It might seem controversial, but one of the best Thai restaurants in the city is run by an American. Soul Food Mahanakorn serves up popular regional dishes in the cosy wood-lined restaurant on Thong Lor, only five minutes’ walk from the BTS. If you are looking for a great evening with delicious food and no pretentions then this is the place to go.
It can be easy to miss Soul Food restaurant as you walk along Thong Lor as the frontage blends into the other shop-houses along this stretch of the street. From the BTS it is only a five-minute walk - just look out for the warm glow that seems to spill out onto the street and the simple swinging wooden board signage with gold lettering. Inside is just as cosy, with the dining area split over two levels.
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On the ground floor you will find the bar, so if you fancy just coming in for a drink then simply grab a stool here. The restaurant keeps things simple; on each floor the only decor is original artwork depicting the hive of activity that can be found along the alleyways of Bangkok. There is no denying the dedication and love felt for this city and Thailand, and nowhere is that reflected better than in Soul Food’s dishes.
The philosophy of Soul Food is to offer comfort, satisfaction and care when it comes to both food and setting. The menu starts with a selection of bites that make the perfect accompaniment to their strong, tasty cocktails. Issan chicken wings are grilled and served with a side of sweet chilli sauce and syrupy sour naam jim – a blend of chilli, fish sauce, vinegar and sugar. For a snack from Southern Thailand try the crispy samosas, a jumble of chicken and cumin served with mint and yoghurt dip. Be sure to check out their signature drinks list. Among our favourites are bung Bang Fai: tequila, lime, chilli, almond syrup and egg whites served over ice and the Soul Punch, a muddle of Thai whisky, amaretto, guava and passion fruit.
There is plenty to chose from on the main menu, but make sure you also check out the specials. With a focus on fresh local produce, there can often be some unusual Thai specialities on here. What makes the classics like khao soi and massaman curry really stand out is the quality of the ingredients; they taste like the best versions of Bangkok’s famous street food. The basics are sourced from smallholdings around the country, with plenty of free-range and organic produce with many of the sauces and spice mixes being created in Soul Food’s kitchen. The dishes that our table always fights over are the sticky tamarind ribs, meat so tender that it falls off the bone and the fresh sea bass grilled in banana leaf with lemongrass, dill and lime, a more subtle flavour but just as delicious.
It’s a great place to come in a large group, there are so many appetizing dishes on the menu that you will want to try them all, but be sure to book as it can get busy after 19:00. What Soul Food shows is that it is not necessary to be a local to create fantastic Thai food.
Soul Food Restaurant
- Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 17:30 to 23:00 and Friday and Saturday from 17:30 to 00:00
- BTS: Thong Lor
- Address: 56/10 Sukhumvit Soi Thonglor
- Tel: +66 (0)2 7147708