No place, according to my opinion, gets any swankier than the areas near the PAD rally these days. People, from all over the countries and some from abroad, come all the way to enjoy Bangkok’s historic inner areas including Tha Phra Arthit, Banglampoo and Ratchadamnoen Road that are abundant with good and cheap restaurants.
For us, going to PAD rally means making quite an extensive trip from our place on Ramindra all the way into the city that also involves getting a cab or tuk tuk further into the area. When the traffic is bad, it was horrible, but the PAD rally makes everything kind of fun and I found hiring a cab, especially during weekends, gives me a rare chance to observe the texture and the remaining charms of the city, the thing I just can not do while driving J
Near Tha Phra Arthit is one of my favorite eateries, Somsong Potchana which is just a small hole-in-the-wall that serves fabulous Sukhothai noodles and a few other Thai dishes. Everything here is so good that you do not need any judgment to order. Just bring everything on, and hurry!! Please.
We called to check if they were open. “Yes, we are,” said Phi Tiew the owner at around 11am last Saturday when we were on our way. “But hurry and get here when some tables are still available.”
But only a few people know that there are also some tables available on the second floor and in a ‘air-conditioned’ room too. So we quietly sneaked up and told a girl to follow us to take an (huge) order..
We basically ordered everything they have available, starting from their marvelous kanom cheen sao nam (pic # 1 above) which was swiftly gone in 2 minutes; we were so hungry or may be the plate was too small?
Then, we moved on to the ‘dry’ version of the Sukhothai noodle. A Sukhothai noodle usually has sliced BBQ pork, sliced cooked string beans, chopped toasted peanut, cane sugar, chilies and vinegar and some red pepper. The dry noodle is sweet and tangy with squeezes of lime, palm sugar and a bit of pork broth to smooth things over.
Then, as you can see, we also ordered 3 more plates of curries with vermicelli rice noodle. Staple curries here include chicken and pla krai fish curries – everything was fantastic and worth the trip over.
The dessert here is also famous. Their much-craved for ‘kao fang piak’ is rare in many Thai restaurants, and even here, be advised to order this dessert at the same time when you’re ordering the savories because only a limited batch is available each day!!
For other dishes, you can eat whatever way you want. You can put more toasted chili into your noodle and add a dab or two nampla sauce to spice up the curries, but for Kao Fang Piak, I need to tell you that you’d enjoy it more if you NOT mix the dessert together with the coconut milk on top. The texture of kao fang is so delicate that as soon as you lift the spoon up, the coconut milk will just run through it and gives a lovely juxtaposition of saltiness of the coconut milk and sweetness of kao fang.
Phi Tiew also rotates his Thai dishes and desserts largely as follow:
Tuesdays and Fridays: kao pad nam prik long ruer (fried rice with chili paste) and the kao fang piak
Wednesdays: gluay buad chee (banana in coconut milk) and sticky rice and longan
Thursdays: seasonal desserts according to the market ingredients.
But below is their phone number, call when in doubt. And especially during the PAD rally, the place might close for a day or two to join the movement as well!!
Soi Wat Sangvesworawiharn (the left alley just off Phra Sumane Fort)
Daily: 9.30am-4pm (closed on the vegetarian festival, New Year, and Songkarn holidays)