There are quite a few branches of Somboon at various locations around Bangkok. This one at 711 Banthat Thong Road is off the beaten track for most Bangkok visitors.
This particular branch is huge and it is my guess that it would have the capacity to accommodate 1500+ covers.
There was long line of wok chefs sweating over turbo woks, cooking all manner of things. The wok master Chang told me they work for 10 hours a day and in such an inferno of an environment, I don’t think I would last much more than a week.
The menu features more than 100 dishes, and we chose the following:
2 x deep fried prawn rolls - 300 baht
Jelly fish salad (one of Somboon’s signature dishes) - 150 baht
Soft shell curried crab (another signature dish) - 325 baht
Peking duck - 800 baht
Prawns with seasonal vegetables - 325 baht
2 x serves of jasmine rice - 120 baht
1 x pot of Oolong tea - 90 baht
2 x green teas - 120 baht
2 x large Heinekens - 220 baht
1 x gin & tonic - 95 baht
2 x plates of peeled season fruits - 160 baht
The prawn rolls were gorgeous, deep fried to perfection and accompanied by a piquant sauce made up of sweet chili, dark soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame paste.
The jellyfish salad was something of a disappointment, represented by slivers of the stingers, wok fried momentarily and sitting on a pile of fresh leaves, cellophane noodles and covered in a seafood sauce.
By contrast the soft shell curried crab was outstanding, with the creature being presented on an oval dish, cut into portions and mixed with additional crab meat and swimming in a luscious and tangy curry sauce.
The Peking Duck was not as good as I’m used to getting here in Melbourne. I think this has something to do with the species of duck being used, with it being rather bony and somewhat stringy.
But the skin was nice and brown and shiny and the pancakes and accompaniments of scallions and celery stick with the hoi sin dressing were nice.
The prawns dish was a good example of the plump prawn syndrome. When I tackled the wok master later about this practice, he shrugged his shoulders and said “we all do it, it is the way diners like it!”
Well I don’t like this under handed practice and it about time it was stamped out.
The dish was just OK, with a light sauce of soy, sesame oil and a dash of master stock.
The jasmine rice was - well just steamed rice, the oolong tea pot was regularly filled up and the other drinks were served nice and cold and were consequently refreshing.
Overall, Somboon is an amazing restaurant, offering a huge menu, in an equally huge dining area. A couple could dine here for around 800 baht or so, but our little feast cost the following:
It was quite a nice meal in a cavernous setting, but for that price we could have feasted on the magnificent buffet at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit.
But as I said, you can eat at the Somboon restaurants a lot more cheaply than we did by choosing prudently and not ordering so much food.
SUMMARY: Food, 7/10; value for money 5/10; hygiene 7/10; service 6/10; ambience 3/10. Score: 28/50.
VERDICT: Somboon is good for Hong Kong style seafood and other Chinese dishes. It also has a large selection of Thai dishes. It is big, bright and noisy.
This was reviewed by a friend - thanks Mike!!
This is a fantastic restaurant selling all kinds of delicious seafood. I had heard about it through other forums where people were saying how good it is and it's all true ....the food is amazing ! The most difficult bit is choosing what to have, as it all looks so damn good. When we went there, it was mainly Thai families eating there, so that shows that the food is authentic Thai and the prices are very resonable ....probably less than half of what you would pay for the same thing here in England, and I'm sure it would never taste as good! Just one word of warning, please, please.please , do not mistake Somboon seafood for another "restaurant " named Somboon D. Somboon D is a complete rip off.....the food there is average at best and there are no price list . After your meal you will recieve a ridiculously high bill.....we made the mistake of going there first and recieved a bil of 5,000 baht (£100) for a meal for two !! The taxi drivers are paid to bring you there, so if one offers to take you for seafood and Thai bbq, please do not go,it's a rip off.Somboon D is an outdoor restaurant with its name across the entrance in light bulbs. But do insist on going to Somboon seafood.....which is a proper indoor restuarant. There are in fact I think 3 Somboon restaurants all on the same street next to each other, Somboon Chinese, Somboon Thai (I think ??) and Somboon seafood . If they others are like the seafood one they will be great ......please try ...you wont be disappointed !
