[Bangkok, Thailand] Nara Thai Cuisine is the kind of restaurant for the richer Thais, which transforms the usual street food into posh versions, complete with beautiful and elegant plating. They are after all chosen as one of the Best restaurants in Thailand consistently, by Tatler Magazine that is.
Nara restaurant was founded in 2003 by a group of female entrepreneurs, no wonder the lush royal purple colour scheme in the restaurant. The décor certainly combines a combination of traditional Thai extravagance meets modern chic. One thing about Thai restaurants, their attention to details from menu, service to setting is always top-notch.
The customers at Central World seem to be a mixture of the well-to-do Thais from the higher society (you can see from their poise and dressing), expatriates and tourists.
The cost of such dishes – Chicken Pandan (165 Baht, $6.70), Thai Fish Cakes (210 Baht, $8.50), Green Curry Chicken (220 Baht, $8.90), Phai Thai Noodles (190 Baht, $7.70). While the prices are considered reasonable in Singapore’s context, in relative dishes like this would have cost 30 to 40 Baht at a Bangkok food court.
I had the Assorted Nara’s (300 Baht, $12.20), a platter of Crispy Fried Pork and Shrimp Wonton, Satay, Thai Fish Cakes, and Spring Rolls, complete with an orchid flower. In terms of the higher-scale restaurants in Bangkok (say those at Siam Paragon and Central World), Nara has one of the better offerings, with all the items quite appetising especially the satay.
Though some may argue you can’t take street food out of the streets – it’s a different story all together.
The other dishes such as Phad Thai Noodles (190 Baht, $7.70) and Green Curry Beef (220 Baht, $8.90) were decent choices, with some delicate final touches like the additional of crispy egg floss to the noodles which make the dish a little special than normal. The dishes are not as spicy and distinct as I would imagine to, most likely muted slightly to suit the palates of foreigners.
Nara is most famous for its Sukothai Kuay Tiew, rice noodles in hot & spicy tom yum soup with roasted pork, pork ribs and shrimp balls so that is on my to-order list the next time.
The good news for Singapore – Nara IS coming to Ion Orchard (replacing Burger King) in September. I won’t dare to imagine what the price is like, but I do hope they retain some of their magical touches.
Nara Thai Cuisine
Level 7, Central World, Ratchadamri Road, Bangkok, Thailand (Nearest BTS Chit Lom) Tel: +662 613 1658-9
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm
Other branches: Erawan Bangkok Lower Ground Floor, Eight Thonglor, Sukhumvit 55(Thonglor), Wattana