Categories
Food Restaurant

My Choice Restaurant in Bangkok

My Choice sign
My Choice Restaurant Sign

My Choice Restaurant, on Sukhumvit Soi 36 (Soi Napasap) in Bangkok, has been one of our (Kasma’s and my) favorite restaurants for over 2 decades, dating back to their original location on Sukhumvit Soi 24 and then at the location on Soi 36 they had prior to the latest move.

They are located on Sukhumvit Soi 36 about 450 meters (a quarter mile) in from Sukhumvit Road. (Note: I think the address found on the web of 19 Sukhumvit Soi 36 is their old location: you need to go further into the soi to reach the restaurant.)

(Click images to see larger version.)

All the dishes mentioned can be seen in the slideshow at the end of the blog.

My Choice Interior
My Choice Interior

They serve delectable Thai food in a comfortable, elegant setting. At lunch time the dining area is filled with light. Any dish is liable to be a “wow” experience, where you wish you had more space in your stomach or less people at the table so you could eat more and more of it. In a 2001 review, The Nation called it “one of the city’s better Thai restaurants.”

One of the hallmarks of My Choice comes from the extremely fresh ingredients. I remember one occasion when we came for lunch and ordered the Spicy Grilled Eggplant Salad (something I am always tempted to order here). It took a little longer to arrive than the other dishes; when it came, the eggplant was still hot from the grill. Talk about fresh!

Everything we’ve ever had here has been good. I’d recommend that when you eat here, don’t simply order things that you’re familiar with: use this restaurant to expand your Thai culinary horizons by taking a chance on a dish you’ve never heard of before.

Yum Salads

Eggplant salad
Spicy Grilled Eggplant Salad

One of the things that My Choice does especially well are the type of salads known by the Thai word yum. This type of salad emphasizes sour (from lime juice) and spicy (from Thai chillies, prik kee noo).

Before she retired in 2020, Kasma always brought small-group tours to My Choice, often for two meals during the trips, and she always included at least one yum salad. My personal favorite is Spicy Eggplant Salad (Yum Makeua Yao) made with roasted eggplant. The long eggplants used in much of Thailand (including My Choice) are a green variety that roast up with a delicious smokey flavor. (There is a green variety in the U.S. that doesn’t compare.)

If you want to try a different flavor, give the Spicy Crispy Fish Salad (Yum Pla Grob) a try. The smoky fish flavor blends in wonderfully with the hot/sour dressing.

Other favorites are Spicy Winged Bean Salad (Yum Tua Phoo) (smothered in crispy, fried shallots), Spicy Water Mimosa Salad (Yum Pak Krachehd), Spicy Banana Blossom Salad (Yum Hua Plee) and, for people who like bitter melon, Spicy Bitter Gourd salad (Yum Mara). If you like mackerel, there’s the Spicy Minced Pork Mackerel Salad (Lahb Moo Pla Too) (also available with minced beef or chicken) – this one is actually a “larb” (pronounced “lahb.”)

Curries

Panaeng Beef Curry
Panaeng Beef Curry

My Choice also excels with curry dishes of all kinds. The curry we order most consistently is Panaeng Beef Curry (Kaeng Panaeng Neua), which is a rich, coconut-milk based curry.

At a recent visit we ate two fabulous red curries. The first one was King Prawn in Red Curry with Eggplants (Kaeng Gung Yai Makeua Yao). Wow. I just wanted to eat all the fabulous curry sauce made from fresh coconut milk – it was so rich and flavorful. As a plus, the prawns were whole, head and all. The second dish was a “Choo Chee” (red) curry, listed on the menu as Fried Fish/Shrimp with Curry Paste (Pla/Gung Pad Kreung Choo Chee): also rich and flavorful. You couldn’t go wrong, either, with the Red Curry with Roast Duck (Kaeng Phed Ped Yang).

Chicken Curry
Chicken Curry in Southern Style

The best green curry I’ve ever had was one time at My Choice; and I’ve been eating delicious Thai food that Kasma makes plus at restaurants all over Thailand since 1992. On the menu it is Green Chicken Curry (Kaeng Khiow Wahn Gai); you can also get it with pork or beef. When you taste it, it is immediately obvious that it is made with fresh coconut milk. It is always a wonderful dish, always excellent and typically served with delicious, flakey roti.

Another outstanding curry, this one made without coconut milk, is Chicken Curry In Southern Style (Kaeng Gai Khua Pak Tai) (see above left). Be warned: this dish is spicy! A dry curry, it’s made with Thai eggplants, long beans, often with baby corn, chicken and a very spicy indeed red sauce. If chillies indeed release endorphins, thus improving your mood, this dish can put you into a state of bliss. (For more information on Southern food see Kasma’s article Southern Cooking – Thai Style.)