Favorite Dish My favourite was the mud crab curry....Delicous!!
Been there few times and I like this place. really good one if you love Crab. But lately i found out that they serve Shark fin soup , which i really do not support.
I will miss this place untill they stop serving shark fin soup.
Somboon restaurant is a popular seafood restaurant in Bangkok. With five branches in the city can easily find one near you. Just be careful as there are a few restaurants that are trying to imitate Somboon and often taxi drivers will take you to these imitations. It is also advisable to call in to the restaurant and reserve a table as the restaurant is normally packed. The food is amazing and that's saying a lot considering that Bangkok is well known for it's great food. Try out their Garlic shrimps and their Steamed Grouper. Their squid and oysters are also very good. Wash it all down with a bottle of wine or some Singha or Chang beer. Since this is quite a popular restaurant the service is quite good and there is little problem communicating with the staff.
Favorite Dish Steamed Grouper with Garlic
Prawns with Garlic
Just two of the many delicious dishes that the restaurant serves.
Holy Crab!!! Their House specialty is the Crab with fat and scrumble eggs, simply the best!!! I am from the Philippines and we have the best tasting seafood but somboon's crab is incomparable. We also had huge prawns. the prsentation is very nice but lacks a little salt taste. We also ordered beef with nuts and it is also nice. Their price is very cheap and very large serving. e-mail me at email@example.com
1. The basic rule in Bangkok is that there are fake everything and buyers beware.
2. Never ever trust your taxi driver to bring you to the place you want to go for FOOD, SHOPPING, or ANYTHING RELATED TO AN EXPENDITURE (MASSAGE, RESTAURANTS, etc). This is inspite of giving them specific directions written in Thai.
3. The problem is, for every famous place, there is an imitation (eg the famous Somboon Restaurant versus the fake Somboondee Restuarant). All taxi drivers will automatically bring you to the fake places period (regardless of instructions in Thai / English, etc).
4. All fake places charge at least 5x - 10x the price of the original places.
5. I had a simple seafood dinner consisting of 800grams crab, 900gram Fish/Seabass, a fried rice and a plate of vegetables (Kangkong / Morning Glory). The cost came out to a shocking 7,000 bahts. The correct price should probably be only about 1,000 bahts in Bangkok.
6. Even the restaurant owners will lie to you upon being confronted. They will lie about the road / location they are on, the name of the restaurant, etc.
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At Least Do This: Use a credit card to pay if you suspect of being scam. Then deliberately sign under a different name or initials. Upon receiving the bill, tell your credit card company that you didnt sign for that bill. One scam deserves another scam!! The only people who loose out are the original scammers as the credit card company will back charge the restaurant or shopping place.
Alternative: Always take the sky train or MRT if you intend to go to any restaurant or shopping places. Make sure you have a photo of the place you want to go to.......otherwise be prepared to be brought to a fake location where prices are easily 5X to 10x of the origional.
Established in 1969, Somboon Seafood Restaurant is the most established restaurant in Bangkok with 4 branches serving delectable Thai-Chinese style seafood. It is immensely popular with Chinese, Japanese and Singaporean tourists. Former Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi had patronised the restaurant and a photo of his visit is proudly displayed at the entrance.
Favorite Dish I was very impressed by the marinated spicy crab, deepfried garoupa in soya bean sauce and grilled prawns. The sharksfin soup is also delicious.
Somboon is actually a Chinese-style seafood restaurant. Nevertheless, the curry crab, grilled cuttle fish (similar to squid) and the tom yam kung were some of the best I've ever had! Considering their Surawong location, 1000B for 3 people is really not bad.
They have a picture menu with tons and tons of dishes, mostly seafood. You won't starve, trust me!
Would gladly go there again and again!
Favorite Dish Curry Crab! Hands down!
