Traditional Issan Food in Bangkok0
Madame Langsuan (previously known as Madame Krok) is a popular Thai restaurant on Langsuan Road, where Issan food is prepared authentically and sold at very good value prices. The dining room is clean and bright thanks to the second storey location and floor-to-ceiling windows, while the service is brisk but friendly.
Now occupying the second floor of Portico Lifestyle Mall, you can walk from Chit Lom BTS Station in a couple of minutes and, surrounded by several hotels and serviced apartments, this is a great option for a regular but consistently good meal in the area. In fact, visitors to Bangkok lucky enough to stumble on Madame Langsuan often make it their regular restaurant for lunch or dinner.
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The menu runs through the complete range of Issan dishes (the north-eastern region of Thailand) from spicy salads, soups, fried dishes, meats and fish. We have heard that the pad Thai is very good here, but we usually go more authentic and take on the classic dishes for which the north-east is famed:
The papaya salad (som tam – 60 baht) is a ‘must try’: this classic Issan dish is probably the most popular food in Thailand. There are several varieties available at Madame Langsuan but we will just cover two: ‘som tam Thai’, which comes without fermented fish sauce, and ‘som tam boo bala’ with the pungent, salty fish sauce – this is as real as Thai food can be, but be careful because the smell of the ‘bala’ is enough to put some people off their food. The ingredients are all at the height of freshness due to the large quantity of dishes they sell here. Shredded young papaya is lovely and crunchy, with tomatoes, green beans, peanuts, chilli and lime.
The grilled chicken (gai yang – 90 baht) is served as a thigh and leg, on the bone, and smashed into four pieces. The meat is very succulent and comes with a fiery and smoky dipping sauce. The fried liver (tab waan – 70 baht) is another classic dish, served with lime, chilli, burnt rice crisps for texture and assorted herbs. The liver is sliced thin and is very fresh so even foreign guests unaccustomed to eating offal can enjoy this gamey-tasting dish. For a soup dish, consider the spicy pork rib soup (tom saap) which has similarities to the more famous tom yum soup but with big chunks of pork rib to enjoy.
Since moving to this new location in mid-2015, Madame Langusan has now put more of a focus on their drinks menu, with several imported beers and wines available, such as Hoegaarden and Paulaner. After your meal, head out to the large balcony and enjoy a drink while watching the neighbourhood vibe of Langsuan Road below you.
Madame Langsuan is a local Thai joint that appeals to locals because of the quality of the Thai food yet keeps everything clean and classy so even the pickiest of tourists will be pleasantly surprised.
- Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00
- Location: 2nd floor, Portico Mall, Langsuan Road
- BTS: Chit Lom
- Tel: +66 (0)2 652 2424
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