A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.


Posted date:  September 10, 2008

 Hor mok, steamed curries with crab, Sorndaeng, Bangkok

I’ve eaten at many, if not most of the upscale Thai restaurants in Bangkok, and have rarely, if ever, had a good meal. Nothing I ate at these restaurants was necessarily bad–no hairs were found, no surly service, nothing rotten–but rather, the food left no impression whatsoever. The general phenomenon seems to be that the more you pay for Thai food, the less flavourful it is, and the more predictable the menu tends to be.

Exploring Banglamphu with friends on a recent Sunday, it didn’t take us very long to realize that on Sunday, in Banglamphu, absolutely nothing is open. Luckily, a few days previously, I was reminded of an upscale Thai restaurant that I’ve always suspected might be different from the rest, so we made it up Th Dinso to Sorndaeng.

A sign out front claims that Sorndaeng has been around since 1957.  A glance into the dining room shows that very little appears to have changed in 51 years: the service staff dress like soldiers, there are doilys and frumpy furniture, live lounge music (appropriately, a mild version of ‘Sukiyaki‘ was sung at one point), and of course that most telling sign of old-school Thai elitism, a table dominated by several big-haired, silk-wearing Thai-Chinese women:

The dining room at Sorndaeng, Bangkok

A had been eating here since she was young, and suggested we order krathong thong:

Appetizer, name forgotten, Sorndaeng, Bangkok

‘golden baskets’ with a sweet/savoury filling.

I ordered lon kapi, a savoury ‘dip’ served with fresh vegetables and herbs:

Lon kapi, a savoury dip served with fresh veggies and herbs, Sorndaeng, Bangkok

and yam som oh, pomelo salad:

Yam som o, pomelo salad, Sorndaeng, Bangkok

The former was a very good take on a dish that’s somewhat hard to find, and the latter was simple but delicious, incorporating no more than five ingredients including deep-fried cashews, and if I remember correctly, roasted coconut.

A ordered fish maw fried with egg and bean sprouts:

Fish maw fried with egg and bean sprouts, Sorndaeng, Bangkok

a dish I didn’t think I would like, but which was actually very nice, deliciously eggy and smokey, a lot like or suan.

P ordered mee krop, just to see how it would stand up to that of Chote Chitr:

Mee krob, Sorndaeng, Bangkok

It wasn’t bad, but not nearly as rich, citrusy and complex as Chot Chitr’s.

We had a couple other things as well, including a soup with duck and pickled lime, and the yummy crab-filled hor mok shown at the top of the post. Virtually every dish was excellent.

Sorndaeng also proved to be one of the few places I was actuallly inspired to order a dessert:

Mango and sticky rice, Sorndaeng, Bangkok

Mango and sticky rice–a Thai cliche, but still very nice, even if it wasn’t peak mango season.

Finally: highly recommendable upscale Thai food.

Sorndaeng (Google Maps link)
78/2 Th Ratchadamnoen Klang
02 224 3088

3 Comments for Sorndaeng

Does Sorndaeng happen to serve Royal Thai-style food? I’ve been on the search for one for ages, but have yet to find one with a good review!

went to sorndaeng this past sunday for my birthday, and enjoyed it. i enjoyed watching the way the service worked, since i used to work as a server i found it interesting. the food was good, the yam som oh being by far my favorite dish. everything else was good, but mostly fairly standard. nothing really blew me away. i do, however, have plans to go back soon to try a few other things and get another dish of yam som oh, and hopefully in a smaller group so i’m not shelling out 3000b

Wow, I have to say that yam som oh looks great. Hard to find in Phuket.. that is to say, I’ve never seen it! Oh to be a full time blogger with more time to explore!

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