Modern Thai restaurant graded Michelin starred in Bangkok
Saneh Jaan gained a Michelin star in Bangkok’s inaugural 2018 guide. I went for lunch and was very pleased with the value and the lovely touch of staff printing out explanations of the vegetables and spices used in their food to learn from. The 6-course meal (one of which contained 4 dishes) came to £40 which, incidentally is only £3 more than one dish from Raan Jai Fai just to show the variation the city offers. I thought this was well done and details of the food are contained at the expansion button below. Ultimately, a touch more expensive than most Bangkok restaurants, but one that is not begrudged for the reasons below.
The amuse bouche contained a spring roll with prawn with sweet syrup at bottom of the shot glass. A pleasant start, although a little stodgy and could have had lighter batter. Next up came a stuffed flower-shaped dumpling (with powerful mini chilli on top). This was so hot that I had to have the following one without the chilli to get more of a sense of the dumpling.
Fried shrimp ball with sweet and sour sauce was a little bland, but winged beans salad with prawns was far more successful. This had a pleasant flavour and nice crunch from fried shrimp shells. Mussaman curry with beef held a large lump of slow-cooked beef in mussaman curry to go with Jasmin rice. This was a gentle curry can came with stir-fried string beans with shrimp paste (top left) which had hard, chewy shrimp with beans that were probably more pleasant – there was no need to go to town for these.
Chicken soup in coconut milk and galangal was watery but creamy at the same time and another dish with a freaking hot level of spice but was somehow light; with dried and fresh chilli at the same time. Thai mushroom, galangal (ginger related root in the soup) and succulent chicken thighs formed the main contents of this well-made soup.
Spicy shrimp paste dip with freshwater prawn, fried salted damselfish and vegetables (middle dish) came with assorted vegetables to try with the dip with fresh baby pumpkin and was pleasant to have. The dessert was coconut ice cream with seasoning, plum seeds (purple) and diced sweet potato which went well with lavender-esque plum seeds but not with potato which I couldn’t see that these went well with the peanuts.
Miscellaneous points are that it is a very nicely designed restaurant with coat hangers, stools and cushions. There is a slightly sleepy background with piano and violin music but the service is not sleepy at all: one waiter was on his way to deliver amuse-bouche to another table but immediately stopped when he saw water not topped up on my table, put the amuses down, topped me up quickly then picked up amuses to deliver to different table – this was amazing to see and demonstrates the canyon of difference that can be seen in many non-Asian restaurants.
Generally speaking, I found nothing particularly ‘wrong’ with the menu, just that it simply did not ignite any supercharged engines that’s all. The experience was generally well done and although a little more expensive for Bangkok, I felt it did deserve this additional price tag and was a very nice visit to have with fair and pleasing food.
Food Grade: 67%
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