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Feb 3, 2012 05:34 AM

First and only one night in Bangkok

Traveling to Bangkok for one day for business.

Staying at the Mandarin Oriental. Budget is not an issue, just want a great meal. I would also consider a meal in a great area to walk around before and after dinner.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

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  1. You might consider Sala Rim Naam, the Oriental's own Thai dining venue.

    Just south of the Oriental is the Saphan Taksin BTS "skytrain" platform. You might head there and purchase a fare to "Sala Daeng". Here you will experience all the neon and people watching Bangkok is famous for.

    In "Thaniya Plaza", seen from the Sala Daeng BTS platform, you'll find Rengaya, a Japanese BBQ joint, towards the rear of the 2nd floor. If you like such venues, you might give it a try. We enjoy it.

    1. What kind of experience you are looking for on your "walk around"?

      For Thai food, I second Curt that Sala Rim Naam is a great choice (especially when budget is not an issue). There should be traditional Thai dance performed nightly. After that you can consider going to the close by Sirocco (rooftop bar at Le Bua) for taking Bangkok view at night. It is walking distance from MO but it wouldn't be an interesting walk.

      Maybe, you can consider a cruise. I have heard good words on Apsara Cruise by Banyan Tree
      But this would leave you no time to walk around.

      1. Not sure if you've already left for BKK.
        Coming from an Thai speaking ex-expat, unless Sala Rim Naam has done a remarkable turn around since my one and only experience there a while back, I cannot recommend this excuse for a "traditional" Thai dining experience. But if you're looking for a tourist oriented, overpriced with Thai food the quality of which you can probably find better in in Anchorage (no offense to those in this fine city nor anyone on this thread).... then go for it.
        Not sure what type of food you're looking for but my usual go-to Thai Seafood restaurant to take out-of-towners is Somboon Seafood Bantadthong branch near the giant MBK mall.
        Great food, great location (you can walk around MBK mall beforehand. This is not your normal western style mall. After dinner you can walk around near the restaurant and see the locals eating at more local dining establishments).

        10 Replies
        1. re: Donotdrinkfromthetap

          Once upon a time, I used to enjoy Somboon, solely for its curry crab. Everything else was extremely inconsistent. Now based on my last, and I do mean LAST visit, they can't seem to get that right.

          IMHO, to accuse Sala Rim Naam of being "touristy", then recommend Somboon, is a bit ironic. I don't think I have ever seen a bus load of tourists being delivered to Sala Rim Naam. ;-)

          1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

            "IMHO, to accuse Sala Rim Naam of being "touristy", then recommend Somboon, is a bit ironic. I don't think I have ever seen a bus load of tourists being delivered to Sala Rim Naam"

            ROFL! You slay me :-D

            1. re: klyeoh

              Curt & Klyeoh, thanks for setting me straight. I guess my last tasting of Somboon is a bit more dated than I thought. I supposed their nice website should be the first tip off that this is a bit more touristy venue. My personal hangout used to be over in Bangkok Chinatown on Yaowarat. I'm sure you're familiar with the two seafood places with what seems to look like two warring gangs of green & red uniforms (I think T&K). But I was thinking this area might be a bit "rugged" for a 5 star hotel crowd out for only one night. Last time I was at T&K I was a bit let down.

              1. re: Donotdrinkfromthetap

                To be honest, I have never tried Sala Rim Naam. But, I have read good reviews. That, and its sheer convenience, is why I suggested it.

                Because I provide my own transportation, I spend little time in Chinatown; the place is nuts! But, T&K seems to be famous, which usually scares me away.

                If you're ever in Bangkok, you might try Polo Rice Soup, at the corner of Soi Polo and Wireless. Most pass it by as "too scary", while heading to the vastly overrated Polo Fried Chicken. Polo Rice Soup puts out a pretty tasty curry crab when it's a good value. If they pass on crab that day, they often will do a curry squid.

                BTW, before my last experience at Somboon, I was going to give the Bantadthong branch a try. It seems to be far enough off the shiny path to be different. Unfortunately, my last visit to the Chamchuri Square location left too awful a taste in my mouth, literally.

