The sign outside the Sorndaeng says it has been voted the best Thai cuisine since 1957 (but I don't know how old the sign is). I do know that the food is very very tasty today and so could well still deserve this accolade.
Gorgeous, rich and varying levels of spicy Thai food in a sumptuous older environment that harks you back to the 1950s when dining out was a dressing up affair and the restaurants were places of debate and meeting and more than just the eating / refuelling we too often see in the 21st century. You see Sorndaeng has created an atmosphere that takes you back to the 1950s with its tableware, service and background music. Excellent.
The food is good value, though the cost of wines is what will add to your bill very dramatically.
The next best bit after all the above? The location. Right slap next to Democracy Monument on Rajadamnoen Road. In the evening you sit at your table, noshing on the fare, chatting with your own party, and occasionally glancing out to the floodlit landmark of Bangkok a stone's throw outside. Dramatic location, and a great farewell sendoff for visitors to Bangkok on the last night. (If you've already done the river cruises, traditional wooden thai house and the rooftop restaurants already.) You have to pinch yourself. Sornadeng's has a similar feel of Paris, Thai style. Afterwards, out in the cooler night air and in the centre of the city you are able to walk off your meal. A fifteen minute stroll to the night lit Golden Mountain, or a longer walk down to Suan Luam and the Palace for the more energetic.
Favorite Dish: All the a la carte is good, not bewildering and the waiting folk will ask your level of chilli tolerance. Some decent set menus as well; which help you through getting the balance right between soups, salads, curries, vegetables, side dishes and desserts.
A good many Thais (maybe the more wealthier brigade, or couples/small parties with an anniversary) eat here.
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