Restaurant Review – Sra Bua

Back to Bangkok once again, and as usual, another gastronomical adventure ensues. This time we’re visiting Sra Bua (roughly translate to Lotus Pool), which is located at the Siam Kempinski hotel and adjacent to Siam Paragon. This particular Thai restaurant is the brainchild of Henrik Yde Andersen, A Danish chef owner of the singular 1 Michelin starred Thai restaurant in Copenhagen i.e. Kiin Kiin.

The world must be going bonkers when some of the more reknown Thai / Asian restaurants are ran by Foreigners, Gaijins, and the like. Can’t possibly be any good, could it? Although David Thompson of Nahm had proven me wrong, but perhaps it’s just an anomaly. Well, on the flipside, a buttload of Asian chefs train at the likes of Le Cordon Bleu, or work in reputable Western restaurants and churn out some amazing dishes. Why wouldn’t the opposite work? Of course, I use Western and Asian term in the broadest sense, but you get what I mean. In any case, I always urge giving the benefit of the doubt, and all that poo I suppose. As long as the chef churns out some brilliant dishes that I couldn’t possibly replicate at home and transcends time and space, then that’s fine by me.

According to their website, Sra Bua’s concept is a modern take or interpretation of Thai cuisine. To me, its cuisine seems to revolve about Thai cuisine, but draws inspiration from other Asian cultures as well such as Japanese, Vietnamese, and the like. We opted for the 2200 baht mini-dinner menu, which seems to be the typical price for a degustation menu in Bangkok, and in the same ballpark with Gaggan and Bo Lan. Here’s a few snapshots from the dinner:

A very tasty squid and prawn cracker with oyster mayo, which was a flavourful bite of food.

Homemade squid and prawn chip served with Oyster mayo
Homemade squid and prawn chip served with Oyster mayo

One of their most interesting dishes is their take on Miang Kham, which is typical Thai street food consisting of various condiments e.g. pomelo, chilli, etc. wrapped with in an edible leaf.

Miang Kham Cornette
Miang Kham Cornette

Another intriguing dish was the Hokkaido scallop with lemongrass snow and kaffir lime. A very refreshing dish although the scallops were overtly chilled for me.

Hokkaido scallop with lemongrass snow and kaffir lime jelly
Hokkaido scallop with lemongrass snow and kaffir lime jelly

Next, we had the egg custard with miso soup, garlic crisp and spring onion. An incredibly punchy dish that was absolutely delicious.

Egg custard with miso, garlic crisp and spring onion
Egg custard with miso, garlic crisp and spring onion

A meringue with a savoury dish? How’s that possible? Yet it works. A very well cooked red mullet, a pleasant meringue and a surprising bite of mint.

Grilled red mullet with cucumber, mint, and soft lemongrass meringue
Grilled red mullet with cucumber, mint, and soft lemongrass meringue

The main course was a very tender piece of beef with oyster sauce, pea puree, and onion crisp. Didn’t quite get the pea puree, but a tasty dish nonetheless. Not particularly groundbreaking though.

Slow cooked beef with oyster sauce
Slow cooked beef with oyster sauce

Dessert was quite comforting with the “snowball” cotton candy with plum sorbet, ginger ice cream, and khao neuw i.e. sticky rice. Quite a successful and pleasant dish.

Snowball with plum sorbet and ginger ice cream
Snowball with plum sorbet and ginger ice cream

Overall, we had a very good meal. There were some surprises and revelations here and there, but a few misses as well. Although the fact that the chef came over to check on us and wish my partner happy birthday was definitely going the extra mile and a nice touch.

Location: Siam Kempinski Hotel. Rama 1 Road 991/9. 10330, Bangkok. +66 (0)2 162 9000. Website.

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