After living (on and off) in Thailand for few years, I have my cravings for food from home once in a while. I am always on a lookout for new places to try, to bring me closer to home. So far, Champions Sport Bar is my favorite, but someone mentioned in a forum that they’ll be closing down (unverified news). And with this unfortunate news, I really have to look harder.
Which brings me to my latest discovery. Not one, but two restaurants at The Street at Ratchadapisek: SO asean (Asean cuisine) and Hok Dee Chicken Rice (Singapore cuisine). The Street’s nearest MRT is Thailand Cultural Centre, only 4 MRT stations away from where I stay in Lat Phrao, perfect when I crave for some yummy comfort food.
The Street seemed to cater to food from the region – besides the two restaurants mentioned, there is also Little Hong Kong and Tim Ho Wan for Hong Kong cuisine. During my property-hunting days, I was told that Ratchada area is popular with Mainland China people .. so perhaps that’s the reason why.
SO asean Cafe & Restaurant
I first heard about SO asean from a fellow Malaysian, but the price was a tad expensive for me. So, I KIVed this place till later …
Now that I have been to the restaurant, the price does comes with a nice restaurant ambience, so it’s worth the price.
Bf suggested this place few weekends back, when I had my craving for nasi lemak. We ordered Malaysia’s nasi lemak served with butterfly pea rice (165 baht) and Indonesia’s beef rendang (215 baht). Bf also ordered Vietnamese’s pork and vegetables wrap แหนมเนือง namnueng (185 baht) for sharing.
Nasi lemak .. Since when our humble nasi lemak turns into such a fancy dish? Give me my plain coconut rice, sans butterfly pea, and that would make me a happy girl. Fried chicken is disastrous. And most importantly, they need to get the sambal right. Nasi Lemak = Sambal Belacan Ikan Bilis (Anchovies). We Malaysians are sambal snob.
Beef rendang .. Given the price tag, serving portion was way too small .. but I was happy with the beef rendang. I rather they make do without the tortilla bowl, and give me more beef rendang or the rice cakes. They served the same sambal used for the nasi lemak dish .. since when Malaysia and Indonesia’s sambal is the same? Same-same, but different in many ways lah.
Pork and vegetables wrap … Yummy especially when he did all the wrappings, and me all the eatings.
Total bill: 731.50 baht (including 10% service charge)
Hok Dee ฮกดี Chicken Rice
I heard about Hok Dee ฮกดี from my blog reader, WK Swee, who commented on my Ya Kun blog post. Lo and behold, I chanced upon HD at The Street, and decided to give it a try. For whatever reasons, there seemed to be more Singapore food in Thailand, than Malaysia … excuse me, we do share the same food heritage. Also, Malaysians do have “better” food than our friends down south, just so you know …
The front page of the menu introduced what Hok Dee is all about. So, I did a bit of googling to find out about Lee Kwang Kee in Singapore. There seemed to be people queuing for their chicken rice .. but for the uninitiated, Singaporean queue for their food … For us Malaysians, we always wonder what’s the big fuss. More often than not, we were not impressed with the food that Singaporeans spent time queuing for. A long queue usually means good food, right? But to us Malaysians, sometimes the queue doesn’t justify the food.
Their menu includes many set and combo meal options.
- “Mix & match” set meal @ 179 baht comes with 1 main dish + 1 side dish + 1 drink
- “6 course” set meal special @ 199 baht comes with everything!
- Combo set meal @ 150 baht for 1 pax for steamed/roast chicken, vege, rice & soup
If you just order just steam/roast chicken rice, minus the frills, ala carte menu is 80 baht. I was shocked with the price of only-chicken … is it that expensive back home? 1,000 baht for whole chicken?
Despite the shop named after chicken rice, I ordered their Singapore Laksa (80 baht) from their ala carte menu. Definitely soooo much better than Ya Kun. It tasted fresh too, versus Ya Kun which I suspected frozen and reheat to serve.
The restaurant was doing not too bad during lunch time, with many Thai people having their lunch break. I managed to peep at the chicken rice ordered by fellow diners, and I wasn’t entirely convinced that the chicken rice is worth my moolah. You see, Hainanese chicken rice is not just about the chicken, but the aromatic-chicken-oil rice and also the chilli-ginger sauce. While I can be easygoing and pretty much anything … but if they claim they are good, they better be. Nevertheless, I shall give it a try one fine day.
The Street Ratchada
Address: 139 Ratchada road, Bangkok
Nearest MRT: Thailand Cultural Centre, exit 4
Address: 1st floor, The Street Ratchada
Hok Dee Chicken Rice
Address: Ground floor, The Street Ratchada