Award-winning Eastern Thai cuisine served with a contemporary urban flair

By Miles Prower

In Bangkok it’s easy to find the cuisines representing most regions of Thailand, however, the cuisine of the Eastern area—and in particular Trat province—is not quite so well represented. This is just one of the reasons why a visit to the amazing Sri Trat restaurant is so worthwhile. The fact that the restaurant—open for less than a year—also received a prestigious ‘Michelin Plate’ award in the 2017 Michelin Guide Bangkok is perhaps another even more significant reason.

Sign outside Sri Trat, with the face of a former beauty queen

Located up at the top end of Sukhumvit Soi 33, this nicely remodeled house-turned-restaurant is immediately recognizable by its iconic emblem—the B&W face of a woman wearing a stylized crown. The woman in question is owner Wongwich Sripinyoo’s mother, a former Miss Trat beauty contest winner (and it’s also his mom’s recipes that pop up throughout the diverse menu).

Bar area near the entrance

Groovy interior

For those unfamiliar with Eastern Thai cuisine, it’s notable for its abundance of seafood, and the use of fresh fruits and rare herbs. One dish to seek out here is the fabulous Whole Mud Crab with Creamy Roe (THB 540), served in a blue ceramic pot accompanied by an array of vegetables (for dipping). It’s spicy but not overpowering, and the crunchy fresh vegetables make it a deliciously healthy starter for sharing.

Mud crab with creamy roe

Ceviche-style barracuda

Another unique item, this time off the salad menu, is the Thai Herbal Salad with Ceviche-Style Barracuda (THB 220), served with a special “house secret sauce”. This dish is a true standout! The fish flesh is citrus-cured to a perfect firmness, and the sauce—made with peanut brittle—adds an extra dimension of sweet and smoky flavour.

Massaman chicken curry with young durian

For mains, the Sweet and sour pork cha muang curry (THB 220), sees tender pork belly chunks immersed in a tangy herbal stew, with chamuang leaves providing the uniquely aromatic taste. However, the Massaman Chicken Curry with Young Durian (THB 280) has become the restaurant’s signature dish—and with good reason. Here the chewy chunks of sweet durian take the place of potato—normally found in Massaman curries—and the combination is superb. This dish is also a nod to the fact that Trat province is one of Thailand’s most renowned producers of durian.

Left: Ruang Tong; Right: Tang May

The restaurant also includes a notable bar area—which doubles as the entrance—where you can get some cleverly concocted cocktails. At the mixologist’s suggestion I sampled the Ruang Thong (THB 340), a pleasantly potent mix of tequila reposado, Laphroig single malt scotch, Licor43, and rice flavoured tea, as well as the significantly sweeter Tang May (THB 340), which combines Monkey Shoulder whisky, condensed milk, cinnamon syrup, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, bitters, and a few other yummy surprises.

Classic Thai dessert selection

To finish off your visit, try the Assorted Dessert Selection (THB 350) which is enough for at least two, and includes: “turtle eggs” (mung bean centered sweets in warm coconut milk); soft crepes with green bean and coconut filling; and coconut centered dumplings dipped in warm coconut milk.

Even the plates are really cool at Sri Trat

Sri Trat
90, Sukhumvit Soi 33
Open: Wed-Mon, noon-11pm
Tel: 02 088 0968