Bangkok Post reviews
Food fit for Royal Kitchens
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: May 20, 2011 at 9:31 am
Sala Rim Nam continues to wield its magic over connoisseurs of authentic Thai cuisine
The exquisite interior of Sala Rim Nam’s air-con dining room.
A three-minute boat ride across the Chao Phraya River from the Mandarin Oriental hotel took us to one of Bangkok's most respected Thai restaurants, Sala Rim Nam.
Within a dazzling, glass-wrapped Thai pavilion and amidst an exquisite Thai-style interior setting, at lunch time, a lavish Thai buffet is the restaurant's most beloved attraction that never fails to draw in the crowd.
Priced 750 baht per person, the line featured royal palace-style cuisine by the hotel's executive Thai chef, Vichit Mukura.
Its nice variety of appetisers included the deep-fried meat and seafood, crispy sweet noodles (aka mee krob), herbed chicken and sweet corn in pastry shells (aka kratong thong), noodle rolls with prawn stuffing, deep-fried prawn patties and curried fish cakes.
Yet, the most highlighted delicacy of Sala Rim Nam's lunch buffet is nam phrik, or Thai-style spicy dipping paste. The selection wasn't only extensive, but also proved excellent. From the line, you'll find, for example, nam phrik makham, or young tamarind dip; nam phrik khai poo, or chilli-crab roe dip; lhon pla salid foo, or sweet and salty minced pork in coconut cream dip with fluffy crispy fish; kapi khua, or curried shrimp paste with coconut cream served with deep-fried fluffy crispy catfish _ all proven dishes that matched our high expectation.
The fermented soy bean dip with sea crab.
At the yum (spicy salad) corner, there were green papaya salad, wing bean salad with shrimp, spiced deep-fried fish with exotic fresh herbs and spicy seafood salad, to name just a few.
Each day, two choices of curries are served. On the day we visited the green curry with beef was outstanding.
Meanwhile, items like stir-fried seafood and vegetables, roasted duck, and fried rice were also all-time popular.
At lunch, desserts are made freshly to the guest's order. From the action station, you have to try khanom khrok, or sweet rice pudding; khanom bueang, or crispy pancake filled with minced shrimp and sweet coconut flesh; and gluay khaek, or deep-fried battered banana.
The pavilion serves set dinner complimented by spectacular cultural performance in the evening. However, guests wishing to enjoy a la carte meal can do so while taking pleasure from the riverside breeze at the restaurant's open-air terrace.
Phrik khing krob, or seasoned crispy minced perch fish with betel leaves.
Of the menu, I recommend you try lhon poo talay, or sweet and salty soy bean dip with sea crab (280 baht). Accompanied by a platter of neatly carved vegetables, the dip, made with fermented soy bean, coconut milk, minced shrimp, pork and shallots, was pungent and addictive.
Delectable but not as noteworthy was phrik khing krob (280 baht), which featured seasoned crispy minced perch fish to be wrapped in betel leaves.
For soup, we passed the old-fashioned gaeng jued look rok, or egg sausages with vegetables and shredded chicken breast in clear soup, for a more contemporary option, tom som pla hima (350 baht). The sweet and sour, ginger-infused soup with supple snow fish fillets was as good a soup as a side dish.
The sweet and sour, gingerinfused soup with snow fish fillets.
We also tried ped yang nam makham, or roasted duck with tamarind sauce (500 baht) and were really delighted. The duck, in thick, succulent slices, intermingled well with the mildly sweet and sour tamarind juice.
For dessert, grilled banana with honey caramel accompanied by fresh coconut ice cream (300 baht) proved a nice choice to end our meal.