Bangkok is becoming a yearly quick trip for us. Last year, we managed to hit Or Tor Kor Market, Let Them Eat Cake, Som Tum Nua and more but Soul Food Mahanakorn eluded us. First it was fully booked out and on another night, it was closed for a private function.
This time around, determined not to give it a miss again, I made an email reservation a week in advance. When we arrived, I could see why reservations were hard to score on a weekend night at this small cosy establishment.
We were first to arrive for dinner and were lucky to get seated right by the window. The concise menu fits on a two-sided A4 sheet. Truth is, sometimes I’m glad restauranteurs keep it tight for fickle-minded eaters like yours truly.
For starters, defintely go for the Yum Hua Plee. The latter was my favourite salad on the entire trip. Slices of banana flowers served with grilled chicken in a sweet-sourish dressing. Extremely appetising. We also ordered the Southern Thai Samosas that came with a mint yoghurt dip which were above average but isn’t unexpectedly good like the Yum Hua Plee.
To share, we ordered the Khao Soi – egg noodles served in a curry coconut beef gravy, topped with crispy noodles. Our very first bowl of Khao Soi was at The Local the night before. The Local uses fresh egg noodles and that’s almost always what makes all the difference but Soul Food’s curry gravy was so damn good. We’re today, Khao Soi converts. The Hubbs resisted ordering a second portion because I insisted we try something else. Hah.
Sticky Tamarind Ribs were my mom’s absolute favourite. Tender pork ribs served in a tamarind glaze with caramelised pineapple chutney. Sweet, sourish, fall-off-the-bones tender pork ribs. Another must-order.
We also had a Burmese style curry, Gaeng Hang Lay, with chunks of fatty pork belly. One can’t go too wrong with braised pork belly.
And in place of the second portion of Khao Soi, the Hubbs picked the Lamb Grapow. Australian-flown minced lamb (not that i can tell the difference) stir-fried with the holy trinity of garlic, basil and chili, served with rice and of course, a fried egg. To be very honest, don’t bother ordering this if you know where else to get your fix at one fifth the price. I’ve had Moo Sab Pad Grapow (minced pork version) at some roadside store that was equally delightful.
We left Soul Food Mahanakorn very pleased tummies and declared it the best meal of the trip. My mom who guards her endorsements like they were made of gold was in agreement and started thinking about how she could recreate those sticky tamarind ribs.
Oh btw, our party of four aren’t quite into alcohol but I hear their cocktails don’t skimp on the alkie and are pretty yummy to boot.
Soul Food Mahanakorn
56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lor) Thailand
+66 85 904 2691
Opening hours: 5.30pm to midnight daily
Best to make a reservation especially for weekends
Or email them 2 weeks in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org for a reservation
Photos by Adrian C Photography