| | Je Ngor's Seafood Restaurant Bangkok
Steve: This is another review from 2006. It retains its pertinence I believe for the reason that this seafood chain can be found in several places in Bangkok and is one of the better places for seafood lovers in the city.
JE NGORíS SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
(Bangkok Insurance and YWCA building, floor 11, South Sathorn Road, Bangkok)
I found the time during a mid-day torrential downpour to seek refuge in Je Ngorís Kitchen and Seafood restaurant, on South Sathorn Road.
I had been well intentioned for some time to test the repaste of Je Ngorís offerings, and so it was, that more wet than dry, I ascended on the elevator to the 11th floor location of Je Ngorís restaurant.
At the outset I should make it clear that Je Ngorís is really a chain of restaurants, all bearing the same name, and at various locations around Bangkok.
It may well be that you will find a Je Ngorís more handy to your hotel than the one that Iím about to review, however, I was told by ďFlamĒ, the floor manager at the Sathorn branch, that no matter where you dine, one will find the same menu and standards in operation.
Upon entering the restaurant, it becomes immediately apparent that the Sathorn branch is a very modern set up. The floor to ceiling windows provide wide panoramic views of the nearby environs, although on the afternoon of my visitation, the view was limited to the storm that was erupting outside the windows on the 11th floor.
As for the rest of the set up, well I would describe it as 21st century modern, with a lot of steel, glass and ceramics dominating the dťcor of this large restaurant.
Feeling wet and somewhat miserable, we opted for a warming soup, and ordered Four Coloured Seafood in Hot Soup. Some 10 minutes later a large tureen arrived at our window-side table and when the lid was removed, the liquid was indeed four-coloured, representing in various quarters, red, green, yellow, and white.
Amongst the kaleidoscope of colours I detected prawns, chunks of lobster, filleted fish (that tasted like Sea Bass), lemon grass segments, scallions, crab meat, bean shoots, chilli, hot bean paste and some other ingredients and spices that I couldnít quite put a handle on.
At 400 baht for the tureen it was a bargain, as it provided eight serves, thereby working out at 50 baht per serve.
It did just the job that was required, warming our innards and providing sustenance, yet it wasnít overpowering, nor overfilling, which was just as well, as the four of us had once again over-ordered.
Next to arrive at our table was a beautifully steamed sea bass that was covered in chilli, garlic and was swimming in a tangy lemon sauce.
At 500 baht, this once again represented a bargain, and the four diners soon demolished this beautifully-tasting fish with the tangy, but not over-powering ingredients.
A recovery interval of some 10 minutes soon elapsed before another of the selections arrived, this being baked river lobster with glass noodles in an oyster sauce. Priced at 1350 baht, it wasnít cheap, but lobster dishes seldom are, however, the price will be determined by the diner as most of the crustaceans on the menu are priced by weight.
Ours came in at 1.1 kilos, and provided three servings each for the four of us and every bit of the lobster was finished with much ďoohingĒ and ďaahingĒ interspersed with the mouthfuls of the soft white textured flesh that had been baked to perfection and the ingredients being absolutely complementary to such an outstanding menu item.
From the mighty on the menu to the humble was the order of the next dish, as deep fried chicken with cashew nuts arrived on a hot platter, all sizzling and spitting and at 195 baht, once again it came into the bargain category.
This dish can be found at almost any Thai or Chinese restaurant in Bangkok, and this one did not disappoint. The chicken had been rolled in rice flour then quickly deep fried, before the adding of rice wine, sesame paste, scallions, cashew nuts, and finished off with Chinese red vinegar. It was a palate cleansing dish that pleased all at the table and it was noted down for a further order on our next visit to Je Ngorís.
Finally we had something that was not entirely from the salt or fresh waters of Thailand, when the mixed minced pork and prawn with Minoza in spicy sauce arrived at the table.
Priced at only 280 baht, it Ė like a couple of the previous dishes - definitely fitted into the bargain category.
The dish consisted, as the name suggested, of finely minced pork mixed with fresh water prawns, interspersed with Minoza, accompanied by a sauce made up of chilli, lime juice, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Throughout the meal we had steamed jasmine rice to accompany all the courses, and we limited our drinks to Tiger ale and Oolong tea, with the tea pot refilled three times during our luncheon.
This cheap and tasty dish was the fitting end to a superb meal in an equally superb restaurant.
The monsoonal rains were still belting against the floor to ceiling windows as I signed the Amex bill, and we thanked the staff and the manager for a wonderful dining experience, before traveling down the elevator and navigating down a flooded South Sathorn Road.
SUMMARY: Je Ngorís Kitchen and Seafood Restaurant can be found at several locations around Bangkok. Look in the English phone directory for other locations. Je Ngorís provides top class seafood at reasonable prices. It accepts all the usual plastic cards. A childrenís menu is available. It is open for lunch from 11.30 and for dinner from 5 pm seven days a week.
SCORE: Food 8/10; ambience 5/10; hygiene 7/10; service 8/10; value for money 8/10. Total: 36/50.
VERDICT: For seafood lovers, Je Ngorís represents good seafood, good service, good value for money, and good views (on a fine day). All in all - a good restaurant.
COST: Food, rice and tea, 2510 baht (627 baht per person).
Drinks: Four large Tiger Ales at 120 baht each, 480 baht.
Surcharges: 10% service and 7% Vat.
Grand total: 2936 baht (734 per person).
Footnote: The bill could have been greatly reduced had not one of our diners ordered the lobster. If lobster is not ordered, I have calculated that the cost per person for four courses would be in the vicinity of 450 baht per person, which indeed represents great value for money.