Relax in Supanniga Eating Room — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Thanaruek Laoraowirodge is no stranger to good food. The energetic owner of Supanniga Eating Room is one of the owners of the popular Isaan northeastern eatery Somtum Der, which not only has set up shop in Bangkok, but now also has a branch in New York.
While most new restaurants in trendy Thong Lor have opened avant-garde or fusion-focused spots, Laoraowirodge decided to focus on sustainability and tradition. The menu pays homage to his late grandmother and the recipes he grew up with, made in her home in Trat, on Thailand's eastern seaboard.
Succulent shrimp is on the menu — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
The quaint three-story shophouse on Thong Lor is easy to miss; it looks so small from the outside/ But once through the doors, you'll find it's a relaxing and homey spot, probably a recreation of what grandma's kitchen was all about.
The menu is extensive here, and it has many hard-to-find, old-school recipes that will have you ready to come back before you've even left!
The absolute standout that one can see on just about every diner's plate is the moo chamuang, a stewed pork stew dish made with leaves from the Guttiferae tree and Thai herbs. It's so tender and filled with flavor that you'll be begging for more rice to soak up all the juice.
Even more amazing is the most plain looking dish you'll ever come across – ka lum tod nam pla – which, although it might sound fancy, is basically a plate of cabbage.
You wouldn't believe cabbage could taste this good — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
But, oh, what a cabbage it is! It's stir fried up with a super high-grade fish sauce from Trat Province that makes it taste unlike any other cabbage you've ever had.
Other interesting items include the choo chi gung prawns with spicy curry and the poo jah, a combination of crabmeat and pork with seasonings that are steamed inside of a crab shell. Worth trying, too, is the yam pla salid, a crispy leaf fish salad that's topped with a sublime mix of spices, lime and lemongrass.
A cozy night out at Supanniga Eating Room — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Not only is there great food at Supanniga Eating Room, but there are also some perfectly made cocktails to go along with the dishes as well. There are house special creations like longan fruit mojitos or Thai variations on martinis, led by lychee martinis, absinthe sour martinis and the Isaan martini, which uses infused lemongrass vodka, lemongrass juice and roasted rice with kaffir lime, almost a meal in and of itself.
While the Thong Lor neighborhood is the undisputed king of trendy and chic eating, it can get pretty pretentious, not to mention stupidly expensive at times. So it's a relief to find a spot that is easy on the vibe and the pocket, yet most certainly satisfying to the palate.