recipes of the Sukhothai Palace kitchen
Paul had been telling me about this place for ages…the former soap opera star owner and the recipes from the Sukhothai Palace. He raved about the pure and traditional preparation and presentation of Thai food, the gracious service and the elegant host. I really wanted to go, but it seemed every time we had it planned something would happen…rain, travel, stuck at work, etc. Finally the day came and miraculously nothing prevented our visit to Thanying. After such anticipation, would it live up to expectations?
Since 1986 Thanying has been presenting Royal Thai Cuisine in Bangkok… a long time for a restaurant in a city where the ‘flavour of the month’ is not just an expression but a reality.
We perused the menu and settled on our favourites. I was interested in making the comparison with the open-air place I normally ate at on Sukhumvit Soi 18, P Kitchen, where the dishes are approximately 85 baht. Would this be better than street food and / or different because it was “royal”?
We ordered (or shall I say over-ordered) 6 dishes. Starting with Som Tum Thai (100 THB / S$4.20 / $3 USD), a green papaya salad and Tom Kha Gai (120 THB / S$5 / $3.60 USD), a chicken soup with coconut milk broth scented with galangal, lemongrass and lime. Two of our all-time-favourite Thai dishes that were in fact absolutely perfect.
Next we moved on to the Yam Pla Dook Foo (150 THB / S$6.30 / $4.50 USD), crispy, fluffy catfish with a spicy and tangy salad of green mango. I will admit here, I have had better. This is a tough dish though and a lot of places get this wrong. The reason why is that frying the catfish only happens 1 day a week because the frying process is so smoky and overwhelming. The result is that if you don’t know what day the restaurant you are visiting actually makes Yam Pla Dook Foo, then you run the risk of getting a slighty soft, slightly stale catfish. I love this dish so much that stale isn’t bad….but to have it at its height of perfection? Well that is something else entirely.
We also tried the Gai Hor Bai Toey (140 THB / S$5.90 / $4.20 USD), deep fried chicken in pandan leaf as well as the Goong Narng Kra Prao Grob, (140 THB / S$5.90 / $4.20 USD), prawns with basil and chilies. Both dishes were flawless in both presentation and execution with the stunning Thai flavour profiles we adore. Definitely hits.
But the real test, and what I was looking most forward to, was my single most favourite dish…Kra Prao Moo (180 THB / S$7.54 / $5.40 USD), minced pork with whole basil leaves and chilies. OK – homerun. A total winner. This spicy dish is my version of comfort food and Thanying’s version succeeded in presenting me with a perfect bite in every spoonful.
At Thanying, the food is thoroughly delicious and this combined with the ambiance of the old Thai house setting, plus the attentive wait staff who have worked here for generations make Thanying a real destination for a slightly more upscale Thai dining experience when in Bangkok. It’s truly a good value compared to a lot of so-called “fancy” Thai restaurants. Thanying is a must do for those looking for a special Thai restaurant experience.
10 Thanon Pramuan (Pramuan St.), off Silom Rd.
between Silom 17 and 19
Telephone: +66 (0) 2236 4361
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