Amarin Plaza is a bit of a hidden gem in the Bangkok food court scene; it is surrounded by some of the biggest shopping malls in the city and yet it is consistently packed as a favourite lunchtime spot for locals in the know. Despite the fierce competition nearby, hungry customers are lured into Amarin’s ‘The Cook’ food court day after day thanks to tasty food and clean surroundings at unbeatable prices. It’s a simple strategy that works!
Located on the fourth floor of Amarin Plaza shopping mall, it’s easy to access thanks to a skywalk that links Chit Lom BTS Station to the shopping center. The food court is well designed with lots of space between the four cooking ‘islands’ and banks of stalls lining the walls either side. It’s also very bright and inviting thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the skywalk below and give diners an interesting view of city life rushing by – it’s certainly more interesting than watching Thai soap operas on the overhead television screens.
Justifying its popularity, the food served at Amarin food court offers delicious and authentic Thai dishes at a fraction of the price of restaurants nearby. Indeed, it’s possible to get a meal and drink for under 50 baht. But the most important consideration is ‘what are you going to eat?’
Noodles – be it in a soup or fried – offer a quick and easy meal that is typical of a food court meal in Bangkok. In Amarin’s The Cook you will find several speciality noodle stalls, such as the pad Thai stall, and others for pork, beef or fish noodle soup. Simply point at your type of noodle from the display cabinet and your type of meat or meat ball and enjoy a true taste of Thailand. Rad Na is another interesting noodle option that is made with either soft wide noodles (sen yai) or crispy fried noodles (mee grob) and has a thick gravy sauce spooned over pork or seafood.
Healthy options include ‘suki’ (short for sukiyaki), a Thai take on the Japanese classic – a variety of green vegetables stir fried with mushrooms and your choice of chicken, pork or seafood, and the vegetarian stall is very popular with a massive selection of pre-cooked dishes on display to mix-and-match. If you are a seafood fan, look out for Prantalay, a stall serving up several dishes based around a squid, shrimp, fish and mussel combination. A particular favourite of ours is the fried basil. There are also three cook-to-order stalls, which have a menu of around ten dishes, including tom yum soup, meat fried in yellow curry and chicken with cashew nut on rice – perfect for the undecided amongst you.
Remember that the stalls don’t accept cash payment here; instead you have to exchange cash for a stored value card that is used to purchase your meal and can then be returned to collect any unused credit. Unlike some other food courts, credit must be used or returned on the day of purchase otherwise it is lost.
From 12:00-14:00 hoards of people flood out from the surrounding offices and the queues can become quite extreme with pretty much every table full. The line snakes it way back towards the edge of the food court, but the speed of the cashiers is a sight in itself. Working in pairs, one lady takes and scans your card while another counts out the money with the speed and dexterity of a croupier. In the late afternoon, you will see the open-plan seating area fill up with private tuition classes and offers an interesting glimpse into everyday Bangkok life.
Amarin Food Court
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 19:00
- BTS: Chit Lom
- Address: 496-502 Ploenchit Road, Bangkok
- Tel: + 66 (0) 2 650 4704