Soei Restaurant (unofficial Facebook page) creates the most intensely flavorful Thai food dishes that I have ever experienced. Good friends recently introduced my partner and I to this foodie gem for a “Sunday Funday” get together. This is a place best experienced with a group of friends so that you can try their wide variety of wonderful dishes. It was very fortunate that my friend knew just what to order to get the best of their menu experience. Our first dish immediately woke up the taste buds and set the tempo for an intensely flavorful Thai meal!
Wake those taste buds up!
We started our meal with a spicy Thai prawn ceviche dish that Soei Restaurant upped a flavor notch by also adding wasabi. Wow! If you’re a fan of Thai style prawn ceviche, then this Wasabi Prawn Ceviche (Goong Cha Naam Pla) will blow your mind!
It has all the garlic fire flavor of Thai prawn ceviche but the wasabi brings it up another notch in intensity. It’s not as spicy as you would expect, either. Rather the wasabi “fuel” flavor hits those taste buds that the spicy chillies miss. This is an intensely flavorful dish that we found for some reason also served as a palate cleanser. After trying new dishes we would return to this dish to perform a taste bud “reset”. We next enjoyed Soei Restaurant’s most famous and must try dish, fried mackerel cheeks!
The most famous dish of Soei Restaurant!
You will find that many of the signature dishes on the menu at Soei Restaurant use mackerel. When it comes to this friend from the sea, NOTHING is wasted. In fact, their most famous dish is the Fried Mackerel Cheeks (Kaem Pla Too Tod). Extremely popular, it must be ordered in advance and only one serving is allowed per table.
I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this dish or not, but I’ll try anything once. I expected this to be very fishy tasting but I couldn’t have been more wrong! The mackerel heads have their jaws and eyes removed (making it easier to eat). What is left is thin crispy skin, bits of cheek meat, and crunchy thin bones that are fried with lots of garlic and salt. It’s an excellent snack with cold beer, and the perfect potato chip substitute for pirates. You can’t eat just one!
Something from the farm…
Not everything we had came from the sea. We also enjoyed a Thai omelet and a couple of pork dishes. The omelet dish was an amazing combination of tastes. It offered a creamy, runny yolk, salty fish sauce, fresh herbs, garlic, onion, and spices. The simple grilled pork dish was very flavorful with a smoky, teriyaki-like sauce. A more interesting pork dish, was the Stir Fried Pork Trimmings with Basil and Chili (Kak Moo Pad Ka Prao). It’s basically crackling pork skin that soaks up the sweet, spicy, and savory sauce with crinkly Thai Holy Basil Leaves and a bit of fiery chili.
You’ll notice that many of these dishes make fine accompaniments to large ice cold beers. This is no coincidence…and I have no regrets. It’s called a “Sunday Funday” for a reason.
Holy mackerel! A fire show!
After the pork we returned to ordering from the seafood section of the menu. This Mackerel Tom Yum Soup (Tom Yum Pla Too) dish was brought to us, and once lit produced the most impressive flame! This is definitely not a dish to be served in low ceilinged dining rooms or near curtains. Of all the dishes, this was actually the most spicy. However, the spice is very manageable and is well tempered by the kaffir lime leaves and meaty chunks of mackerel filets. Nothing was left but a small pile of kaffir lime leaves when we finished this dish.
Just a little more mackerel…
I know, I know…it looks like we overdid it with the mackerel. However, each mackerel dish that we had was completely different. The heads were salty and garlicky, the Tom Yum soup was spicy and sour, and this dish of Mackerel in Coconut Milk Curry (Chu Chee Pla Too) was sweet and creamy with thin strips of kaffir lime leaf that gave it just the slightest punch of fresh citrus. However, we decided to end the meal with something new.
And now for something completely different.
For our final dish we ordered Curried Soft Shelled Crab (Pu Pad Pong Garee). It was very mild with large chunks of soft meaty crab, mixed veggies, and a gravy of delicious curry and delicate egg. A fantastic finish to our amazing meal!
It’s the new Soei Restaurant!
Soei Restaurant recently relocated due to BTS station construction. It no longer has that interesting view of passing trains. However it now has air conditioned inside dining available (with more room for guests) as well as a larger kitchen to be able to get the food out faster. That means it’s comfortable to eat here all year round and gone are the days of 2 hour waits for your food. Despite the change in location, what has not changed is the incredible food. They still offer intensely flavorful dishes with incredibly inexpensive prices. For folks wanting to try amazing Thai food, this place should be on your radar to check out!
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