Two-year-old Supanigga, esconced in a 3-storey shophouse along Thonglor must be one of the best, if not *the* best, Thai restaurants in Bangkok at the moment. The challenge for me on holiday in Bangkok is to find a Thai restaurant to bring my Thai-Chinese Bangkokian relatives & friends (they'd already given both Nahm and Sukhothai the "thumbs-down" as "farang" hangouts) for a family Sunday lunch. Fussy aunts who dissect the dishes served for style of cooking and correctness of ingredients used by a certain restaurant had always been a source of trepidation for me. Which is why I was SO glad that a cousin recommended this place which she and her friends quite liked. So, Supanniga it is. What we had:
- "Hor Mok Puu": steamed curried mousse with giant Surat Thani lump crab-meat. Very tasty, but spicy. The generously-sized lump crab meat inserted into each of the spicy, creamy custard was deliciously sweet.
- "Ma Hor": caramelised minced pork-peanuts, served in mandarin orange slices. "Ma Hor" (ม้าห้อ), literally translated to Galloping Horses - a tribute to King Rama VII's equestrian excellence. Usually, the sticky, sweet pork is served atop sliced pineapples, but Supanigga's chefs did a mandarin orange version instead.
- Crisp-fried chicken wings: Very tasty smallish chicken wings. Perfect accompaniment to beer, I must say.
- "Puu Ja": minced crabmeat and pork, steamed in crab-shells. Tasty version here, although I always found this dish a bit too greasy for my taste.
- "Yum Neau Lai": spicy beef shank salad. A garlicky oil complimented the spicy dressing, and the grilled, well-marbled beef shank was meltingly soft.
- "Mara Toon Yud Sai" soup: bitter melons stuffed with minced pork and glass noodles in clear pork broth. The Thais, like the Chinese, accepted the taste of bitterness in their food, and this classic rendition of a very traditional soup is done perfectly.
- "Pla Too Tod Man Pla": fresh, wok-fried Thai mackerel in premium fish sauce. A simple but very traditional dish, and much depends on the freshness of the fish used and the quality of the fish sauce ("nam pla") must be exceptional for the dish to shine. In this case, the overall dish came through beautifully.
- "Son-in-Law Eggs": boiled then fried duck-eggs, served with tamarind-palm sugar sauce and garnished with crisp, golden-fried shallots. This is another very simple dish, often prepared at home, The duck's egg yolks must be molten in the centre. Great rendition here.
- "Gaeng Ki Lek Nue Yang": Thai spicy curry of grilled beef, coconut milk, and young "ki lek" flowers. The slightly bitter-ish, astringent "ki lek" flowers lent a unique but addictive taste to the rich-flavoured beef curry.
- Issan beef steak, served with grilled sweet glutinous rice. I loved the grilled glutinous rice to bits: it was solft and yielding in the centre, and perfectly-crisped on the outside. I'd thought the richness came from coconut milk used to cook the slightly-sweet glutinous rice, but my Thai friends explained that no coconut milk was added in this typical Isaan dish, but the moulded "popsicles" of glutinous rice were dipped into beaten eggs before being grilled, resulting in the rich flavour.
- Surat Thani lump crab meat stir-fried with yellow peppers and yellow chilli paste. This was a seasonal specialty - colossal lumps of crab-meat (the Surat Thani crab has much sweeter and tastier flesh than the Sri Lankan crabs we're get in Singapore) were accompanied by a heavily curried Southern Thai-style dressing. I wouldn't have minded a lighter curry to let the sweetness of the crab-meat to shine through, but that's a minor quibble for an excellent dish.
This has to be the best Thai restaurant (for locals) in Bangkok at the moment - perfectly-balanced flavours, superbly fresh ingredients and a wide selection of traditional dishes to choose from.
Supanniga Eating Room
160/11 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor)
Tel: +66 27147508