At one time Krua Nakhon, a popular restaurant in Nakhon Si Thammarat metamorphosed into Wang Derm Restaurant (วังเดิม) – at a new location. Then, a few years later, it became Krua Nakhon again and remains so to this day.
Krua Nakhon is found at 116 Soi Chusin,Patanakarn Ku Khwang Road,Nai Muang, Nakhon Si Thammarat 80000 Thailand. You can also read my post on Krua Nakhon Restaurant.
I will retain this post as written at the time it was an active restaurant. The food pictures are still representative of what you might get at the current Krua Nakhon.
It still has the same signature dishes as before while offering an expanded menu. The food remains fresh, appetizing, absolutely delicious and highly recommended. Thankfully, most of the friendly staff are still there.
Krua Nakhon was previously situated in the heart of town; Wang Derm (which could also be transliterated as Wang Deum or Wang Doem) is located next to the Provincial Court. As the sign (to the left) says, under the name, it serves อาหารไทย อาหารปักษ์ใฅ้ – Thai Food and Southern Food (ahaan Thai and ahaan pak tai).
(Click images to see larger version.)
Two of my favorite dishes from Krua Nakhon, the southern specialties of kanom jeen noodles and khao yam salad are still available in addition to a wider variety of other dishes.
The photograph to the right shows Kanom Jeen Nam Ya – ขนมจีนน้ำยา – a popular southern Thai dish. Kasma translates it into English as “Southern-Style Rice Vermicelli Topped with Spicy Fish Nam Ya Curry Sauce.” Kanom jeen are a fermented rice noodle and are found all over Thailand; they are possibly the one noodle in Thailand that is not Chinese in origin. (They probably originated with the Mon ethnic group.) This particular dish is a southern variation. The nam ya curry sauce is made with flaked fish and is often very, very spicy. The only place I’ve ever come across this dish in the United states was at Kasma’s Advanced Set E cooking class.
The left photograph shows “Southern Thai Rice Salad” – (ข้าวยำ) (Khao Yam) – a composed rice salad. The ingredients can vary depending on what is in season and what is fresh and available. To eat, you mix everything up together and enjoy. It is a particularly southern Thai dish, though there are apparently variations in Malaysia. Kasma taught this dish in her Advanced Set E cooking class as Southern-style Rice Salad.
I recognize most of the staff from Krua Nakhon, including this smiling woman. Also brought over were the decorative antique coconut graters seen here in the background. The interior remains open and bright, although open on 2 sides rather than 3 as at Krua Nakhon.
Here are two of the counter areas where food is served.
The food in the restaurant is all pre-cooked. You can either order from the menu (if you read Thai) or you can just go up to the counter where the food is displayed and point out what you’d like. The dish to the left is a fried fish topped with fish sauce, shallots, and chillies; you can eat virtually the entire fish except for the spine – most of the bones are fried up and edible. To the right is one of my personal favorites – Bitter Melon Stir-fried with Egg – มะระผัดไข่ (Mara Pad Kai). (Check out Kasma’s Recipe for Bitter Melon with Egg.)
In southern Thailand, expect to get a plate of fresh vegetables, such as the one to the left, with your meal. In addition to the more usual long beans, cucumbers and Thai eggplants, you’ll often find various leaves: I believe the leaves to the left of the picture are cashew leaves. The dish to the right is Sour Curry – แกงส้ม (Kaeng Som). In other parts of the country, the southern version of Sour Curry is often called Yellow Curry – แกงเหลือง (Kaeng Leuang) – to distinguish it from the northern version of Sour Curry – they are quite different. There’s a good Bangkok Post Article: “Kaeng Som” A Thai Culinary Classic by Suthon Sukphisit (offsite, opens in a new window).
The dish on the left is a red-curry based crispy fried fish. To the right is one of the many desserts available at Wang Derm; this one is served in sweet coconut sauce. Be warned though, they do run out of the desserts so you might want to select one early on. The yellow bits on the dumpling in the center are fried mung beans.
Here are two views from the outside of Wang Derm to help you find the restaurant. If you’re in Nakhon Si Thammarat, give it a try for breakfast or lunch for delicious, fresh southern-style Thai food.
Do see my blog on Krua Nakhon Restaurant
Written by Michael Babcock, June 2012 & May 2020.