Address: 10 Pramuan St., Between Silom 17 and 19, Bangkok 10500 Thailand
Telephone: (66) 02-236-4361, (66) 02-235-0371
Every now and then, I have meals in foreign countries which are so delicious and memorable that they seem to make my whole trip worthwhile, and a quick lunch with my friends at The Thanying Restaurant in Bangkok right before I left for the airport turned out to be one of such meals.
We had originally wanted to go to Nahm, a Thai restaurant in Bangkok‘s Metropolitan Hotel which is opened by the Australian chef David Thompson following his successful London branch, but Nahm was not open for lunch that day and we ended up in The Thanying Restaurant, which was only a 10-minute drive (traffic jam-inclusive) from my hotel.
Our cab brought us to a charming old house, and the restaurant featured a quaint, English-style dining room, elegantly decorated with a pot of orchid. The Thanying Restaurant is renowned for serving “royal Thai cuisine”, thanks to the restaurant’s regal roots. “Thanying” means “Her Serene Highness Princess”, and the restaurant is named in honour of Her Serene Highness Princess Sulabh–Valleng Visuddhi, who nobly relinquished her royal title to marry a commoner and was once the head cook in the Sukhothai Palace kitchen for her half-sister, Queen Rambhai Barni of King Rama the Seventh. Open since 1986, The Thanying Restaurant is now run by the princess’s son, M.R. Sorut Visuddhi and his business partner, Kriangkrai Unhanandana, a renowned Thai actor.
Crowds from all over the world have been drawn to this restaurant which is considered one of Bangkok’s best restaurants.
(1) A beautiful plate of Crispy rice crackers with minced pork dip (120 Baht) made its way to our table, and this dish was the perfect indicator of the high standards of food served at this restaurant. The rice crackers were gorgeously light and crispy, and not a tiny bit greasy, while the minced pork dip was attractively sweet, thick and scrumptious.
(2) Our second appetiser, the Sweet crispy noodles with pork and shrimp, soybean sauce and lime flavour (130 Baht), could well be one of the best Thai dishes I have ever had. Skilfully fried noodles were seasoned with an impeccable soybean sauce – the sauce had a subtly sweet flavour, and a dash of lime juice accentuated the flavours of all the other ingredients in this dish. Everything came together really nicely, and there was just so much excitement in this seemingly simple noodle dish.
(3) The Deep fried spring roll with fried jelly noodles and chicken filling (130 Baht) looked overly brown at first sight, but taste-wise there was nothing wrong. Underneath a thin crust revealed a generous serving of soft, springy jelly noodles, and a bit of minced chicken filling gave the spring rolls extra flavours.
(4) It could just be me, but the Deep fried shrimp rolls (150 Baht) looked really adorable! These bite-sized shrimp rolls were brilliantly crunchy and tasty, and were just the right type of moreish treat for the weekend.
(5) The simple Pomelo, spicy and tangy salad with pork, shrimp and topped with roasted sliced coconut (140 Baht) was vibrant and fresh. There were natural, bright flavours and layers of different textures, but it was a tad too spicy for some of us.
(6) The noodles in this Pad Thai (noodle, stir fried with deep fried prawn and fresh bean curd) (190 Baht) were smooth and springy, and the flavouring was spot-on. I particularly adored the contrast between the crunch of the deep fried prawns and the softness of the noodles.
(7) The Sweet curry of prawns with flavour of tamarind (280 Baht) was rich and indulgent, and even though you may not see it clearly in the photo below, the tiger prawns were huge, and they tasted fresh and magnificent!
(8) Given how impressive all the dishes at Thanying were, I had very high expectations of their desserts. Even though the selection was not huge (we were given 4 daily desserts to choose from), we went for the classic Sticky rice with mango (160 Baht) and the restaurant nailed every aspect of it. The mango was sweet but not sickly, and had a seductively smooth texture; the sticky rice, drizzled in coconut milk, had the perfect consistency and sticky texture.
Conclusion: The seasoning, flavours and textures of food served at The Thanying Restaurant were simply flawless, and I savoured every bite of the terrific Thai food. I would recommend this refined, understated Thai restaurant to anyone who plans to visit Bangkok.