Bangkok is one of those places where there is something for everyone - shopping, natural sites, historical monuments and religious places, entertainment and nightlife, and of course, food.
Food is my primary reason for visiting any new place. But Bangkok is almost like a second home to me. We take a trip there every year without fail. Each time, the experience is unlike the last.
This time, our focus was mainly on food and getting to try some of the best dishes Bangkok has to offer through its various establishments.
We were recommended to try Thara Thong at Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel by the riverside. It is rated one of the top 5 restaurants on Tripadvisor. It is also one of the oldest restaurants of its kind in Bangkok as it has been around for over three decades!
We were seated at one of the tables inside by the window so we could still see the boats cruising past us on the river. We were even lucky enough to have witnessed a display of fireworks from our viewpoint.
Being quite the traditional Thai restaurant, we started off our meal with some mieng kam (THB270), which is a classic Thai starter. The dish, which is a combination of grated coconut, lime cube, shallot, ginger, dried shrimp and crispy peanut wrapped with Cha-Plu leaves, is a great way to start the meal off.
Another starter we were quickly introduced to was the Yum Som-O (THB320) a pomelo salad with shrimp and coconut flakes. This was another refreshing appetiser. We love how the Thais always incorporate fruits and herbs into their dishes. It gives it such a different blend of flavours not found anywhere else in the world.
We also got to try quite a unique dish here, which was their Chor Malee (THB300). It was my first time trying the flower shaped dumplings stuffed with herbal prawn and pork mince.
The portions here are decent. Not too big nor small. Each dish was perfect for four to share. Even their Tom Yum Goong Mae Num (THB350), the traditional spicy and milky soup with river prawns, lime juice and lemongrass, was just nice for four of us.
We were absolutely blown away by the next dish - Pad Pak Boonk Fai Dang (THB250). The stir fry morning glory was flavourful and unlike any other sitr fry vegetable dish we had ever tried.
The mains here at Thara Thong are absolutely stunning. The Kaeng Phed Ped Yang (THB450) is a red curry with tender and juicy duck breast slices. This was another stellar dish that we couldn't get enough of.
You absolutely cannot have a meal in Thailand without also including Pla Hi Ma Nueng (THB550) and Gai Pad Med Ma Muang Himaphan (THB380). The pla, or fish, was a beautifully steamed snow fish fillet with ginger and soy sauce. Though it sounds simple, the dish turned out to have impressed us the most. In comparison, the gai dish, which was a stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts, was good but not as mind-blowing. It all went so well with some white rice. Even for me, who tends to avoid white rice as much as possible, couldn't resist having a full bowl of rice with these dishes.
Of course, it is a must for us to also have dessert (almost every meal we had in Bangkok). We tasted their Tub Tim Grob (THB220). The red ruby dessert is a ruby coloured water chestnuts in coconut milk and was a gentle finish to a heavy meal.
Equally impressive, though we were quite stuffed at this point, is their Kao Niew Ma Muang (THB320). The mango sticky rice was one of the best we had ever had.
Just to throw in a little western feel, we decided to order a Cream Brulee Sam Rod (THB280). In theory, the mango, lychee, and pineapple cream brulee sounded irresistible. But we also concluded that traditional Thai desserts win over fusion creations and we should always stick to what we know will be good stuff.
Overall, our meal at Thara Thong was incredibly satisfying. It was also very entertaining as Thara Thong has traditional Thai musicians and dancers to put on performances throughout the dinner service to keep guests entertained.