Somboon SeafoodCurry crab with chili oil is a common dish in Thailand’s gastronomy scene, from fancy restaurant to roadside seafood joint, no hassle to get your share. Foreign visitors follow foot step of the ex-Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi (小泉 純一郎,), members of the Royal Family, and loyal local clientele to Somboon Seafood Restaurant, arguably the best of curry crab in Bangkok people would sacrifice atmosphere for excellent food. Unfortunately my taste bud not so agree with them!
Somboon Seafood is packed almost every evening, without reservations long waiting in queue couldn’t be waived; alternatively you may tell the receptionist that you are staff of an embassy and would like to show your honorable guests the best curry crab in town (make sure your face look sad if your guests have to join the queue), in 2 minutes you may be escorted to your seat. Our table was set in a semi-private room on the 3rd floor, the noise from the very crowded restaurant came through from the hall, lucky that I brought my iPod so I had my own rock n’ roll with the curry crab.
The first dish to arrive was not the crab, it was Stir-fried Mimosa Green. The vegetable was crunchy with enough heat from the bird eyes chili burned my tongue. Good warning for not talking the rest of the evening. Then arrived the Hoy-Jor (deep-fried minced crab meat ball), the golden brown look balls were crispy outside while the meat was moist, well done.
The curry crab can be ordered by dish of small (B250), medium, large or whole crab by weight (approx. B1,000 per crab). Our Wok-fried Curry Crab with Chili Oil was an aromatherapy in gastronomy, ultra fresh, tasted bravo (even it didn't taste as good as ten years ago!) and best to accompany with plain jasmine rice, and I did.
Our bowl of Tomyumgoong (hot and sour prawn soup) was somehow quite Tha-Chinese, means not too spicy so it is suitable for beginners to Thai food. We are rice monsters, to accompany more rice we ordered the Goong-ob-wensen (baked prawn on bed of glass noodles in tin pot), Baked Goose Web in Tin Pot, Stir-fried Morning Glory (water spinach), and Steamed Prawn with Garlic, they were all delicious. We also have the Deep-fried Sea Bass with Chili Dressing and it was good.
Somboon Seafood is packed almost every evening, oh since the crab need some rest (if not the chefs) so lunch is not really existence; hey pal Somboon Seafood is a dinner only restaurant. Service is prompt and decent, I found out service is better in its main branch (Chula Soi 8) while the popular Surawong branch is always (too) busy with less attentive service. Menu is easy to read, pictorial menu is available for tourists. Since Somboon Seafood is so popular please beware that there is scam of taxi and tuk-tuk drivers will bring you to Somboom Seafood or other expensive seafood restaurant by telling you that Somboon Seafood is closed.
Our Ratings (1 to 5 the higher the better): Somboon has [3.4]
(Ratings are based on Food, Service and Ambience, with Price taken into account in relation to Quality) Food =3.5, Service=3.5, Ambiance=2.5, Money Worth=4
Price range for two without drinks (incl. local water) in Thai Baht = BBB
(B=below 200, BB=201-500, BBB=501-1,000, BBBB=1,001-2,000, BBBBB=over 2,000)
* Somboon is a cash only eatery (no credit card accepted)
Details: open daily for dinner only 4-11:30pm
Somboon Seafood Restaurant, (branch 1) #895/6 Chula Soi 8, Banthadthong Road; Tel.: 02-216-4203; (branch 2) #169 Surawong Road, Bangrak, Bangkok; Tel.: 02-233-3104; Also branches on Ratchada Pisek Road and Bangna (Sukhumvit 103). Somboon has only 4 branches in Bangkok and no upcountry branch. Beware of scam! http://www.somboonseafood.com/index_en.html