Soul Food Mahanakorn – Bangkok, Thailand

I’m back! Fresh off the plane from beautiful Bangkok. While I was there, I managed to check out the “Japan Town” and hipster enclave of Bangkok, Thong Lo. A short 5 minute walk away from the BTS station lies an expat-filled refined Thai food place, Soul Food Mahanakorn.

The dishes at Soul Food Mahanakorn are Thai with a twist, and most of the ingredients are either organic or free-range as well. They also have an extensive cocktail list to boot. The restaurant is decidedly modern rustic and affordable by SIN City standards and it only opens for dinner from 5.30pm onwards. Reservations are strongly recommended for this popular place as well.

My dining companions and I ordered a traditional Thai somtam – Papaya Salad with Crispy Chicken Skin – to start. The salad is slightly less spicy to accomodate tourist and expatriate tastebuds which I preferred as I am a tourist, and I would actually like to be able to taste everything else that comes after! The fried chicken skin acted as a fatty crouton of sorts adding a crackling factor to the refreshing and crunching papaya salad.

Som Tam

Som Tam with Crispy Chicken Skin

We also had the restaurant’s signature Sticky Tamarind Ribs and Thai Seafood Omelette. The Sticky Tamarind Ribs is most definitely the best dish on the menu. The pork ribs are braised in a caramelised barbecue and tamarind sauce resulting in a sweet, smoky and slightly tangy glaze that had us hankering for more. The meat also came clean off the bone as it was so tender. This is one dish that really whets the appetite. Miam!

The seafood omelette is a comforting and familiar dish to most Asians, it is fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. The best part of the Thai version is its accompanying sweet garlic chilli.

Sticky Tamarind Ribs and Seafood Omelette

Sticky Tamarind Ribs and Seafood Omelette

The waitress recommended the Fish in A Leaf – sea bass wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled. The fillet of sea bass is also stuffed with lemongrass, dill and slices of lime to mask the fishy scent and it adds a very distinct flavour to the fish as well. The flaky fillet is light and easy to eat as it was boneless, a far cry from more Asian fish dishes which usually come with bones.

Fish in A Leaf and Pumpkin Custard

Fish in A Leaf and Pumpkin Custard

The last dish you see above is dessert. An egg custard steamed with pumpkin, and it is amazing. The custard is infused with rose water and coconut milk before being smoked slightly over the grill, resulting in many layers of flavour in the custard alone. The soft pumpkin surrounding the custard gave the dessert a moreish quality that rounds off the meal nicely.

Soul Food Mahanakorn is definitely aimed at the expats in Thailand, but hey, it was one of the better meals I’ve had in Bangkok!