Ruen Mallika is not easy to find. Set in a traditional Thai teak house the restaurant is tucked deep inside a little by lane off Sukumvit 22. Though it’s not really all that far away from the main hubs of city that tourists are more familiar with, it is a little tricky to find. But, as we discovered last year when we first visited the restaurant, a little hunting only whets the appetite. And Ruen Mallika, one of the few restaurants that does Royal Thai food, is definitely worth the effort.
To begin with an amuse-bouche of what the menu listed as steamed coconut pancakes, but which is also commonly, and perhaps more accurately, known as coconut milk custard, was served. Under the top thick, grainy, ivory-white coconut cream layer is a more viscous, beige custard of coconut milk sweetened with palm sugar. It wasn’t too sweet; just enough to refresh the palate and rev up the taste buds.
In a temupra-like batter, the fried flowers were lovely, though we were a little disappointed by the selection compared to last year. There was a very faint floral aroma, but in terms of taste they are closer to very tender, fresh green vegetables.
Chopped into thumbnail-sized bits, the pork bits were served with peanuts, diced ginger, diced lime, diced red onions, spring onion lengths and stalks of fresh coriander. Each piece of diced lime had just enough juice for a single rib piece; eaten with the accompaniments it was almost like a fresh salad.
Though there was a lovely play on textures: crispy and grainy on the outside, soft, creamy and fluffy on the inside, the lack of flavour and complexity made it dull and disappointing.
Morning glory is one of my favourite Thai foods and Ruen Mallika does it exceptionally well. It’s nice and crunchy, which is what’s really important since morning glory has a very mild vegetal flavour.
Great on texture; crispy skin, succulent flesh but having a very light marinade a tad uninspiring to taste. the tang fish sauce helped – but not much.
A nice put-hair-on-your-chest fiery green curry. A lovely creamy texture, hints of bitterness and the full-blown blast of galangal, coriander, basil and chilli. And perfectly-cooked juicy, slices of beef.
And finally, the delightful sicky rice and mango; sweet, luscious mangoes with slightly sweet soft rice topped with coconut cream and moong dal. Perfect.
189 Soi Sukhumvit 22