After every meal at Krua Apsorn we laze in a food-fueled bliss and ask ourselves, “Why don’t we come here more often?” And then we snap back to reality and remember why: we practically have to take a half-day off work to get there thanks to its location far from modern public transportation and the fact that it shuts at 7:30pm and is closed all day Sunday. When you do finally get there, you might have to wait in line on the sidewalk; and late arrivals who didn’t call ahead can find that their favorite item is moht laew! The draw is clearly not the two shophouse-wide dining room fronted by big windows with a cafeteria-like feel. And the simple menu, with just a few dozen standards you can find at most neighborhood restaurants, doesn’t hint at the miracles created in the kitchen. What makes these seemingly mundane dishes special is in part because they’re made the “old-fashioned” way from classic recipes handed down and fine-tuned over decades. The awesome mussels fried pad cha style, with basil, yellow chili, krachai (wild ginger) and green peppercorns (B80) are so plump and sweet that chefs from other restaurants have inquired about their source (to no avail). Even more amazing is the delicious fresh chunks of “thigh” crabmeat fried with yellow chilies, onions and string beans (B270). Another dish we always order is their pungent southern-style yellow curry with lotus stems and shrimp (B100), which offers a nice contrast between the spicy broth and the crisp stalks. Not every item on the menu can reach such lofty heights—every star needs a supporting cast. Both the egg and pork palo (B65) and the deep-fried chicken wings Krua Apsorn is famous for are delicious, but not earth-shattering—although we can appreciate the quality ingredients and perfect technique of the chefs. Sure, we wish that Krua Apsorn was located on Sukhumvit, but with food this good, maybe we should think about moving closer to them.
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