Other Favorite Dishes

Stir-Fried Ivy Gourd Greens with Pork

I’ll only mention a few of our other favorites, things that we order time and time again, whether or not we are with trip members. The advantage to coming with a group is that we can order more dishes; the disadvantage is that we have to share favorites!

One favorite is Roasted Duck with Gourd Leaves (Ped Ob Tam Leung). It consists of succulent Thai duck (much better than duck that I’ve had in the United States) with a type of gourd leaf all served in a brown sauce. This is a good non-spicy dish to throw into the mix. Thai people usually serve a variety of flavors and spice levels in their meals. We also order Stir-fried Ivy Gourd Greens with Pork (Moo Sap Tam Leung) – photo above right.

Grilled pork neck
Charcoal Grilled Pork’s Neck

We absolutely love the Charcoal Grilled Pork’s Neck (Ka Moo Yang). I always want to eat the whole plate myself.

A new favorite, after a recent lunch, is the Spicy Deep Fried Catfish Fillet Pla Deuk Tod Krob Pad Ped. Spicy from a red curry sauce it is particularly tasty, with lovely, fresh winged beans as part of the mix. As always at My Choice, the flavors were balanced beautifully.

A terrific spicy dish is Stir-Fried Squid in Chili Sauce (Pad Chah Pla Meuk). This is a very spicy dish that receives added flavor from fresh green peppercorns and a root called krachai in Thai (often known as “rhizome” here in the U.S.).

One dish we enjoy – though be warned: it’s not for everyone – is Stir Fried Preserved Egg with Sweet Basil Leaves (Kai Yiow Ma Pad Bai Khaprow). The eggs are preserved in a mixture that typically includes clay, ash and salt (with other things) for up to several months turning the egg dark, almost black, in color and some people find the taste too strong. We find it delicious.

One-dish Meals

My best recommendation for My Choice is to go with as many friends as you can so you can order a wide variety of dishes. Nonetheless, you may find yourself there alone at a lunch hour and just want something simple. They do have a number of noodle and one-dish rice dishes under the category “Hot Dishes.”

Rice plate
Coconut Rice served with Papaya Salad

We like the Coconut Rice served with Papaya Salad (Khao Man Som Tam) (found under “Recommended”), which comes with a piece of fried chicken. It’s a fun and tasty combination.

Then there are noodle dishes found all over Thailand. They do a very good version of Pad Thai with Shrimp (Pad Thai Gung Sohd) and their Rahd Na, on the menu as Fried Noodle with Pork/Chicken/Shrimp/Fish in Gravy Sauce (Kuay Tiow Rad Na Moo/Gai/Gung/Pla), is good as well. Another favorite is the Black Olive Fried Rice (Kao Pad Nam Liap). If you really like black olives, you can order Stir Fried Black Olive with Pork (Nam Liap Pad Moo Sap) as a separate dish.

Dessert

We recommend you finish up with a nice bowl of ice cream. My favorite is the plain Coconut Ice Cream (Ait Cream Kati), though I also like the Taro Ice Cream (Ait Cream Peuak) and the Lemon Basil Seeds Ice Cream (Ait Cream Med Maeng Lak). These coconut-based ice creams (they appear to be dairy-free) are a good way to cool down a mouth that has just eaten some spicy dishes.

Author eating
The author enjoys a meal

Getting There

Map
Map to My Choice, Click for larger

Sukhumvit Soi 36 (Soi Napasap)
Bangkok, Thailand 10110
Telephone: 02-258-6174

The restaurant is located about 450 meters (1/4 mile) in on Sukhumvit Soi 36. You can take the skytrain to the Thong Lo stop and walk into Soi 36 but it’s a narrow soi so you may want to have a cab take you into the restaurant.

Further Reading

See also: Black Olive Rice at My Choice Restaurant (blog entry)

Read the 2008 article by Bangkok Restaurant Guide, review and food critic – My Choice Restaurant review on Sukhumvit 36 (offsite, opens in new window). This review is still accurate about the food; however, it is out-of-date on the atmosphere, which is much more elegant and subdued at this new location.


 

My Choice Slideshow

Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.

Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.


[portfolio_slideshow size=full togglethumbs=true togglestate=closed]


Written by Michael Babcock, January 2018

Categories
Restaurant Wednesday Photo

Black Olive Rice (Wednesday Photo)

Black Olive Rice at My Choice Restaurant

Black olive rice at My Choice
Black olive rice at My Choice Restaurant in Bangkok

Perhaps our favorite restaurant in Bangkok is My Choice on Sukhumvit Soi 36 in Bangkok. The menu is loaded with delicious dishes brilliantly prepared with ultra-fresh ingredients. There are so many great dishes that usually when we go we order several to be eaten with rice. See Michael’s Blog on My Choice for pictures of many of our other favorite dishes.

This picture shows a “one-dish meal” rice dish at My Choice, Salted Black Olive Fried Rice; on their menu it is called Kao Ohb Nahm Liap. The main ingredient is a Chinese salted black olive, which is mixed with shrimp, dried shrimp, green mango, Thai chillies and ground pork. It’s a marvelous dish, full of several different types of flavors and anchored by the black olive.

