If you are following our Snapchat (add us if you haven’t, @FoodEscape), you might have probably known that we are currently in Bangkok, Thailand. And although we are not crazily hunting for food here YET, we have managed to visit some places which are considered good by locals (and also tourists), hopefully we can share them here as soon as possible.
Yesterday when we were around Rama 4 Road and looking for a place to eat, we decided to stop by this legendary restaurant, Chandrphen Restaurant, thanks to Tripadvisor we found about this place. When we arrived, we were not sure whether this place is the said restaurant or not, because from outside we thought it is some kind of government building or something. There is the Garuda emblem above the restaurant signage, and you don’t normally see that in restaurants in Bangkok.
Chandrphen Restaurant is apparently very famous among locals (especially Chinese Thai) and also expats in Bangkok (that’s why I got good information about it from Tripadvisor). Starting from a humble eatery by the beach selling grilled chicken, the restaurant has grown so big and nowadays the 4th generations (!!) have successfully managed 2 outlets, 1 here in Rama 4, and another one in Ram-intra. In 1963, King Rama IX gave Garuda emblem to this restaurant symbolizing the gratitude for the loyalty, honesty, and contribution to the country.
The restaurant is very big and divided into many areas. The interior is very typical Chinese restaurants, and it actually reminds me of affordable Chinese family restaurants in Jakarta, such as Haka, or Angke back in 90s. I don’t know for sure, but I got the feeling that this restaurant is actually considered as upscale Chinese restaurant in Bangkok, probably like Indonesians take Ah Yat Abalone restaurant in Jakarta; only this one has a more humble interior design and tables set.
The menu has basically everything, from Chinese to Thai dishes, but if you are first timer like us, it’s recommended to try something from the Recommended Dishes page. Glad the menu is also written in Thai and English so we had no trouble ordering at all. Note that although Mr. K speaks and understands Thai language perfectly, he can’t read nor write Thai alphabets. XD Prices are surprisingly affordable for a restaurant with such a long history. If you don’t order big seafood, you can keep the number lower for sure.
Half-Century Famous Barbecued Chicken THB 260 (whole chicken)
So as I mentioned earlier, the restaurant has grown famous from a small shop because of their infamous barbecued/grilled chicken. And this is definitely the MUST ORDER item when you visit here. There are some options available like pieces of chicken, half, or whole, but since Thai grill chicken are generally small, we opted for the whole one for both of us. We couldn’t be more right because the chicken was indeed small and it was simply enough for two of us. Can’t imagine for people who come with big family and have to share one whole chicken for more than 4 person, I don’t think I want to share! XD
At the first glance, it looked just like typical Thai grilled chicken, but when I had my first bite, I instantly fell in love to the aromatic garlic pepper and coriander seeds that were generously spread on the chicken! The skin was crispy and super tasty, I love eating these just like that or with rice. These definitely live up to its fame, no wonder it’s so famous because it is so good and quite different from any Thai grilled chicken I have ever eaten in the past. Note that you better eat these fast though because if you let it sit for a while, the chicken will become dry and hard.
Mabo Tofu THB 150
Probably Mr. K’s all-time favorite Chinese dish, it didn’t taste as good as it looked. The dish was lacking of wow factor, despite all the colorful and generous ingredients involved, I found it a bit bland although I loved the strongly fragrant sesame oil in it.
Stuff Squid in Garlic & Pepper THB 220
Another recommended dish from Chandrphen, this stuff squid is fresh and chewy in a good way, almost crunchy I must say. The squid was well seasoned and the garlic pepper sprinkles really made this irresistible.
Fried Diced Chicken with Five Nuts THB 180
Ordered this merely because I was attracted by the photo on the menu book. It was indeed very attractive and delicious, but although this is a very small portion, it’s best enjoyed for sharing dish. Everything in this dish was sweet, from the chicken, the nuts, but the edible “basket” helped neutralizing the sweetness. The “basket” is made from deep-fried shredded taro, basically has no taste with slight sweetness. The nuts are our favorites here, because they easily overpowered the chicken, there are cashew nuts, gingko seeds, chestnuts, Chinese fruit seeds, but I can’t find the fifth one. If you like sweet dishes, this one is definitely for you.
We didn’t order much because there were only 2 of us and surprisingly we were very full after eating those 4 dishes. Overall, we enjoyed the dishes although I think it’s not fair to review this restaurant completely without trying their fish dishes or so on. I hope I can come back later to this place, probably when my family visits Bangkok again, and we can order full meal here to review further.
Currency Rate: THB 1 = +/- IDR 400 = +/- USD 0.028
** This review is written based on our visit on 2 July 2016.
Nearest Stations: MRT Lumpini