                1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                  I really liked Spice Market at the Regent for 5 star Thai food. Don't know if it still exists. I think the hotel is called the Four Seasons now.

                  1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                    Curt to be honest famous or touristy dining locals don't normally deter me if the food is up to snuff. I suppose I failed to mention why I really didn't care for Sala Rim Naam. The food was remarkably (to put it nicely) bland for Thailand standards. It's much like tea that's been steeped 5x over. I was actually a bit embarrassed by the time I left the restaurant that I took my (fortunately) rookie out of town friends there. But by the look of things if my old standards are on the decline, I suppose it's only fair that Sala is going the opposite direction (it can't get worst).
                    BTW thanks for the Polo Rice Soup tip. I'm all over that one next time I'm in the neighborhood. Is that traditional thai coffee/tea place on that corner (Wireless & Polo) still there? You know the one they strain the liquid gold through what looks like a used sock?

                    1. re: Donotdrinkfromthetap

                      The "old sock" method is the traditional Thai method for making tea / coffee. There are thousands of them, everywhere. I never really noticed one in this area.

                      Are we talking "bland" as in "not spicy enough"? I have never heard a Thai complain about lack of spice. In fact, my mother-in-law often complains that some dishes are too spicy.

                      One of the most embarrassing moment's, with my Thai family, was when an [ex]friend came to visit. After my mother-in-law treated him to a nice meal at one of her local eateries, he remarked that "The restaurant he goes to, in Hollyweird, is much better; much spicier." Not surprisingly, he has never been ask to return!

                      Now, Hollywood has some great Thai eateries. But, through discussions we've had with some of the proprietors, many are amused by the Western obsession with heat.

                      1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                        That "old sock" method for tea and coffee I suppose is the same as the one used throughout Malaysia (and other SE Asian places) for coffee in kopitiams and similar places?

                        The anecdote you relate about your (ex)friend from Los Angeles seems to suggest he was a "chilihead". I would imagine you are aware of this category of folks (especially in the US) who pride themselves on being able to consume - and who demand - extravagant levels of chili heat in their dishes; and some of whom [NOT ALL] seem to engage in macho chest-pounding demonstrations of how much hair they have on their hands (and other parts of their bodies) by consuming such dishes... Perhaps these recent threads might bring a smile or two to your face:

                      2. re: Donotdrinkfromthetap

                        As a regular Thai, I rarely do fine Thai dining given plenty decent choices every corner. But there was instance I had a reception lunch at sala rim naam last year and the meal was great. Honestly, I was skeptical before the date. But I liked it.

                        If I have a foreign friends come and would like to experience a fine Thai dining (that would easily triple the bill of decent Thai meals), I wouldn't mind return there. Just probably not a place I'd go regularly.

                        1. re: NP2

                          To NP2: I agree with u. To me the phrase "fine Thai dining" $$$ is an oxymoron but I'm glad Sala is more edible these days.
                          To Huiray: yeah I sorta agree with u on the chilihead idea. Those so called "food" related tv shows certainly help fuel the fire (pun intended.)
                          Afterall Thai food is certainly more complex than heat alone.

            2. halpie97, Sirocco (mentioned in one of the earlier posts) was featured in the movie, "Hangover 2" - it's the one atop a posh skyscraper with stupendous views of Bangkok.

              Are you looking for fine-dining Thai (Nahm, Patara, Blue Elephant, besides Sala Rin Naam)? Or are you after the "wild party with plenty of booze & action" Bangkok? If it's the latter you're looking for (since your earlier posts indicated you're 20-something), try Soul Food Mahanakorn in Sukhumvit Soi 55, and you can check out the bars in Thonglor afterwards. Or Taling Pling at 60, Pan Road, Silom. You can visit the (in)famous Patpong area, with its raucuous bars afterwards. Bangkok has it all - have fun!

              1. wait is this an ABBA - "Chess - One Night in Bangkok" joke? why would one go all that way and NOT take at least a day or two for personal time? (tell 'em you're jetlaggered something fierce) especially in this day and age of connectivity. sign the deal and hit the night markets. twice.