You can go to Bangkok for authentic Thai food. Heck, you can just go to any of their food courts and you get Thai food more authentic than the ones you find in Golden Mile Complex. Therefore, why should you even consider coming to Ban Khun Mae to have authentic Thai food that’s full of old school flavour?
Location of Ban Khun Mae
First, Ban Khun Mae, serving traditional Thai cuisine, is conveniently located behind Siam Square One, that is right beside Siam BTS Station. In fact, you can see Ban Khun Mae’s store/building right from the BTS platform! That translates to a mere 5 minutes’ walk from the station (which every of my reader knows is what I always go for) and you can do shopping before and/or after your meal.
In fact, there’s a good foot massage store just around the corner for an after-dinner pampering session!
Yep, as a university district (in case you don’t know, Siam Station is just beside Chulalongkorn University, which is a mecca for all Thai web drama fans), the area is full of artistic vibes!
I have only went to Ban Khun Mae for dinner; the restaurant is housed in a 2-storey building and you get lots of privacy if you get the table on level 2 (that will definitely require reservation). If not, the “common area” at ground level is full of life (even this will require reservation or a long wait, or early dinner – you have to decide way before you go for your dinner). I particularly liked the part when they had a “live” Gu Zheng performance by an artist who was decked out in traditional Thai costume.
The all-wood finish interior gave the restaurant a warm, cosy feel. Anyone who is familiar with the Bangkok food scene would also know that such decor was also exclusive to high-end Thai restaurants, which spoke very well about its quality and standard.
A little-known detail, if you are seated at the smaller, table for 4, was that the table was re-made from an old sewing machine! Yes! Just look under the table for a clue!
Dig In! Food at Ban Khun Mae
As an authentic, full fledged restaurant, Ban Khun Mae basically serves every Thai food you earn for. As for me, I have my few favourites that also made it easy for comparison across restaurants.
First up, my all time favourite Pandan Chicken, which I also reviewed when I ate at Thanying restaurant in Amara Hotel, Singapore. Truth be told, the chicken served up looked shamelessly oily, but with every sin comes great satisfaction. Their chicken was soft and bursting with flavour every time my teeth sank into the meat. Be ready to get dirty too, since the leaves are too oily to be removed using utensils like a gentleman.
Thai Fish Cake
Since I’m like a big boy, I order food fit for boys too… Like the Thai Fish Cake. In Singapore, the fish cakes look like super dried Otak Otaks. In Ban Khun Mae, their fish cakes are like croquettes – flaky bread crumbs on the outside, soft at every bite on the inside. N noted that the spices in these cakes were not like “in-your-face” as those frozen Thai Fish Cakes we can get from Singapore’s supermarkets. Instead, the flavour gradually unfolded each time you chew on it, before blossoming into the familiar, yet different Thai spice-y taste. The cakes come with Thai sweet chilli sauce which was as good as it got, though I prefer to savour the Thai Fish Cakes on their own.
Green Curry Chicken
Another favourite dish of mine would be Green Curry Chicken. Their curry is on the spicy side (like the one at Krua Apsorn), so everyone who knows me well would expect my reaction to be ~bleah!~ Even then, I liked how the coconut fragrance surfaces after the initial kicks of the spiciness fades away. Again, again… it was on the spicy side, so I wouldn’t drink all the curry up like I do back in Singapore lol
Thai Basil Chicken
What is a food entry about Thai food, without ordering the Thai Basil Chicken? That was a classic that I would not say was a must-order, but if you are craving for one, you would not be disappointed! The basil was bordering on choking the last time we visited Ban Khun Mae, though it might be shiok for some live-for-spice Singaporeans.
If you are a fishy person, then the Steamed Seabass is a must-order; based on how many tables this dish was on, it was definitely one of the popular choices! The fish came on a specially-shaped metal plate mounted on a burner, so the soy gravy was still bubbling for a good 5 minutes after it was served.
The fish was fresh and free from the fishy taste, though as with all Thai fish, you have to be careful when eating the fish with its skin, since Thais were not known for being good at removing the scales off their fish, even if they were served steamed! We found the chilli spread on top of the fish a tad too much, which totally covered the freshness of the fish (as a rule of thumb, guys, chilli and heavy spices are only to be used for food that are not fresh, i.e. left overnight), till the extent that we removed the chilli!
Pineapple Fried Rice
I tried their Pineapple Fried Rice just for a change. Thai-style fried rice lacked the wok hey that Singapore hawkers tend to give their fried rice, so in general, that was rice coated with pineapple flavours. It was still a sweet treat for the young in the crowd, but I know for sure it wouldn’t be on my ordering list the next time I dine at Ban Khun Mae.
Back in Singapore, we would aim for “young” coconuts like a paedophile and even then, we aren’t guaranteed sweetness of the juice and tenderness of the flesh. In Ban Khun Mae, we were not served “young” coconuts and yet the outcome was heavenly. I was transported to the beach at the first sip of the juice and I felt like the wind was caressing my face when my rolled over the smooth flesh of the nuts.
Mango Sticky Rice (Classic Max!)
Last but not least, a classic Mango Sticky Rice would round off a dinner at Ban Khun Mae. Depending on the season, the mango would come “super sweet” or “sweet”. As an established eatery, their Mango Sticky Rice would not disappoint and would definitely please everyone at the table when served.
Ban Khun Mae is a good old, trustworthy place for superb Thai food, at a price tag of course. If you can afford it, drop by with some friends to indulge in a dining experience that included live music, nostalgic décor and flavour-bursting food!
Ban Khun Mae
4458/6-9 สยามสแควร์ ซอย 8 ถนน พระราม 1 Khwaeng Pathum Wan
Khet Pathum Wan
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand
+66 2 250 1953
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Till then, eat happy and stay wanderlust!
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