Greetings from Thailand!
Bryan and I spent the Chinese New Year holiday in Thailand this past February. We spent the first half of the week at a resort in a small fishing village about 3 hours outside of Bangkok. We finished off the trip by spending the weekend exploring the food scene in Bangkok.
Our first stop: Baan Ice Bangkok, a very popular favorite among food enthusiasts, this restaurant is the more casual sister of Bangkok's hottest restaurant Sorn. Chef Supaksorn Jongsiri creates Thai dishes inspired by his grandmother's recipes.
A local food writer confirmed to me that Baan Ice is one of the best Thai restaurants in Bangkok, and Chef Supaksorn Jongsiri is one of the best chefs in Bangkok right now.
Because it's so popular, it's a good idea to make reservations, although we did notice that not all the tables were filled when we arrived at 7PM for our dinner reservation on a Friday night.
We told them to tone down the spice a bit, which resulted in food that was still very spicy but enjoyable, just at the edge of what we could handle.
The menu is also in English and includes helpful descriptions and even photos of many dishes, which is extremely helpful. The service was efficient and friendly, and the overall ambiance was comfortable, relaxed, and pleasant.
I loved this beautifully presented salad Grandpa’s Khao Yam, a rice salad with all sorts of fresh and fragrant ingredients, such as finely chopped kaffir lime leaves, pomelo, cucumber, scallions, shallots, bean sprouts, and other Thai herbs.
We mixed it together with a delicious “Budu” sauce and lime juice. Fantastic dish.
We also tried this unique dish Melinjo Leaves with Egg and Crab [350 BHT]. I had never had this type of unique greens before. This dish was packed with flavor without being spicy (a much needed "break" from the other spicy dishes!).
You can choose to have this dish with dried shrimp or just plain eggs.
Another highly recommended dish (in fact, the most popular dish at the restaurant) is Stir fried Sataw Beans in Shrimp paste with Crispy Pork. Sataw beans (bitter bean) are a signature of southern Thailand, which is where the chef is originally from.
This dish was fantastic. I loved the deep, pungent umami from the shrimp paste and the sataw beans, which go really well with the fatty, unctuous crispy pork belly.
If you don't want pork belly, you can also opt for shrimp alone or a combination of shrimp and minced pork.
Finally, we tasted Fried Mullet Roe withSour Mango Spicy Salad, a seasonal dish. Baan Ice sources their mullet roe from the Taluphuk estuary in Puk Phanang, Nakhonsrithammarat. The mullet roe is deep fried and mixed with the fresh mango salad. I found the mullet roe to be quite salty and a bit dry in texture, with a strong fishy flavor. The sour mango brightens the overall dish and provides a good, needed contrast, resulting in a very balanced dish.
Dessert was a generously sized coconut milk ice cream with corn and boiled peanuts.
General Thoughts - Baan Ice
I really really enjoyed this restaurant and I can see why it's so popular. It offers the perfect combination of excellent regional food, pleasant but not-fussy ambiance, and reasonable prices. I especially enjoyed trying so many interesting ingredients or preparations that I had not tried before.
I highly recommend making sure you stop by Baan Ice if you're in Bangkok. I visited the Somerset location, but I believe there are several of them throughout Bangkok.
Baan Ice Bankok, Somerset Building, 115 Sukhumvit Soi 55, Bangkok, 10110 Thailand