We headed back to Bangkok from our tour of the (Isaan) Northeastern Provinces, and timed our return to arrive early enough to have lunch at Krua Apsorn, a place we had absolutely loved on our trip the year before. We ordered ahead to make sure that we would be able to get the stuffed chicken wings, which they frequently run out of and also ordered shrimp & lotus stem yellow curry, Thai omelet with crab meat, grilled river prawns and finished with coconut ice cream. Man-oh-man what a meal! We’re lucky Bangkok is so far away as we would be in this place every week ordering everything on the menu.
Another place in Bangkok we had eaten at before and dreamed about going back to was the Pud Thai restaurant Thip Samai. This place is relatively close to the Phranakorn Nornlen, our hotel in Bangkok, and was so good and so cheap, that we ate there the first night after we flew into Bangkok and again on our first night back from our Isaan tour. To be very honest, we were a little disappointed with our first visit there this trip. But for whatever reason, we went back again and were much happier with our meal the 2nd time there. Happy enough in fact to go back a 3rd time before heading to the airport for our late night departure back to the States a few days later.
Click here for a short video of a visit to Thip Samai.
Only problem was that we found it closed that night. We noticed that there was a street restaurant right next door also featuring Pud Thai and figured if they were making a go of it so close to Thip Samai, it couldn’t be all bad so we gave it a try. Sure enough, the food was great at a price of about $2 USD per person.
We also had a nice meal at Ban Khun Mae in Siam Square. It is a nice looking place and very comfortable. The service was friendly and the food was good. They served a very nice green curry and probably the best mango with sticky rice we ate on this trip.
Our final lunch in Bangkok was at Chote Chitr off Thanon Tanao Rd. This place has gotten tons of press both locally and in the West and partly because of that, we had avoided trying it last year. But we figured we’d give it a shot. We had read in some places, that it was not as good as it used to be before being discovered by tourist. If that is the case, it must have been one Hell of a restaurant before because the meal we had there was terrific.
We felt obligated to order the often raved about banana blossom salad and it was the best version of that dish we have ever eaten. Unlike most recipes, this one included cooked banana blossoms. The heat seemed to sweeten the salada a bit. We also ordered a slightly unusual panang gai. This version started with crispy deep fried chicken that was put back into the green curry. The final dish was Gang Som soup, which while not as great as the one we had at the roadside café near Udon Thani, was still very good. No doubt in my mind that we will be sure to go back to Chote Chitr on our next trip to Bangkok. (Editor’s note: subsequent to the visit described above, we have learned that Chote Chitr closed in and then reopened in 2011. We haven’t been back there since but the jist of what we have read is that it is not as good as it used to be.)