A beautifully traditional teak house, open-sided and with a chic interior is the setting for Supattra Thai Dining. The restaurant seems to have stepped out of a story book; there’s both a wistfulness and an intimacy about the building. Its terrace looks onto a beautiful curtain of greenery, comprised of nothing but mangrove trees, a delicious beguiling green that sways with the breeze, and provides a perfectly relaxed setting for the couples, friends and families who choose to dine here. The small, intimate restaurant has a very friendly vibe, and you can expect a warm welcome from owners Thomas and Khun Supattra, who along with all the waiting staff, do more than the usual to accommodate your wishes.
This starts even before you give your order, when your waiter comes to your table. And in this case, it’s usually Thomas himself. He’ll bring with him a blackboard on an easel. Here, there’s a list of almost two dozen different dishes, all of which
have been carefully chalked up. Thomas explains quickly and efficiently what’s what – especially handy if you’re a newcomer to Thai food. But even if you’re well versed in eating Thai, it’s good to have him explain the dishes. And that’s
because not quite everything’s done in the usual way here.
The restaurant focuses on fish and seafood, though there’s always meat too. Recipes mostly follow long-established traditions, but with some creative takes. The dishes are cooked in ways that need greater attention than usual. Thomas gives you the low-down on them. Khun Supattra, who heads the culinary team, uses methods that guarantee the diner’s pleasure. Many chefs opt for techniques that are convenient and maybe are required in big restaurants with huge seating
capacity, but here a different approach guarantees your delight when it comes to eating.
For example, the blue crab, in southern style curry and betel leaf is prepared so that you don’t have to fiddle about trying to remove the meat from the crab, particularly difficult if there’s sauce involved, too. Many people, according to Thomas, though they love crab, won’t eat it, as it takes so long. Khun Supattra’s method naturally takes a bit more time in the kitchen, but nobody there’s counting the minutes or the extra effort involved. The results speak for themselves. Pure
crab meat – a total delight.
Then there’s the hor mok, a stir-fry red curry with seafood or chicken, which is served not in the traditional ‘boat’ of banana leaves, but instead in a scooped-out young coconut. This gives it not just extra taste, but it also looks stunning. Thomas says too that the banana leaves don’t really add much to the ensemble – they’re a wrapper, after all – whereas the coconut adds an exquisiteness all of its own.
Other procedures that are used, depending on the individual dishes, are to entirely debone certain fish, while others are cut into sections to be cooked and then reassembled. Why? Because everything tastes better this way – the portions cook individually, giving a more rounded taste. Khun Supattra and Thomas have also noted that often when fish is offered at restaurants, that it’s a plate for two, and only one person wants fish and the other something else. The solution? Easy: here
at the restaurant the fish is just for one person. This makes decisions a lot easier at times.
The main criterion here is using the freshest of foods. What’s great at the market today may be only good tomorrow and mediocre from then on. Even the tropics have their seasons. This is precisely why there’s no printed menu. The blackboard gets changed every day – not every dish, of course, but the ones that simply need it. That’s how they chalk up their success at Supattra.
With Thomas’ explanations, you may even end up choosing different dishes altogether and liking them. When he talks to you he gains a sense of what you may or may not like, making him a great judge of pairing food with people. He can also do the more usual pairing – that of dishes with wines. The restaurant stocks both new and old world wines, all at more or less cost price, allowing you to enjoy a much better quality wine than usual for your budget.
Supattra Thai Dining, located in Bangrak, close to Big Buddha, is open from 6:00 pm onwards, daily apart from Sunday. Check out the restaurant’s Facebook page below – you’ll find more details on what’s happening. Highly recommended if you’re after authentic Thai dining in a beautiful, well-maintained setting.
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 932 828 777 or 0 993 637 030.