It’s a marvelous dish and I usually order it when I eat at My Choice by myself. They serve it already mixed, as in the picture. Kasma used to teach as a composed salad that is mixed by each person prior to eating.

Here’s my attempt at rendering the name of the dish Thai script.

kaoohbnahmliab


You may also enjoy checking out these links.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Categories
Food Restaurant Travel

Favorite Bangkok Restaurants

There are some very good Thai restaurants in Bangkok, as you might expect. Here are some of our favorites.

Roasted Eggplant Salad at My Choice
Roasted Eggplant Salad at My Choice

Kasma was once asked: “Do you have any suggestions for good eating places in Thailand? What do you think about the Baab Khanitha, Blue Elephant, Banjarong or Bussaracum restaurants?”  Kasma replied that she’s not very enthusiastic about any of those. They are basically upscale, Royal Cuisine type places that cater largely to tourists. She ate at a similar type of restaurant last year because her driver said he dropped a lot of people off there and it was terrible. These sorts of restaurants that cater to tourists and are given lots of coverage in the guidebooks are the ones she tends to avoid. She prefers the more modest places with good food. Many are holes in the wall where you need to be able to speak or read Thai to get good food. Here are a few of Kasma’s favorites.

My Choice

My Choice Chicken Curry
My Choice Southern Chicken Curry

(Click on an image to see a larger version.)

One of our favorite restaurants in Bangkok is “My Choice” on Sukhumvit Soi 36 a fair ways into the Soi from Sukhumvit Road. Every group that Kasma leads to Thailand eats here at least once. It is not a “pretty” restaurant but we’ve never had an even merely good dish there – everything is great. The Southern Style Curry, Roasted Eggplant Salad, Duck with Greens, Bitter Melon Salad, and on and on and on. Terrific food. Address is: 19 Sukhumvit Soi 36 (Soi Napasap). Telephone: 02-258-6174. We have an blog on My Choice that includes numerous pictures of its surroundings and appetizing

A. Mallika

Spicy Stir-fried Ostrich at A Mallika
Spicy Stir-fried Ostrich

There are two restaurants run by the same company with the name Mallika. Our favorite, and where Kasma always takes her trips to Thailand is actually called A. Mallika. It is a large indoor and outdoor restaurant in the outskirts of town on one of the new highways where many large garden restaurants are located. It has a more extensive menu with unusual dishes not seen in any other restaurants; the food is also better and spicier since it caters mainly to Thai families with cars. Get the sour ribs. They also have a peppered ostrich dish that is good, as is the soft shell crab. Wonderful coconut ice cream. It’s address is 13/10 Moo 9, Kaset-Navamin Road, Boong Koom District, Bangkok 10230, Tel. 0-2946-1000. Check out the photos by a former trip member (click on the photos to see a larger version with caption). Also, check out Michael’s 2012 blog on the subject: A Mallika Restaurant in Bangkok.

Ruen Mallika

This is a fairly fancy restaurant, more so than A. Mallika, and a bit of a splurge (though still reasonable by US standards).  It’s found in the Sukhumvit area, not far from the tourist hotels, in a romantic setting in an old teak mansion with a lush garden. It’s more expensive than A. Mallika, catering to upscale Thais and tourists. The address is 189 Sukhumvit 22 Road, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110, Tel: 662 663 3211 2. It is a challenge for taxi drivers to find! Here’s the restaurant’s website — there’s a map you might want to print out to help you get there: www.ruenmallika.com.

Sorndaeng

Soft Shell Crab at A Mallika
Soft Shell Crab at A Mallika

One of Bangkok’s oldest Thai restaurants, located not far from the Democracy Monument on Radjadamnoen Blvd. is Sorndaeng (possibly spelled Sorn Dang). It’s upscate, expensive and has a stiff mixture of western colonial and Thai Royal ambience that may make the casual diner feel a little out of place, but the food is excellent and menu extensive. It’s stayed in business as long as it has because of its impeccable service and the high quality of its food.

Taling Pling

Another one we like is Taling Pling, at 60 Pan  (or Pun) Road, Silom – it is on one of the sois just off Silom road – I think it is Soi 20, but may be wrong: it is the Soi that has the Hindu temple at the corner. However, they tend to tone down the food for foreigners, so it’s best to go with a Thai or learn to communicate with the staff that you like really spicy, full-flavored authentic Thai food. One of their specialties is Miang Taling Plingtaling pling is the name of a tart fruit that gives the restaurant its name and is used in many of their dishes when it’s in season. Address: 60 Tanon Pun, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok. Phone: 02 236 4830, 02 234 4872.

You might enjoy seeing Kasma’s Thai food photo sampler. I’ve also written an article on Eating Out In Thailand.


Written by Michael Babcock, June 2009.