We recently had family visiting over the holidays. We wanted to be good hosts, and we wanted to do some things that were different for us, too. After all, how many times does a person really need to see the Grand Palace or Wat Pho? A dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya has been something my gal and I have wanted to do. But neither of particularly enjoy the idea of being on a crowded boat filled with tourists lining up for the buffet (which will have at least a couple of dishes with hot dogs in it), lining up for a bar that serves watery drinks, or to a bathroom that looks like it’s been destroyed. That’s when a friend suggested to me that we check out Supanniga Cruise (official Facebook page).
Unlike the larger dinner cruise lines that patrol the river at night blasting music, Supanniga Cruise offers a 40-seat dinner cruise with soft lounge music setting the mood. Instead of large unappetizing buffets, they offer a 6-course dinner course with the menu pulled from their famous restaurant favorites. Instead of bar queues and watery drinks, Supanniga offers a flute of Taittinger Champagne on arrival and excellent signature cocktails, beers, and wines on their bar menu–which is quickly serviced to your table.
But let’s get right to the food, shall we?
I am not ashamed to admit that I had no idea what an “amuse bouche” was. Basically it’s a little appetizer or as in this case, a pre-appetizer. We began our culinary adventure with a simple Coconut Rice Cake topped with caramelized sweetened coconut shavings and edible gold flake. It’s a good accompaniment with the champagne and a great way to get the appetizer going…
For more appetizers!
Each person was given a selection of three appetizers. A unique appetizer was the Mahor. This was basically minced pork, stir fried with garlic and peanuts, which was set on an orange slice with a bit of chili and coriander. Spice and orange slice…that kicks the tastebuds around a bit.
Another appetizer was the Sreng Wa Pu Pladuk Foo. This bowl consisted of large lumps of Surat Thani crab meat with a floss-like crispy catfish. It was accompanied with a sweet Thai herb dressing that seemed to dissolve the catfish before my eyes.
My personal favorite appetizer was the Kratong Tong. I could eat these ALL day. The appetizer consists of spicy minced chicken (similar to larb) in an edible crispy cup. It came with two. I’d have happily eaten twenty.
After the appetizers we received the soup. We enjoyed the creamy Tom Kha Pla Krapong Mapraow-On. For those who are not familiar with this Thai soup, it’s tender sea bass in a creamy coconut broth with mushrooms, tomatoes, and slices of young coconut meat. It’s topped with coriander and a red chili. I would caution anyone from eating that chili. It’ll fire you up!
With Supanniga Cruise sharing is caring!
The mains were put on larger dishes meant to be shared with everyone at the table. There were five main courses and the portions were perfect for sharing (we were a table of five).
The Pu Ja dish is one of my favorites. Imagine meatballs of seasoned crab meat blended with pork which is stuffed back in the crab shell and steamed until cooked. Yum! Make sure you scrape all that goodness out of the shell!
Moo Cha Muang
This Moo Cha Muang is amazing over rice! This dish is loaded with chunks of tender pork stewed with Thai herbs and Cha Muang leaves. This feels like comfort food, but there’s a lot of flavor there, too.
With my mother-in-law present, this dish seemed appropriate to have on the menu. The Son-in-Law Eggs is a simple dish of fried medium boiled eggs with three-flavor sauce and fried shallots. For me it was the Asian equivalent to “deviled eggs”, so there was no problem having it at the dinner table.
Yum Nue Lai
This Yum Nue Lai dish is made with sliced chewy beef shank that’s tossed with a spicy Thai dressing and garnished with lots of fried garlic. I love those garlic crunchy bits.
Choo Chi Goong
If you’re like me and you love seafood, you can see that I saved the best main to talk about last. Just look at it! This Choo Chi Goong dish is made with giant prawns that are sautéed in a sweet and spicy Thai curry. The prawns are cooked and seasoned perfectly. The sauce is also amazing to mop up with any rice you have left over from the meal!
This was a very uniquely presented Mango and Sticky Rice. The mango is sliced thin and shaped to create a flower. The “flower” rests on a pad of sticky sweet rice, which is surrounded by a thick coconut cream sauce. It’s the perfect size after the large meal, so you don’t overstuff yourself.
After dessert we were offered tea and petits fours (very tiny nibbles to accompany the tea).
A word about drinks….
The drink menu offers some very interesting signature cocktails which range from 320 – 450 baht. These are some pretty serious libations, too. I really enjoyed the When James Bond Visits BKK (320 baht) cocktail. I am a fan of gin and this bay leave infused gin martini was pretty amazing to me.
They also offer a large selection of champagnes, and white and red wines. All can be purchased by bottle with varying prices. However, there’s only one selection available by glass.
How do I find out more and book?
Supanniga Cruise offers both an evening cocktail cruise and a full on dinner cruise (in this review). To find out more about their prices, schedules, and itineraries visit their website.
For my family and I we paid 3,250/person (though they do have a 10% discount for prepayment), and departed the River City Pier #2 at 6:15 pm. The cruise lasted a little over 2 hours, and it was a great way to show my family the sites along the Chao Phraya River which were lit up at night.
If you’re looking for a more intimate dinner cruise with excellent food, drinks, and service I highly recommend Supanniga Cruise.