Poj Spa Karn (โภจน์สภาคาร) @ Tanao Road Bangkok – Oldies but goodies (revisit)

This is the second time I have been back to this ancient restaurant and I had to write about it again because the food is still good. I am not going to overrate this place as not all food are that great, some are normal food that you can find anywhere and there isn’t any bad tasting food that we could not finish for sure. But for the price and the tastes of some of its dishes, it definitely worth come back again.

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Needless to say, this is one of the oldest restaurant in Bangkok, by now its probably more that 80 years old. The location is hard to spot for non-Thai folks as the sign outside is in Thai.

The restaurant itself is very tiny with a few seats and it looks like tourists are finding their way to the restaurant also, so they have a tourish picture menu also. Mind you, this is not a tourist restaurant, the food is as original as it gets. The original owner don’t cook anymore and I popped over at the cooking station and saw some young ladies cooking instead. However, they kept with the recipe, taste and style well, it seems.

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This dish called “Pong Ma Wee” is really deep fried fish pieces (I believe its grouper) hidden by lots of deep fried kale and mayonnaise. This is not a royal cuisine but probably a new invention. Personally, I find the one at Suntawa the best, although they used duck instead, but unfortunately that restaurant is closed now. However, I still recommend this dish as the mayo, fried kale and fish works very well together as an appetizing dish.

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Mee Grob (or crispy noodles) is the star of the show. So much so that we ordered two servings after wolfing down the first one. The noodles was fried light and crispy mixed together with a tangy sweet and sour sauce, makes this one of the best mee grob in town. Eat it with the accompanying raw vegetable balances the sweet and sour notes with an additional refreshing crunch.

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The Fried grouper meat in black pepper is one of the recommended dish but I thought is was just normal, nothing to rave about.

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Gaeng LIang is a herbal vegetable soup, which is common in Thai food stalls. However, this is one of my recommendation as the soup here was rich, aromatic, full of ingredients and appetizing at the same time. Sorry I took this photo after all the soup was dished out.

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Gaeng Som Cha Om Kai (or spicy tamarind soup with leguminosae omelette) is a spicy tamarind soup. One of the best gaeng som cho om kai around; its spicy, sour and flavorful and the omelette was light and soaks up the soup very well. Cha Om is a sort of fern like vegetable that is common in Thai cooking. Another recommended dish.

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This is a red curry with chicken (I think). I didn’t think too much of this as the curry lacks depths and coconut flavor.

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Yum Tua Poo (or wing bean salad) is a staple salad in many Thai restaurants, although most people would order papaya or mango salad. It has more coconuty sweetness, not too spicy but with a sour note, compared to the Issan papaya salad. Cannot find any faults in this dish; its a pretty common taste, although some restaurant over do on the sweetness which makes it horrible. Theirs tasted just right.

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A surprise was the dry green curry. Instead of coconut milk, butter was added. So the green curry has an interesting buttery and coconut taste to it, but att the same time, it is not too sweet like some out there.

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This is the Poj Spa Kar Salad (or in-house salad, I guess). Basically, its a typical seafood salad but mixed in with some nuts. An appetizing and well-balanced salad.

As I said before, there are hits and misses in this restaurant, but the hits are the ones that keep people coming back for more. If you have a large group, its best to call in for reservation since the restaurant space is pretty small, although I am not sure if the staff speaks other languages than Thai. The other reasons you want to call them, whether or not you are making reservations, is to check if they are opened for business. Being a family run place, the opening hours can be erratic. So just to be sure, ask your Thai friend or the hotel concierge to check if the restaurant is open on the day you want to visit.

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