Not only did our Bangkok hotel, the “U Sukhumvit”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/195116-review-u-sukhumvit, provide a recommendation for an authentic Thai meal, they offered to take us in their complimentary tuk-tuk to “Madam Saranair”:http://www.thaibis.com/a-z/m/madam-saranair.
Arriving at 7pm on a Friday night, we walked through an outdoor eating area to the air-conditioned restaurant. It was already buzzing, particularly with a group of 10 noisy Thais complete with whisky bottle on the table.
The small restaurant only had a few empty tables and most displayed a reserved sign. We got seated and couldn’t help noticing the Thai single man on the adjacent table who appeared to be trenching his way through around six plates of food.
We ordered a couple of sodas whilst perusing the extensive food menus. I kept referring to various dishes (each were photographed and in English) but kept getting grunts back from Roy about not being on the same page, only to find that he had a menu with mainly European dishes. We later found that there is some connection to the Italian restaurant next door, “Big Mama”:https://www.facebook.com/BigMama.pizzeria/, and their menus are interchangeable. We walked back to the hotel and passed a “Big Mama Tapas”:https://www.facebook.com/tapas.bigmama.bangkok/ which we suspect is part of the same outfit too.
The wooden tables were painted shabby chic green, set with plain paper placemats and adorned with tubs of crayons and chillies. The place was well decorated for both Christmas, which had just passed, and the impending New Year.
We ordered spring rolls stuffed with cheese and spinach as a starter, followed by stir-fried chicken in a red curry sauce and noodles with prawns and rice. Unfortunately, all the dishes arrived at once leaving us a rather full table, but still not as full as the man next door, who by now was finishing his meal with a pint of Singha beer.
The spring rolls were long, crisp and delicious and served with a clear, gloopy sauce although I would have preferred a sweet chilli dip. The chicken was very spicy and had lots of aromatic green pepper corns and green leaves with it. The noodles were fine and very tasty with three large prawns. All the dishes came beautifully presented with shredded vegetables and fabulously carved carrot flowers. We were pleased we’d not over ordered and polished off the lot. During our meal, a young trainee waiter delivered small shot glasses of what looked like a fruit juice to all the tables. It was very chilled and tasty with black seeds at the bottom: on enquiring afterwards, we were told it was passion fruit vodka.
Service was good and both friendly and professional with the owner, who turned out to be part Israeli, part British, chatting at all the tables.
The bill arrived in a small wooden box. The lid said it was cash only and that service was not included, but we noticed our bill of 730 Baht (£18.25) included 10% service charge – many Trip Advisor reviews noted this as an issue.
By the time we left, the place was full to the rafters with Thai couples and families enjoying a Friday night treat.