Baan Rabiang Nam
- Curt the Soi Hound May 18, 2009 05:16 AM
My neighbor introduced us to this hidden gem. And, in the case of Baan Rabiang Nam, I do mean hidden!
Located north of Bangkok, in Nontahburi, its distance from downtown isn't what makes it inaccessible. there is no parking and the small soi in doesn't lend itself to taxis. One has to park at nearby Wat Khae Nok and take their moto-shuttle into the restaurant.
Once found, one will find it worth the hunt. We have been a couple times now and have found the food to be as good as any, and better than most that we have found anywhere. We have yet to have a single dish disappoint.
The atmosphere is rustic and comfortable,; the service attentive, but not intrusive. Their menu is in Thai and English, with quite a few photos. You can pull their full menu from their website.
The easiest way to visit might be for lunch. You can catch a Chao Phraya express boat to the Nonthaburi pier, N-30. From there, most drivers should know the place. A dinner visit will require transportation to and from Bangkok. The express boats don't run at night.
I've included a few photos and a link. Besides a full menu, their site includes a map. It wouldn't be a bad idea to copy this for any driver you use.
This place looks great. Very pretty setting too.
Can you recommend any specific dishes?
Is it not walking distance from the pier?
Do you think it would be easy enough to find if you don't speak any Thai? What do you think about timing it for an early sunset dinner; take the express boat up and a taxi back to hotel?
We've always gone there for lunch. From what I have heard, reservations are a good idea for dinner. Sunset would be a perfect time to visit. It should be cool and the location is good for sunsets.
They do a great gaeng som cha oam, tamarind soup with omelet (#14 soups and curries).
Haw mok , seafood mousse with red curry, was another hit (#21 seafood delights)
The third item I posted was the first item on the menu, banana flower cakes. They make a great appetizer, but if you know Thai dining, you know they may be the last item served. It didn't bother us. Still tasted great!
Be sure to order some steamed rice to accompany the dishes.
We have always driven there. We haven't used the river approach. I just thought it would be easier than negotiating a taxi from downtown. Thr drivers seem to get more picky every day!
Unless you're a serious trekker, it's not walkable from the Nonthaburi pier.
The first trip there, I was able to drive right to the temple. My Thai is all but non-existent. With their map in hand, you should be able to guide the driver. Wat Khae Nok, the temple used for parking, is on soi Nonthaburi 23, off Sanambin Nam Road.
Even though you want to turn right, approaching the bridge, from Rattanathibet Road, you need to stay left. There is a U-turn under the bridge. Sanambin Nam is then on the left.
Although I am waiting to to get my "real" computer back to add it to our site, I have put it on our map:
Great recommendation! We went here on Sunday evening (made reservations, this was a good thing as the place was packed!). Took the long way around to get there: BTS to Central pier, "express" boat to Nonthaburi, taxi to Wat Khae Nok and thei moto-shuttle (although the last bit you can easily walk.
Great location directly on / over the river in a very nicely decorated open house. We made it just in time for sunset and enjoyed our first drinks browsing the menu and watching the Chao Phraya flow by.
Food was very good! BBQ set, soft shell crab with pepper (fresh green pepper corns), banana flower cakes, morning glory etc. etc. made for a very enjoyable dinner. Service was very good and although I don't speak Thai and the waitress didn't speak too much English all was well.
We were the only farang table save for one other one there on a Sunday evening which goes to show that this is a little off the beaten (tourist) track. Which I liked!
Getting back with a taxi was a bit of an issue with many taxis not wanting to make the drive in to central Bangkok. In the end we found an obliging driver who asked his way into town :-) All good and we made it to the hotel in about 35 minutes.
So go there, and enjoy!
Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
Although we haven't had dinner yet, I have heard it can get quite busy and reservations are highly recommended. Lunchtime, it's not crowded at all.
Yes, it is a bit out there! Flagging a taxi has been a concern of mine, but I assumed it wouldn't be too hard. Eventually someone should accept there fare. The restaurant could call a taxi. Twenty baht is the surcharge for radio dispatch.
If you aren't comfortable venturing into the unknown, this might be a bit of an ambitious undertaking. Maybe heading out for a lunch might be a better recommendation.
But once there, it's definitely a worthwhile adventure.