Newly renovated Suan Bua Restaurant proves why Thai food remains one of the world’s favorite cuisines.
By Percy Roxas.
Thai food never ceases to delight with its range and versatility – reasons why it has become one of the world’s favorite cuisines. This cuisine easily adapt to today’s food trends, almost always with amazing results, and its extraordinary ability to retain its traditional qualities, even when prepared in the most contemporary way, is nothing short of dazzling.
Take our latest visit to Suan Bua Restaurant (Tel: 02 541 1234, ext. 4068 // email: firstname.lastname@example.org), the signature Thai restaurant of Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok. This restaurant, regarded as an institution in Bangkok for over 30 years, has been closed for renovation since November 2015 and when it reopened recently, unveiled not only a completely new stylish look. It also launched a new menu offering Thai cuisine in modern style — and that’s an understatement.
As Thai meal is supposed to be for sharing, our genial hosts immediately presented a few of its signature dishes in front of us: pla kapong samoonprai (deep-fried seabass with fresh Thai herbs); mieng goong kleab bua (fluffy river prawn in lotus flower leaves served with spicy and sweet sauce); goong maenam yang rad hoylai phad prik khing (grilled river prawns with spicy clam meat); and gang massaman nong gae, which is slowly braised (for six hours) New Zealand lamb shank in massaman curry with purple and yellow sweet potato.
We’ve tried most of these dishes before but somehow, it’s like tasting them again for the first time, thanks to the obviously high-quality ingredients that the restaurant uses, to the wonderful presentation of each dish, and the resulting unique flavors that reflect Chef Santiphap Petchwao long culinary experience and expertise. Each dish was prepared like a delicate piece of art meant to amaze, delight, and intrigue. If you’re a fan of Thai food you know what to expect from it, and yet nothing prepares you for the fulfillment you are bound to enjoy with Chef Satiphap’s creation.
Asked what his secret was, the chef simply says, “Suan Bua is dedicated to creating authentic Thai cuisine in modern style, featuring dishes from every corner of the country, ranging from ultra-spicy Southern through to tangy Northeastern and milder Northern fare.”
The current menu consists of other signature dishes such as Wagyu beef flank soup with sweet potato, Scottish salmon in fish sauce served with bitter gourd, wing bean salad with foie gras, and Australian beef tenderloin in shrimp paste curry with lemon grass and sweet basil – so their name explains partly what’s he’s been doing at Suan Bua. But even with the first five dishes alone that we’ve tasted, we know we have to come back for more soon.
As we enjoy our dessert, sang ka ya i-tim vanilla (Thai custard bread and vanilla ice cream), we were thinking about how our dining experience was enhanced by the now utterly modern dining environment. The “simple, natural” setting incorporates the hotel’s lush green and the glass walls and ceiling create an open, tropical feel – bright, airy, and at one with nature.
Your meal can be enjoyed indoor (70 seats), semi-outdoor, and completely outdoor (50 seats) from 11:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. (lunch) and from 6 p.m. onwards (dinner).