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Nov 17, 2009 06:17 AM

Looking for restaurant suggestions for Thailand.

We're heading to Thailand next March, 2010, and wondering if anyone knows of must go to restaurants in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and/or, on the island of Phuket?


Richard Maloney

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  1. I had a great meal at the Boat House in Koron just out side of Patong in Phuket. i t was 10 years ago so it may not be there anymore. the street carts are great but you should get a Hep B shot to be safe. I read an article awhile back that said a lot of the food carts tested positve for hep b. (not to alarm you but this is a good thing to do when traveling abroad) There is a place in bankok that specializes in Thai Royal Quisine but I can't remember the name. Ask the locals. Thailand has some of the best food i've had. Have a great trip and please report back on the food. I' m going back after 10 years in may I can't wait! Cheers

    16 Replies
    1. re: mrporkbelly

      In Chiang Mai
      Try the spicy noodle in Kao Soi Lam Duan on Fah Ham road, if you "do" spicy.
      The night market too has good eats, in such a fun place too.

      In Bangkok, my 3 fave places - very different from each other - are:
      - Nguan Lee on corner of Soi Lang Suan and Soi Sarasin. Sino-Thai at its best;
      - The buffet lunch at Sala Rim Naam at the Oriental. Remember to book at the Sala Rim Naam as the Oriental has many restaurants doing blowout buffet lunches. O and remember to wear socks without holes.
      - Hemlock on 56 Thanon Phra Athit. The food is good although not as good as the eateries cited above. Its "everything else" has all the qualities that are hard to find in Bangkok. It is also an art space in a very hip corner of the city. You can blow into town late at night, come here at midnight and have a good curry, with Stan Getz serenading you...

      1. re: Parigi

        Dear Parigi,

        Thanks for your advice! We're actually staying at The Oriental, so, we might just look into the buffet at the restaurant you mentioned located inside that property.

        Again, thanks so much for your help!



      2. re: mrporkbelly

        "There is a place in bankok that specializes in Thai Royal Quisine but I can't remember the name."

        Do you mean Bussaracum in Silom? Or Thanying in Silom?

        1. re: mrporkbelly

          Thanks very much for your thoughtful reply.

          For sure, I think it's best to avoid street vendors, as I swear by the following adage, 'never eat, street meat'. For me, this applies not only to when I am traveling in Asia, but, everywhere, even here in Canada. I prefer to dine at proper sit down establishments.

          I'll check out the Boat House that you mentioned, as we will be staying for about two-weeks on the island of Phuket.

          Again, thanks for your reply, as we appreciate your advice.


          Richard Maloney

          1. re: Rundles

            i think this might be the worst food advice i've ever heard for thailand. Thais are nearly fetishistic about cleanliness and freshness, and some of the best food in thailand is to be found on the streets.

            remember that you have no real idea that what goes on in an unseen asian kitchen is any cleaner or different from what goes on at a street cart in plain view

            1. re: thew

              I agree with thew - although I am not so vehement about it, - that street food in southeast Asia is a genre not to be missed.
              Once you get to Thailand, you will see that many street food stalls - indeed not all - are very clean.
              Another thing that Asian travellers are picking up is a gesture as eco-friendly as it is healthy: use your own "travel-chopsticks". I have actually seen very fancy chopsticks in their sheath on sale in many shops

              1. re: Parigi

                But in Thailand, only use travel chopsticks with noodles dishes or Chinese food. They use spoons and forks for general eating (or their hands for sticky rice).

                1. re: prasantrin

                  "They use ... their hands for sticky rice..."

                  Dining true Isaan style, one would use hand for the chicken, sticky rice and the somtam too!

                  1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                    "They use spoons and forks for general eating"

                    I findi it curious that using spoons/forks is considered less of a cultural gaffe when it is a cultural adaptation just the same, like the use of chopsticks.
                    In real practice, I do as my Thai friends, and they have much less of a gaffe concept.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        I *am* Thai, and no Thai person I know uses chopsticks other than when eating noodles or Chinese food (perhaps Vietnamese, Japanese, and Korean food, as well). That's just the way it's done. Perhaps your Thai friends are Chinese Thai, because you just don't find a lot of Thai people using chopsticks other than with noodle dishes. Next time you're in Thailand, take a look at the tables around you.

                        1. re: prasantrin

                          eat what you like with what you like.

                          mai pen rai- falang baa nitnoy

                          1. re: prasantrin

                            Prasantrin's absolutely right :-)

                        2. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                          I meant those, too; I was just too lazy to type it all out. :-)

                          1. re: prasantrin

                            My mother-in-law has a chinese ancestor, climbing somewhere in her family tree. She will use chopsticks like a badge of pride .....

                            Ironically, she shovels rice from bowl to mouth. Apparently, her chinese ancestor was a farmer !

              2. in chiang mai, behind the night market is a place that has live prawns in huge tanks on the floor. it's has a woman's name, but i can't think of it for the life of me. but you must go!!!!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: thew

                  Dear 'thew',

                  Thanks for the lead in Chiang Mai - we're staying at Rachamankha during our visit, so, I'll ask the concierge if they know about your lead mentioned above.


                  Richard Maloney

                2. Bangkok - We just went to Baan Khun Mae last week. We had not been there in 2 years and went to see if it is still good. It was still very good. We had duck curry and eggplant salad. We told them we like spicy food. To get to the restaurant, we took the skytrain to Siam station and headed to the street behind the Novotel hotel. This is an indoor restaurant.

                  Chiang Mai - We go to "Kaeng Ron Baan Suan" a lot. We like several things on the menu. The went there last week and had: wing bean salad (yam tua puu), catfish laab issan (laab pla duke issan), Northern curry with pork (gaeng keah muu) and sticky rice (kow niaw). This is an outdoor restaurant. Sometimes in the evening they have people playing traditional Thai instruments. Some of the menu is in English, but they do not speak very much English there. Gaeng Keah Muu is not on the English menu any more. It is more like a soup and has lots of vegetables in it. Oh and their Gaeng Hangley was pretty good. We had that a couple of weeks ago. This is not in the tourist area although we see vans there quite often. You'll probably need to arrange for a driver or songthaew to get there. 149/3 Moo 2, Soi Chom Doi, Off Canal Rd. ChiangMai 50300.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: whinendine

                    Dear 'whinendine',

                    We really appreciate your recommendations posted above.

                    Thanks so much.


                    Richard Maloney

                  2. The original comment has been removed
                    1. Will this be your first time in bangkok? if so, I recommend going to a mall food court--MBK is a good one. While not a restaurant per se, it's a great place to walk around and see/sample all sorts of thai cuisine.
                      Also, the big fruit market across from Chatachuk weekend market is a great place to sample some good and unique cooking.
                      Incidentally, this post is on the wrong board (I alerted moderators so they will prob move it shortly) but when it gets posted on the right board you will hopefully get replies from some knowledgeable bangkok regulars who post.
                      do a search on the great asia board and some good recs should come up.
                      also, see

                      it's old, but these places haven't changed that much and he knows what he's talking about.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: missmasala

                        Dear 'missmasala',

                        Thank you for your kind reply. Yes, this will be our first visit to Thailand, and we're very excited.

                        Again, thanks for taking the time to help us plan for your culinary voyage.


                        Richard Maloney