If you’re in Bangkok and searching for a savory traditional Thai buffet dining right beside the scenic Chao Phraya River, then head to the Sala Rim Naam Restaurant of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.
The Sala Rim Naam Restaurant features an elaborate, traditional Thai-style house with wooden interiors, surround by white colonial-style buildings and a lush tropical garden right beside the Chao Phraya River. In fact, the term ‘Sala Rim Naam’ translates in Thai to ‘Pavilion by the Water’, a fitting name given the restaurant’s lush riverside location.
Located right across the Chao Phraya River opposite the main buildings of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Sala Rim Naam offers an excellent view of Bangkok’s prime historical and business districts.
The restaurant features an air-conditioned Thai-style wooden hall, and offers traditional Thai buffets for lunch on a daily basis. Diners are able to enjoy the cool, relaxed atmosphere within the restaurant, combined with the extensive array of Thai foods and sweets being offered.
During Thailand’s annual ‘hot’ season (March-May) and Songkran (traditional Thai New Year) Festival in mid-April, the restaurant offers a very special traditional Thai treat known as the ‘Khao Chae’, which consists of rice in chilled jasmine-scented water accompanied by an array of savory traditional condiments such as stuffed jalapeno peppers covered with delicate webs of egg omelettes, stuffed shallots, shredded crispy dried sweetened beef or pork, and many more.
The ‘Khao Chae’ is indeed an all time traditional Thai favorite during the annual ‘hot’ season which typically begins around mid-March and lasts until approximately mid-May when the rainy monsoon finally arrives. Below is a typical ‘Khao Chae’ set consisting of rice in chilled aromatically scented water, accompanied by multiple savory condiments.
The restaurant also offers plenty of other traditional Thai dishes and hot entrees such as fried rice, roast duck in tamarind sauce, steamed egg custards, curry stews, grilled satays, spring rolls, spicy Thai fish cakes (“Hor Mok”), ‘tom yum’ soups, and many more.
For more adventurous-minded diners, a wide array of spicy traditional Thai chilli pastes (“nam priks”) are offered along with fresh and steamed vegetables which are typical accompaniments to these aromatic yet spicy pastes. Note: Thais normally enjoy these chili pastes (“nam priks”) along with fresh or steamed/boiled vegetables and rice.
The restaurant also features an extensive dessert station with a special emphasis on traditional Thai treats.
Among my favorite Thai desserts are the following selections, all on offer at the restaurant:
1. The “Khao Niew Ma Muang” or mango with sticky rice infused with slightly sweetened coconut cream. This dessert is a big hit among Thais not only during the hot season, but year-round!
2. The “Khao Niew Sangkaya” or sweet coconut/egg custards atop sticky rice infused with coconut cream. These savory desserts are among Thailand’s perennial favorites.
3. Favorite Thai pancake duo: The “Khanom Krok”, or sweet round moist pancakes made of slightly sweetened coconut milk, coconut cream, and flour, often garnished in the interior with chopped onion greens, corn, or taro tidbits. Another perennial Thai favorite is the “Khanom Buang” or crispy folded pancakes with sweet fillings such as sweetened egg threads and coconut meat.
To avoid Bangkok’s heavy traffic, one can reach the Sala Rim Naam Restaurant via the BTS Skytrain. Disembark at the Saphan Taksin station, which is right adjacent to the Sapan Taksin river pier, from where you can ride the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s free river shuttle system to the restaurant, which is located on the Thonburi (opposite) side of the Chao Phraya River.
During the free river ride to the restaurant, you will be able enjoy great views along the Chao Phraya River, definitely an added treat! Here’s a view of the Sala Rim Naam Restaurant (Thai-style building with green roofing) seem from afar during my river shuttle ride:
More views of buildings in Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River:
For more information about the Sala Rim Naam Restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, please visit the following link:
Happy dining, wherever you are in Thailand, and around the world!
Lat (Ratasit C.)