Thailand is not only rich in traditions and heritage but also has a vibrant and exciting dining scene to delight everyone’s taste buds. Ban Khun Mae has stood its ground in Siam Square over decades and surely won’t disappoint. Mylifestylenews writes.
Who doesn’t like Thai food? If that someone’s answer is a ‘NO!’, then he or she would not appreciate the many flavours of food from around the globe and doesn’t know what he/she is missing in this world. Ban Khun Mae may sound strange and new to you, even if you have come to Bangkok many times before, but it is a place not to be missed at least once, for its genuine authentic Thai food with its generous and heartfelt hospitality.
Ban Khun Mae literally translated as “The House of Madame Mae” caters for couples, families and groups – this was very evident on the night of our visit. Centrally located on Siam Square and opposite the Siam Paragon shopping centre, BTS Sky Train is the best mode of transport to get to Ban Khun Mae with the stop at the Siam giving easy access.
Since its opening in 1998, Ban Khun Mae attracts local diners and tourists alike that stay around this area by serving the most rustic and authentic Thai flavours, with the menu offering the most friendly Thai experience in a lively atmosphere. The menu in Ban Khun Mae ranges from the back-street food vendors, which is big on taste and low on price, to some of the most exquisite Royal Thai dishes that have proven records to followers from around the world.
Some may prefer to call it high-end Thai cuisine but it is rather a friendly Haute cuisine that satisfies everyone’s craving, thanks to its aromatics (fabulous ingredients that attract all the senses), vibrant color, eye catching presentation and long lingering taste. This food is simply in the realms of Thai Classic and there is always something for everyone. Regulars who patronize Ban Khun Mae know what they want and confidently have their order ready in no time and the wait staff taking orders with no fuss.
The décor and ambience in Ban Khun Mae takes you back to the old Thai house style, with old photographs, antique-like lamps and simple ceramic objects to create a homey and cozy feel. Traditional Thai music is played live by a female musician throughout the evening to set a very local mood.
The menu in Ban Khun Mae is quite extensive and dazzling (with or without pictures shown) by its wide variety of selection and you don’t know where to start. With every item of the menu you could possibly want to order and making it the fun part especially when dining in an authentic and trustworthy Thai restaurant. Their inspiration comes from all around the city, villages or town that they grew up in, with traditional family recipes that have been passed on over the generations. It won’t easily go wrong by ordering what strikes your eyes from the menu or keep your eye open to see what has just been delivered to the table next to you.
Some people have a misconception about Thai food (this is mainly and truly for those who don’t know anything about Thai food at all nor have they not even set foot in Thailand) and it is not necessary that it has to be so spicy that it would burn your tongue. We highly recommend all you foodies to be more adventurous and Ban Khun Mae is a good place to start your journey into such a classic and many storied cuisine.
Service is exceptionally hospitable here, so do not hesitate to ask for suggestions for the signature dishes of Thai delights, the wait staff here is not one of those that only push you to order the most expensive dishes on the menu but to listen to what you really wish to have. Even though to the extent that “Mai Phet Mai Aroy” (not spicy not tasty enough) is what usually Thai food lovers would crave for, thanks to the amount of fresh pungent chilis and other relative ingredients used in cooking, but mind you, not even all Thai can take the same level of spiciness as everyone does. For instance, Charcoal dishes, noodles, some stir-fried dishes and even some curries are mild, flavorsome and it ticks all boxes that makes everyone happy and craving for seconds and more servings.
Thai food is meant to be shared when you are dining with company and enjoyed with its fragrant Jasmine rice. We kicked off the evening with the <Tom Yum Goong> (a quintessential spicy Thai soup to no stranger with a creamy yet beautiful balance of the flavours and with just the right spice level to stimulate the appetite. Despite orders were placed in one go but dishes may not come in its own sequence even it was pre-alarmed to the server, it all depends on the house’s order where the kitchen is to cook the dishes whenever the order comes, in no particular order. Hence our <Chicken Pad Thai> came to the table together with the Tom Yum Goong instead. However, Ban Khun Mae’s Phad Thai is truly savoring and being one of Ban Khun Mae’s signature dishes that is a must order.
<Nam Prik Pla Tu>
Fried Mackerel & assorted Vegetables and egg omelet is one of the most delish platter for an appetizer dish. The soul of this platter is the shrimp paste chili sauce that brings out the best flavor of the steamed vegetable and fried mackerel. It is surely a salivating dish.
<Kaeng Phed Goong>
Prawn in red curry paste is simply delicious. Medium size river prawns are used and stir-fried over red curry paste with rich coconut milk, fish sauce and garnished with jullienne kaffir lime leaves that elevates the entire dish to a complex taste and a refreshing kick.
Despite the <Charcoal Grilled Pork with Honey> came to our table with luke warm temperature and the meat was little bit tough, yet the honey marinade added a nice dimension to the dish.
<Goong Chae Nam Pla>
This raw white prawns with spicy fish sauce was recommended by the Manager, Khun Lek. This classic Thai’s style shashimi may not be everyone’s favorite but if you are a fan of prawns for its best original taste as the fresh flesh of the prawns with the right dip in the homemade spicy fish sauce are best to compliment to each other.
<Pla Neung Manao>
This steamed sea bass with garlic and lime Juice is beautifully cooked and served over burning charcoal fire to keep the fish warm when served. The flesh is moist and tender, with just the right balance of heat in the chili and lime juice and is heavenly. A scope of jasmine rice over a mouth full of the fish is the best way to enjoy this nicely steamed fish.
<Goong Ob Woonsen>
Glass noodles with huge river prawns cooked together in a pot with lots of aromatic ingredients like ginger, garlic and pepper. This classic Thai dish is flavoursome and the best is hidden deep in the bottom of the pot. Once you have given the dish a good toss in order to let the glass noodles absorb all the flavor combinations and peppercorns for some extra heat and it was deliciousness personified!
We finish the evening with two desserts. <Tub Tim Krob> literally means crunchy rubies that are made from water chestnut served in coconut milk in Shredded ice. It is another glorious sweet Thai dessert that delivered on all fronts without any doubts.<Fresh Mango & Coconut Ice Cream> is another Thai delight. This classic sweet dessert had a perfectly ripe mango and the tastiest of coconut ice cream leaving us salivating with every mouthful.
As we always say, travel with an open mind, be more adventurous and bold when you are travelling or vacationing in a foreign land. Dining out in a local scene is the best way to experience and understand the local culture and the best way to begin the other exciting journey that is through food and turns your memories to a rich and interesting experience to share with friends and family back home.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
Pla Neung Manao
458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8,
Rama 1 Road
Rama 1 Road
Tel: +66 2 250 1952/3
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.