In Bangkok, excellent food abounds at every street corner – you’ll struggle not to bump into a delicious dish every few steps you take. But that’s not to say the Thai capital doesn’t have hotspots of particular culinary delight, and restaurants that are a bit of a trek but worth every extra minute it takes to get to. Here are three restaurants we think you should add to your next Bangkok itinerary.
This one is worth it for the novelty factor alone. Out in Bang Na, and just alongside the roaring Bang Na Trat highway, the Kratorn Flying Chicken Restaurant has a solid menu of straightforward Thai dishes, including a number of variations of somtum papaya salad and a range of other plates to be enjoyed with rice. The emphasis here isn’t on the food itself, though, but rather – as the name implies – on the fact that the signature roasted chicken is loaded into a catapult and fired across the restaurant for a spiked-helmet-clad waiter on a unicycle to catch. It’s certainly a unique show, and one to be enjoyed with a few days in this spot’s lively atmosphere – if you’re the daring kind, you can even jump on the unicycle and have a go at catching the chicken yourself.
99/1 Bang Na-Trat Road; 02 399 5202; daily, 5pm-1am; take the BTS to Bang Na and then take a taxi.
Quite the trek beyond Mo Chit BTS station in the north of Bangkok, this busy family-run restaurant is open only during the daytime, but is worth a visit for both the signature Thai-style biryani, known as khao mok and served with chicken, beef, fish or goat, and a suite of other dishes from Thailand’s Muslim-majority south, influenced by trade from Malaysia and India. In truth, the biryani itself is less deserving of the journey than the hype it gets in some quarters – but the beef massuman curry, and even more so the goat kuruma curry, a rarity in Bangkok, are absolute must-tries. The tender goat is just about clinging to the bone, and swimming in a redolent creamy broth that’s almost akin to a vindaloo curry.
531/12 Kaset-Nawamin Road, Lat Yao; 081 659 6588; daily, 8.30am-3.00pm, closed the third Monday and Tuesday of the month; take the BTS to Mo Chit and then take a taxi.
Not quite as far as the southern Thai island, but still all the way out almost at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, the focus at Koh Lanta restaurant is firmly on seafood. Whether on a moored boat or on land, you can tuck into recommended dishes that include stir-fried stink beans with prawns, southern bai-rieng leaves stir-fried with eggs, and a southern yellow curry with crab. Provenance is a big deal here – the restaurant boasts that all of its seafood comes from the local Samut Prakan port. They’re equally proud of the view of planes departing and arriving from the airport every five minutes, which they sell as part of the experience – in line with their motto, which translates as ‘eat crabs while watching the planes’.
88/11 King Kaew Road, Bang Phli; 02-738-4811; daily, 4pm-midnight; www.kohlantarestaurant.com; take the BTS to Udomsuk and then take a taxi.
Which are your favourite restaurants in Bangkok’s suburbs? Let us know in the comments!
Photos by dmytrok; Chris Wotton.