Sawadikap: Ban Khun Mae Restaurant

When it comes to the Best Thai Restaurant in Bangkok, this is probably the answers that no one could really give you an exact and definite one. Some people would recommend Somboon Seafood and some would just tell you to hit out any stall in town, since you probably can’t really get awfully food here. Even the worse one in Bangkok would be so much better than what you get here in Singapore. Authentic from the locals, ingredients from the local regions, even a cooking dumb would be able to whip up something simple and taste divine. After all, when the stuff is good, not much effort is needed. Thai cuisine stresses on the usage of spices and have focus on the sour and spicy taste buds of your tongue. The iconic dish of Mango Salad is a great example, from the tart crunchy thinly sliced green mango mix in a dressing of Fish Sauce, Lime, Bird Eye Chili and sometimes even powdered peanuts to give it the appealing appetite inducing starter. The usage and stress of usage of the main ingredients also rely on their country main produce, a heavy usage of Seafood and Tropical fruits from the region. While there are countless restaurant in Bangkok central alone, I would like to share with you guys Ban Khun Mae, which was recommended to me by a friend and it definitely didn’t disappointed.

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Located in the prime Siam Shopping district, it is found right behind Siam Square and undoubtedly recognisable with its traditional Thai hut decor. While it may look like a overly hype Thai restaurant that specifically caters to the tourists with that “obiang” decor. While sometimes the rule of the thumb is to find the most plain looking place that will probably serves up the most authentic down to earth food but Ban Khun Mae will definitely not disappoint you. The restaurant is like a hut and inside it was complemented with wooden furnitures, it may look old but yet it bring a touch of traditional thai cuisine. This is further helped by the staff being dressed in traditional Thai dresses. You shouldn’t encounter any issue over here since the staff speaks basic english and the menu also has pictures and english words. Prices are definitely affordable, with dishes ranging between 100 to a max 400 Baht.

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The first dish I had to get and also always the way I got my Thai meal starting would be the Mango Salad. It always never disappoint. Somehow, if I had a Thai meal without Tom Yum and Mango Salad, it would always feels weird. Compared to the other one that I have tried, the version here seems more ordinary, it is still good but just good, it lacks any special impact leaving impression on me. The good point would also be the addition of more bird eye chilli, this really gives the dish a perk up and i really like it hot.

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The second dish was the Tom Yum Soup. Whenever I have this soup, I will always go for the one with chilli paste in it rather than the clear one. I prefer the heavier taste and the empowering flavour. Although a bad point of it would be the many sediments in the soup. The mushrooms and the prawns in the soup were my favourite, the river prawns were huge and succulent and somehow I just love those button mushrooms in Tom Yum Soup. Having this soup piping hot while slowly beads of sweat start to appear on your forehead, that feeling is impeccable. One key point to have such seafood soup is to always  have it hot and finish it first. Although delicious, the soup turn fishy soon right after it gets cold. Once it is cold and you taste the fishiness, you won’t like it anymore.

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Then given that it’s been pretty some days of heavy eating, we have all been feeling a little peckish and wanting something much lighter than the usual curries and stuff like that. We decide to opt for the Steamed Snapper  with lime and chilli. While the key focus here is not on the fish but actually the handmade lime chilli that they coat on top of the Snapper. This is the key and what really made the difference! The chilli were just burning the throat giving such a spicy sensation that felt so great.

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Then I had another classic dish in Thai Cuisine, the Prawn Cakes. Surprisingly this is the first time I had Prawn Cakes this trip around. It was so good that there weren’t enough to go around. For this dish the portion was a little small, although there were 5 pieces, they were pretty small. Although small but they each packed full of punch. I really like it that the prawn paste that they used weren’t too fine, the ability to taste the crunchy prawn bites in it give the texture to another level. It is actually my preferred one since if not it will just taste like those factory made frozen kind that you can get in the supermarket.

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The last dish that I had was the Pandan Chicken. This is just normal and it is really just the way it is, nothing much to talk about. I guess you could get better ones at other places.

The whole meal cost me less than 60 bucks and I had 5 dishes together with rice and also drinks. It is super worth it and I have already made it a point to come back every time I am in town. Do let me know what you guys think if you all have every been here! Do recommend some of the great Thai restaurant that you all know of too!

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