Two weekends ago, before the Red Shirt protests came to a head, I took a taxi up to the Soi Ari neighborhood. Because of the political situation, most people were at home and what could have been a thirty-minute Skytrain ride or a forty-five minute taxi ride took me just fifteen minutes. Down a side soi is a cute little restaurant called Baan Mae Yui – Mother Yui’s House. It is located in an old house set in a nice garden area. The food is standard lunch fare – noodles, fried rice, etc. – but served in a nicer setting than you would get along the side of the street.
The dining area spills out through open doors into a covered patio. There is no air conditioning other than the natural breeze and dozens of fans, but with the green garden just outside, the restaurant always feels comfortable.
One highlight on their menu is the satay, the Southern Thai style grilled skewers of pork or chicken served with a rich peanut-based sauce and pickled cucumbers. The meat is basted with coconut milk, lending an extra rich flavor.
For lunch, I went with an odd choice – pan fried macaroni with tomato sauce. This was actually a childhood favorite of one of my dining companions. It has slices of sausage and onions mixed in and the sauce is a very sweet and vinegary (that is to say, “ketchup-y”) one. It was a lot of fun to eat although not the greatest culinary achievement.
It is places like Baan Mae Yui that make Bangkok neighborhoods so much fun. They date back decades and each have their own unique character. I should write about more of them.