Monday, June 15, 2009

Baan Khanitha: multi award restaurant in Bangkok

dining alone

I dislike dining alone in Asia...in the US, I can always go to a steakhouse, and have a nice steak...but in Asia, where the food is designed to be eaten communially, I dislike eating alone. In my travels for work, when I have to eat on my own, I usually order one dish wonders...in Bangkok this would be Phad Thai, or Phad Phet Kaprik Moo with rice, in Malaysia a Char Kway Teow, or Hokkien Mee, in Japan a Ramen or a set sushi meal.

But after 3 Phad Thais this trip, I was getting rather sick of it, so one evening, I decided to walk a short way and sample the offerings from this famous Thai restaurant...Located fairly deep into Sukhumvit Soi 23, the restaurant was housed in a beautiful bungalow. The interior was like stepping into someone's home...except tables were laid out in every room.



Amuse bouche was Miang Kana...similar to the one I sampled in an earlier trip at Krua Apsorn.



The Baan Khanitha's version had a few additional ingredients...from what I can tell, thinly sliced roasted cuttlefish (at about 9:30 o'clock in the picture)

As I was alone, I only had the opportunity to sample 2 dishes...and as each was good for 2 pax, I was rather full..

I had the sweet and sour garoupa (Pla gao sam rod):



Perhaps I did not choose wisely, this was a dish common to Chinese cuisine and I have had it several times in Thai restaurants in Singapore...fresh garoupa, deep fried to a crisp exterior, juicy insides, smothered in a sweet and sour sauce, and generously sprinkled with deep fried Thai basil. Recipe for a great dish. And indeed it was. I had some time fighting with the bones...wish the chef had de-boned it, but the fish was very fresh, and the taste was excellent.

I also tried a rather unusual dish...fish balls, stuffed with salted egg yolk in a green curry (Gaeng khiew wan lock chin pla grai kai khem):



Insert shows a fish ball cut open to show the salted egg yolk. This was a delightful dish. The green curry was rich and rather mild. The fish balls were definitely freshly made, and the salted egg yolk provided a punch and umami rush. Wonderful.

Dessert was one of my favourites...mango with sticky rice...



Would have preferred durian instead of mango, but it was not available. The Thai mangoes are not as sweet or as fine as the best Pakistani ones, but it was beguilling as it had an added tinge of sour-ness. The rice was rich, and the coconut milk gorgeous. A sprinkling of sweet crispy rice made the dessert even more enticing. Excellent dessert.

So what is my conclusion? Very tasty food, well cooked, nice environment, good service. Only complaint is that the prices are a bit steep for Bangkok. I paid about THB1400 for the above with a small glass of Singha draft beer.




Baan Khanitha Thai Cuisine
36/1 Soi Sukhumvit 23, Sukhumvit Rd., Bangkok 10110
http://www.baan-khanitha.com
(+66)0 2258 4181, (+66)0 2258 4128
11.30 am - 2.30 pm,
6.00 pm - 11.00 pm

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