Bangkok Post reviews
The dog days of dining
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: May 30, 2014 at 8:49 am
Lamune serves up delicious Thai food in a canine-friendly area otherwise full of Japanese eateries
The 70-seat restaurant is situated near a dog park, so diners are welcome to bring their four-legged friends along.
As a food writer who, for most of her 14-year career, has observed the subdued popularity of Thai restaurants among urban foodies, I tend to become overexcited every time I see a Thai restaurant opening in a seemingly odd location.
So when I learned about Lamune, a substantially invested Thai dining establishment, which opened a few months ago in a deep corner of an exclusive dog park on Sukhumvit Soi 39 — an area known for its abundance of Japanese eateries — I couldn’t help but quickly book a lunch visit.
Just like the surprising dimensions of the venue, the selection of food too is extensive. The menu features approximately 200 classic and contemporary Thai dishes alongside a dozen or so choices of popular Western fare.
The delightful green papaya salad with crispy chicken skin.
From 40 options of yum and som tam (Thai-style sour and spicy salad), we opted for the spicy papaya salad with crispy chicken skin (100 baht). It’s a tasty combination of fresh strands of green papaya and all the basic som tam elements, flavoured to yield a well-rounded pungency. The sweet, sour and spicy salad (ask for less fieriness if you’re chilli-sensitive) came with a generous garnish of crispy deep-fried chicken skin morsels and proved one of the most delightful dishes on the table.
I was told not to miss two of Lamune’s best-selling dishes. First up were grilled river prawns (495 baht per prawn), which featured a sizeable freshwater prawn, wood-fire grilled to perfection and served with sour and spicy green dipping sauce made with chilli, lime, garlic and coriander.
The other most popular is, well, a Western dish. However, I found this deep-fried German-style pork hock (350 baht) worthy of its position. The pork leg exhibited thin, crispy skin that revealed tender, flavourful meat inside. The only room for improvement concerned the slimy layer of fat under the skin, which could have been removed during the cooking process. The pork was accompanied by a small portion of herb-infused, roughly mashed potatoes, a Thousand Island-dressed salad, garlic toast and a Thai-style sour and spicy dipping sauce similar to what came with the grilled prawns.
As a side dish, we ordered pla kraphong thord nam pla, or deep-fried, fish sauce-marinated sea bass (280 baht). It’s a medium-sized fillet of fish, fried until crispy brown, accompanied by a small bowl of sour and spicy green mango salad and sweet-salty fish sauce.
The wood-fire grilled river prawn with sour and spicy dipping sauce.
The green curry pork (150 baht) was just as satisfactory. A large bowl of curry was served with khanom jeen (Thai-style fermented rice noodles).
The restaurant has quite a nice selection of dishes prepared with pla khang, a supple redtail catfish rarely found in Bangkok restaurants. We settled for om pla khang (150 baht), an Isan-style herbal soup chock full of indigenous Thai vegetables — eggplant, Vietnamese coriander, dill, spring onions and pumpkin — and succulent fillets of fish, proved very fragrant and soothing.
From a wide list of personal-sized dishes, we tried the best-selling phad thai with prawns in a Thai omelette (150 baht), and were much gratified.
There were a few desserts options available during our visit. The taro pearls with young coconut flesh in coconut milk (45 baht) proved delicious.
Lamune’s neatly decked out cocktail bar will begin full-scale operation within the next couple months. As of now, only a few cocktails are available.
Since the restaurant, run by keen canine enthusiasts, is situated near a dog park, diners are welcome to bring their four-legged friends into the 70-seater (in both the al fresco and the air-con dining areas), where there are food and water bowls available.
Om pla khang, a fragrantly soothing Isanstyle herbal soup with redtail catfish.
The popular deep-fried German-style pork hock.