No wonder every single person I asked recommendations from listed this restaurant. It's become such an institution in Bangkok and is so sought-after that they've created a knock-off version.
They gave us picture menus which facilitated the ordering process. We tried not to overdo it, but everything looked and sounded so good. Within minutes our table was crowded with plates of super fresh and gorgeous-looking seafood. A cart was wheeled up to our table and here they set up a mini bar for our drinks and ice. The waitstaff was very friendly and accomodating. It was already 10:00 and yet the place still had a good crowd.
Somboon is a no-frills Chinese-Thai seafood restaurant. Your first sign that there will be Chinese flavors are the chopsticks on the table because the Thais do not use chopsticks. I will not even attempt to describe the food because I couldn't do it justice. Even the pictures (only the steamed prawns with garlic is not pictured) fail to capture the freshness and scrumptiousness of these gifts from the sea. Everything was superb! And from the mouthful mmmms and ohmygods from around the table, it was obvious everyone agreed.
But my most favorite of all was the fried fish! It was crispy on the outside and super soft and juicy on the inside. The sauce with which it was glazed and on which it lay was sweetened fish sauce or naam pla. It was just the most delightful sauce and I couldn't get enough of it. Good thing this dish came last because as soon as I tried it, I practically forgot about the other food.
It was unanimous that this was the best meal we had in Bangkok!
Favorite Dish The fish in sweet fish sauce!
My friend in Bangkok took me here twice, simply because it was her favourite seafood restaurant. Took me awhile to dig up the name.....and of course the lovely her helped out!
There're not too much to expect for ambience - when good food is in stake, who cares about ambience?
Twice I was at the Bantadthong Branch - the external, aside for the usual gaudy neon lights just simply does not portray "good food is found here". In fact, the streets of run down shophouses did little to improve appetite!
However, once the food starts arriving on the table, perished your thoughts about run-down shophouses, dirty streets and plain exterior - you won't have time to worry about them!
Favorite Dish My fave? The fresh succulent oysters!! Lemon are for wimps. You do it the Thai way: Squirt a little Thai lime, add some herbs, squirt in a big wallop of rich and spicy chilli paste and pour the whole damn thing in your mouth. It's heaven served up in a shell!!!
The most famous dish of Somboon is actually its fresh crab fried with curry. Deliciously decadent. Cholesterol loaded. Sinfully out-of-this-world.
Every other dish else were fantastic! The stir-fried mung-bean noodles served up in a crab was my other fave...but really nothing beats those oysters!! Man....
I undestand that this restaurant has four branches. The one that I went to was the one along Surowongse Road. It is quite packed so finding a table could take some time but all this worth it as the food here is delicious (as they say in Thai - 'Aroy') and cheap too. Typing this down is making me feel hungry for more Somboon food.... the staff there are friendly.. with the busy schedule going around, they still find time to pour our drinks for us. We had a deep fried fish Thai style which was equally delicious.. and fried mimosa with garlic and not forgetting the Yellow Curry Squid.. rice for two.. two bottles of mineral water.. and paid around 520 bahts.... which is cheap for food that great. I will definately be back for more, trust me.. i would fly all the way for great food. :-)
Favorite Dish Try the dish called 'Yellow Curry Crab'..... I cant really remember what's it called but it tastes great and a friend of mine agrees very well with me. The menu has pictures in it so it is much easier to order ... Just point to it. :-) and if my memory serves me well, this dish is on the top of the left side of the menu. It is usually cooked with crab but worried of being a little too messy or the crab may go flying to the next table ( tables are very close to one another ) we changed it to squids instead which was equally tasty. Yum Yum ..
DEcor is very simple, food is also simple presentation. But taste if great for seafood - fresh seafood. But food must be eaten quickly - it cools off very very fast. Service excellent = basic and efficient. do not speak much english. A very popular place for locals as well as toursit. price very affordable.
My fav is the crab curry, but also love the snake fish in spices sauce, grilled prawns, and if you like glass noodle. No dessert except fresh fruits.