Bangkok To Buriram’s head chef Orrapim Srinack is still only in her mid-twenties, but her passion for Thai cuisine runs deep; hailing from a family of cooks in the northeastern Thai region of Isan, Orrapim strives to ensure that the flavours of her kitchen remain faithful to her homeland, bringing the true taste of Thailand to Malaysians with herbs and sauces sourced from our northern neighbour.
From charcoal-fuelled mookata to the claypot steaminess of jim jum, butter prawns on hot plates to skewers straight from the barbecue, Bangkok To Buriram lives up to the promise of cooking that takes customers through Thailand, most notably Orrapim’s birth city of Buriram (the restaurant’s first-floor space boasts a sports theme that pays tribute to Buriram’s high-flying football club and international motorsport race track).
If mookata makes your mouth water, Bangkok To Buriram’s preparation should hit the spot, especially for rainy-evening comfort. The ultimate indulgence is the Mookata Mix Set (RM45.50; available starting 3pm), cooked at the table to make the meal a complete hotpot experience.
Grease the dome in the centre with chunks of pork fat, then grill your slices of savoury pork belly till they’re sizzlingly succulent, ready for dipping into the restaurant’s own-blended nam chim suki sweet-sour chilli sauce for a smoky-spicy affair.
Tiger prawns, meatballs and vegetables can be cooked in a choice of original pork broth or tom yum soup. This nourishingly balanced portion should easily satisfy two persons, with the pork, seafood and meatballs each served in 100-gram portions.
For soup that soothes the soul, slurp on the jim jum, another Thai street food staple that’s becoming increasingly beloved in Malaysia too, served classically here over a traditional stove, with the scent of everything from sweet basil to lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves wafting out when you lift the lid.
Our set came with plenty of pork (RM35.50), marinated and seasoned just right so that it’s tasty without overpowering the broth, perfectly complemented by an assortment of mushrooms and vegetables, with an egg tossed into the mix to round things up. A sauce of chilli flakes helps fire up our appetite to finish every spoonful of this. If you’re a fan of Asian steamboats, keep this Thai version in mind.
Bangkok To Buriram also does an interesting rendition of butter prawns, with the juicy, smooth crustaceans soaking up all the pure buttery decadence on a piping-hot plate over charcoal, irresistibly served with a runny-yolked egg at the centre (RM39.50). A definite should-order here, since everyone will enjoy watching it made and sampling a distinctively different take on butter prawns.
Beyond those top three temptations, Bangkok To Buriram boasts an extensive a la carte selection that would take multiple visits to explore.
Whether you’re snacking or sharing, start with the Som Tam Mango, tangy and palate-reviving, with large, tender prawns to partner with the impeccably fresh fruit (RM14.50; you can order this with either cooked prawns or raw ones if you’re more adventurous).
Lamb might seem unconventional in a Thai restaurant, but you’ll find it all over Bangkok To Buriram’s menu; the deep-fried lamb meatballs would be addictive for kids and adults alike, so it’s the ideal family order – or a brilliant bar snack to split with your buddies (RM14.50).
Also made for merry munching, the Thai Barbecue Skewers comprise possibilities galore, from chicken, pork, lamb or beef (RM4.50 each) to prawns (RM5), as hearty as everything else here.
Naturally, tom yam and curries are well-represented in Bangkok To Buriram’s repertoire – the flagship Tom Yam meets the mark for a rich, robust bowl (RM17.50 for a large serving that’s packed with a plethora of plump prawns hidden beneath the surface), while the Tom Yam Chicken in Clear Soup is a little lighter but no less likable, brimming with all the vibrant dynamics that are the hallmark of Thai gastronomy (RM12.50).
Bangkok To Buriram’s Green Curry Chicken (RM12.50) is equally notable – this might seem like a cliche at most Thai restaurants, but the kitchen here elevates it with creamy, natural nuances, making it taste like a home-cooked pleasure that a Thai matriarch might painstakingly prepare for a special family occasion, a far cry from commercialised recipes that come straight from factory-made packets.
Pair the curries with a rice platter – Pad Phed Lamb (RM14.50) would also work for an individual single-plate lunch or dinner, with punchy meat and the full-bodied kick of loads of chillies.
All in all, Bangkok To Buriram could become a neighbourhood favourite, with regulars flocking in weekly to relish its lip-smacking fare while relaxing over the Land of Smiles’ own SPY wine coolers (in vivid-hued varieties that span the Mai Tai to Kamikaze, Butterfly Kiss to Pink Sparkle, at RM13.50 per bottle, or RM65 for bucket of five) and other true-blue Thai alcoholic delights, the likes of Chalong Bay and Mekhong. Teetotalers can sip Thai tea.
Many thanks to Bangkok To Buriram for taking us on this worthwhile journey.
Bangkok to Buriram
3, Jalan SS12/1B, Subang Jaya, Selangor. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 12pm-12am. Tel: 010-221-7361