Selecting the best street food joint to try your hand at authentic local cuisine can be a tricky business, especially if you are a first time visitor. I often research online to get a fair idea of what food joints backpackers, travelers and expats are endorsing, and quite often, I stumble upon pure gems. Suda Potchana or Suda Restaurant (my best guess is, that it is named after the owner), as it is referred to, was one such gems I discovered near BTS Asoke (it’s Bangkok Mass Transit System or simply put, their metro), off Sukhumvit Soi 14.
I was roaming the streets of Sukhumvit Soi one evening, when I saw a large crowd of expats sitting outside an almost run down, simple food joint, enjoying chilled beer and extremely aromatic Thai food. I was intrigued. I looked around the jam packed place and realized I couldn’t spot locals here, unless they were accompanied by what looked like backpackers or travelers. It took me a while to find the name of the place… I picked up the menu lying careless on one of the tables. Noting the address carefully, I decided to give it try over the weekend…
And try we did over the weekend, and till date Suda remains my favourite food joint in Bangkok. We have all heard the saying, too many cooks spoil the broth… here I felt like too many dishes confused the diner! It’s a long menu… and the prices are such, that we have often ordered, almost carelessly, for the hungry, greedy foodie in me wants to taste everything! Everything! Yes, the restaurant is that reasonable.
A few highly recommended dishes:
- Spring Rolls
- Red & Green Thai curry
- Phat si Ew (io) – the best I have had so far
- Som Tom Salad
- Squid with garlic and pepper
- Snapper in tamarind sauce
- Stir-fried tofu and veggies
- Papaya Salad with shrimps
- Tom Yum Kung
- Fried Pork
- Chicken with Basil and Chilli
- Try fresh coconut, if you don’t want alcohol
- Thai Whiskey, if you are an adventurous drinker!
- Thai Mango sticky rice
Why should you go there: Authentic food and Ambience! The first time I went to Suda, what amazed me was they had really dingy pastic chairs, wooden tables that shook, you would see an occasional stray cat moving through the tables, the muggy night getting to you… and yet, the minute you tasted your first morsel, voila, your mood suddenly changes. The chilled beer and the spices engulf you. Some of the dishes are as authentic as it could get! Lastly, vegetarians can have a blast here… they can give you a large variety of no meat, no fish, no eggs choice of thai dishes you may have ever seen!
Of course, my last visit, I realized they have cleaned up the place a bit, chairs are replaced, and the place now looks more like a road-side coffee shop! And yet, the food remains as good as ever! And most importantly, it’s good bang for the buck! I wish I had some pictures to upload… but hey, it’s not about the looks, it’s about the taste!
How much will it cost me: A dinner for two can cost anywhere between US $20 to US$40. And it will be an elaborate meal, alcohol included!
Verdict: Drop the air-conditioned, fancy restaurants, and go find Suda… you won’t be disappointed. If at all there is a negative to this place, it is the fact that at times, the waitresses are a little annoying, and the service is slow. You have to make an effort, real effort to catch the attention of the server… they are just that busy! But hey, good things don’t come easy!
Address: 6/12 Soi Phraek Samakkhi Bangkok 10110