Unpretentious soul food

Aromkwan’s offers Bangkok what no one else does

One of my favourite chef’s tables in Bangkok is Aromkwan, which has recently moved to a new location and is offering double the food and double the fun for B3,800 per person (plus vat) and includes free-flow mineral water.

Sprawled over an entire building at 65, Chan Khao Road, Aromkwan offers lunch and dinner, with two seatings for dinner on two different floors. The lunch seating is for a minimum of seven to 11 people and each dinner table caters to 12-20 guests. It is a family, friends-style meal, meaning the table is communal and so is the food. Having opened in January 2021, the brainchild of half-Thai-half-Malay chef Vishanu “Bank” Prempuk, Aromkwan brings Malaysian food to the spotlight, all over a banana-leaf-style meal, where 25 dishes are on offer. 

Known as the Asian smokehouse, Aromkwan started of as a food truck in 2019 selling smoked, grilled skewers. None of their humble roots are forgotten as diners are offered a taste from the food truck days. You start off with a bang (literally, but I ain’t ruining your dinner!) with BBQ rock lobster roll, followed by a Smokey tako, which is served with Aromkwan’s signature “f**k yes!” vinaigrette. The Nuea thong or Aromkwan’s Wagyu satay follows suit, along with Sriracha “Chupa Chups”, which are six-hour smoked sriracha “sexy” wings. Though if you think this is the start of the meal, you’re in for a ride!  

“My South Indian grandma makes the heartiest soup in the world,” beams chef Bank, proudly. “It’s herbaceous, spice-forward and the flavour layering is as intense as the song Back In Black’,” he adds. This is the inspiration for the “famous nine-hour longan wood-smoked ox tongue rasam”. Rasam is a South Indian soup that is eaten either before a meal to get the tastebuds going or at the end of the meal as it aids digestion. The “banana leaf banquet” contains nothing less than 18 dishes, including sides, and they are all laid out on a banana leaf in the centre of the table. Diners should, and I stress upon this, use their hands to eat. Save room for the desserts, which compliment the entire meal. 

This is not just a chef’s table, this is dinner and a show. The dishes lean heavily on the Malaysian aspect of chef Bank’s heritage and no one else and offers such a spectacular spread in Thailand! Go with friends, go with family, go with strangers, eat with your hands and leave content. Isn’t that what life’s all about? Email aromkwansmokery@gmail.com or book via their IG: @aromkwan.

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