| | Queen Of Curry
We asked the concierge at the Shangri La one evening if he could recommend a good Thai restaurant not too distant from the hotel as it was raining heavily at the time. He suggested Queen Of Curry which we had passed on our daily traverses from the hotel.
I recalled that it didn’t look too appealing from the outside.
Pang, the concierge said “it used to be rated number one on Tripadvisor”. Well that remark almost put me off totally. Over the years Tripadvisor ratings for hotels and restaurants haven’t always colluded with my variant views on the two.
We dithered around for a while trying to think what we should do for dinner. Finally, with a break in the ominous weather we trudged up the alley way between the hotel and the Bangrak Street Market where the Queen Of Curry is located.
Upon entering the premises we soon discovered that we were the only patrons on the wet and very humid night.
We were quickly seated and presented with menus, whilst I ordered a Heineken and the Shopper Girl an orange juice.
Looking around the restaurant it became apparent that it was about as basic as a city restaurant can be. Formica tables, tubular lighting that was on the point of being glaring, hard formica chairs, one ply paper napkins and a very loud air conditioner.
After the drinks were served and the menu perused, we ordered a yellow curry for your correspondent and a green panaeng curry for the Shopper Girl with a serving of jasmine rice.
The Heineken was cold and it went down quickly so I ordered another whilst the Shopper Girl sipped daintily on her orange juice which she said was barely chilled.
With us being the only patrons service of the dishes was extremely swift and within 10 minutes of ordering both curries and the rice dish were deposited on the table by a lady with a pleasant disposition and smile and who I discerned was probably the proprietor.
We shared the curries and firstly I found the yellow curry to be flavoursome, somewhat sweet but with a resilient fire that left a slight numbness on the lips and a slightly fiery esophagus.
Nonetheless the dish which consisted of chicken pieces which were thankfully not overcooked and were tender to the bite, cubed potatoes, sliced red capsicum and cherry tomatoes, that was dressed with kaffir lime leaves, fresh coriander and some bean shoots.
The curry was sluice of spices that included turmeric, palm sugar, fish sauce and some other ingredients that I couldn’t quite identify due to the fiery nature of the dish. However, importantly, we both enjoyed the yellow curry and gave it good marks.
We had asked for Jasmine rice for an accompaniment but were served instead plain steamed white rice.
The green curry was also very spicy. The steaming bowl of curry came to table with pieces of chicken, baby corn, sliced onions, Thai eggplants and the ingredients were swimming in a green verdant sauce redolent of the ingredients that had gone into it at the beginning of the cooking process. The bowl was dressed with Thai basil and the ubiquitous bean shoots which seem to be the default topping for most Thai dishes these days.
We gave the green curry equal marks to the earlier devoured yellow curry. For one of the few times in recent years I was amazingly in agreement with the high rating on Tripadvisor. Why were there so few patrons? Bangkok at the time had a dearth of visitors as the military coup had been enacted only a month before our arrival in the city and most of the hotels had closed down complete wings due to the avalanche of cancellations. Secondly, the monsoonal rains would not have helped either, as when we exited the restaurant the Bangrak Market had hardly any punters and all of the stalls were covered in plastic and tarpaulins.
Overall we were very happy with the concierge’s recommendation of Queen Of Curry, to the extent we went there several nights later for another hit out.
SUMMARY: Queen Of Curry is at 49 Charoenkrung Road, Bangrak. It is a brilliant refuge from the nearyby 5* hotels and their extraordinarily high prices of their particular restaurants. It doesn’t take credit cards or for that matter reservations. It is unprepossessing from the outside and inside it is even less inspiring. However, for fair dinkum, tasty, reasonably priced Thai cuisine, this restaurant ticks all of the boxes. Don't be put off by either the outside or the inside. The food is thing here and it is very, very good.
COST: 1 x yellow curry, 110 baht; 1 x green curry, 110 baht; 1 x bowl of plain steamed white rice, 45 baht; 3 x Heineken beers at 95 baht each, 2 x orange juices at 55 baht each. TOTAL: 660 baht which at the time equated to $AUD22.
SCORE: Value for money, 9/10; food, 8/10; service 7/10; ambience, 3/10: TOTAL: 27/40.