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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Local by Oamthong Review - Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok

The Local by Oamthong - Thai Restuaurant at Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok 

Overall Score  9.5/10
Taste   4.5/5
Ambiance  5/5
Service  5/5
Value   4.5/5

The Local by Oamthong Thai Cuisine on BumRes.com

Recently we have been searching for premium Thai restaurants in Bangkok.  We believe that premium quality Thai food can compete with any other cuisines around the world.  Prior to this, we have gone to the Patara - Fine Thai Cuisine (very impressed) and Bo.lan Essentially Thai (not so impressed).  We also have a plan to go to Nahm @ Metropolitan Hotel.  This review is on the Local by Oamthong Thai Cuisine, which is a name that has been around for about decade.  The first location was named Oamthong, located at the Sukhumvit 33.  About a year ago, they moved to the Sukhumvit 23 and changed the name to the Local by Oamthong Thai Cuisine.  With the name the Local, the owner intended to refer to the locally found herbs and ingredients of Thailand, which are incorporated into the food in the menu.    

The Local by Oamthong converted an aged Thai house into a restaurant.  They built another two story structure to connect to the old house to add more space.  In the classy atmosphere of the front house (first), comprised the private rooms fully decorated with the elements from the time of King Rama V.  There is also a silk shop named Naj collection, a gift shop run by the restaurant owner.  A few tables are outside on the porch of the old house.  The atmosphere of the restaurant is so beautiful and very traditional.  It merely felt like a museum entering the front door of the restaurant to find the reception room that had clay tubs and fishing tools from the past, along with the history of the house and the restaurant on the wall.  Making the way through the house, you will find random things from the past, glass case with ancient royal Thai cookbooks, aged over a century.  Then each private rooms were decorated in accordance to the Thai poems.  The whole set up in this house was very touching.  For me being a Thai person, I even found the setting very astonishing.  Foreign guests will surely love the atmosphere of the Local by Oamthong.  

In terms of the food, the Local by Oamthong @ Sukhumvit 23 serves really rare Thai dishes.  Some of them I had never even heard of, for example Kang Runjuan.  There are not too many items in the menu; quality not quantity.  Sections in the menu were organized different from the western menu; curry, dipping, stir-fried, Yum, boil, etc.  I thought that the food would be really expensive but no, the food cost around 200 - 300 Baht.  You will sure get the top notch service along with the classy atmosphere and authentic dishes. 

In this meal, we began with the combination of five traditional Thai appetizer (250 Baht).  Coming in the platte were Kao soy gai (Crispy noodle with curry), Miang bua luang (Lotus with sweet paste), Yum takrai goong yang (Spicy lemongrass salad with grilled shrimp), Gai hor bai taey (baked chicken in pandan leaf).  We got two of each items, so my friend and I got to try all of them.  Every one of them represented the authenticity of Thai very well.  This appetizer platter is a must try.  You can't miss. 

The second dish to come was the Spicy yellow curry with fish, coconut milk and orange leaves (280 Baht) in Thai is called Kang Nua Pla Bai Som Pan Kee Maa, quite a long name and it is a food name that I have never heard anywhere before.  Well, it was a really delicious curry to have over the jasmine rice.  I was surprised that it was quite spicy, so I asked the staff.  She told me that they make it more spicy for Thai customers.  This curry was served with 10 types of fresh vegetable, to sooth the spicy flavor.  The third dish was the Pad Dok Kajon Sai Kai or Stir fried local flowers with eggs, in this case with squid, shrimp, and glass noodles.  All contexts were great together, had a slightly salty flavor.  This item was recommended by the staffs and will soon be added in the menu.    

The next two dishes weren't as impressive as the earlier dishes.  Thai local river fish with sugarcane, ginger and local's home-made for 30 hours (380 Baht).  I knew that this fish usually have a lot of bones, so I asked the staffs about it.  She told me that the bones are edible, soft from cooking for a long time.  I haven't had this menu for a long time.  This fish was meaty and had a lot of roes. However, the taste was too sweet for me.  The other dish was had was the Kang Runjuan Neau or Tender beef clear curry with Thai herbs (240 Baht).  The name of this menu was so appetizing, so we had to order it.  It came with clear broth, tasted mostly sour and not spicy enough.  I liked the first yellow curry dish much more.  

We finished our classic yet local Thai dinner at the Local by Oamthong with the Combination of Home-made local ice-cream (180 Baht).  In this, we had 3 flavors; coconut milk, Thai tea, and durian; came with sticky rice, cantaloupe, and Lookchub (Thai flour ball in fruit shape).  We loved this dessert. The start and the end of the show were both fantastic. 

The Local - Thai Cuisine by Oamthong at Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok was a Thai restaurant that a Thai person like me can proudly present Thai food to my foreign friends.  Breathtaking atmosphere, friendly service staffs, homely concept, and good quality food.  Most importantly, the price was reasonable.  You can even bring your Thai friends to check it out.  They will like it and they will enjoy the surprises of the rare menus.  

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