Royal Thai Food at Bangkok’s Classy Krua OV (ครัว OV)
It’s kind of like a home-country dining room, it’s peaceful, slightly elegant, like a cross between a Denny’s and an Irish pub… that is in ambiance, and ambiance alone.
The food is of pilgrimage worthy status.
At Krua OV (OV Kitchen) ครัว OV, they make a selection of curries and prepared Thai dishes known as Khao Gaeng, and among the selection are a number of royal Thai dishes on the menu.
Just like the masses of Bangkok street food stalls that fill the sidewalks around town, this restaurant has a typical glass cabinet filled with tantalizing curries.
They also occasionally serve kanom jeen noodles, have a menu selection with a few more dishes like the popular royal Thai dish of Khao Chae (ข้าวแช่), and a fridge full of traditional Thai desserts and sweets.
I couldn’t wait to get started eating!
How could anyone resist getting an order of their Gaeng Garee Gai (แกงกะหรี่ไก่), a chicken curry that’s similar to massaman, but a little stronger with spices?
One of the well known dishes at Krua OV (OV Kitchen) ครัว OV, is Pla Duk Foo Pad Prik King (ปลาดุกฟูผัดพริกขิง).
Now I’m sure you’ve eaten yam pla duk foo many times, and this dish is similar, yet quite different. The crispy catfish was crunchy, sweet, and nicely flavored with ginger. On top of all the crispies were fried basil leaves, adding a superb extra crunch and fragrance to the dish.
Price: 60 THB
They’re also particularly praised for their version of Kai Paloe (ไข่พะโล้).
Thick chunks of pork belly, fried tofu, and boiled eggs sit in a rich porky gravy nicely spiced with Chinese five spice.
It’s not the world’s prettiest dish, and while it’s a little on the sweet side for me, they did make it extremely well. The pieces of tofu were juicy and fluffy.
Price: 60 THB
Gaeng Garee Gai (แกงกะหรี่ไก่) was every bit as good as it looks, slightly oily, rich from coconut milk, sweet but not overly so, and nicely seasoned with a curry paste that contains a mix of popular Persian spices.
At first I thought it was topped with an egg yolk… but it’s actually a tomato!
Price: 50 THB
The combination of all these dishes on my plate conjoined with rice was quite a delicious treat!
Finally on to the authentic Royal Thai food dish that’s so popular at Krua OV (OV Kitchen) ครัว OV: Khao Chae (ข้าวแช่).
It’s a summer dish, delicately designed to be eaten when it’s hot outside as a cooling and refreshing dish, and that’s exactly what it is.
There are a few components to Khao Chae (ข้าวแช่). First of all the rice, which is prepared using the finest jasmine rice soaked in water and jasmine flowers to give it a floral tinge. The rice is served with actual cubes of ice in it.
The other more beautiful part of any Khao Chae (ข้าวแช่) are the little dainty sides, most of which are rich and deep fried in lots of oil.
Shrimp kapi balls, shredded pork, and my favorite, the green chili stuffed with pork, wrapped in an egg net and deep fried, were among the selection.
Most of the little sides are sweet and oily in order to go exceptionally well with the icy jasmine rice water.
Khao Chae (ข้าวแช่) is an elegant and authentic example of a royal Thai food that was adapted and invented in the Thai royal courts.
It’s a very unique dish, there’s no other Thai dishes that really can be compared to it, and it really is refreshing and cooling.
Some say you’re supposed to take little nibbles of the sides dishes and then chase each bite with a spoonful of icy jasmine rice. However, perhaps not proper, but I quite like a little bite paired at the same time with the fragrant water.
The chili stuffed with pork was by far my favorite item.
Price: 150 THB
Lastly, an opportunity for dessert is hard to pass up.
We got a small dish of Khao Neow Dam Nam Kati (ข้าวหนียวดำน้ำกะทิ), and it was by far the best version I’ve ever had. The sticky rice was almost pudding like, slightly warm, and not too sweet. It was contrasted by thick creamy coconut milk, a true sweet treat.
Price: 20 THB
Here’s a video of the entire meal of royal Thai food!
The Bottom Line
Sitting in an old-style dining room with tables draped in dark green table clothes, a glass cabinet full of delicious things to choose from, and a feel of royal elegance, yet still with very reasonable prices… there’s nothing bad to say about this place!
The food speaks for itself. If you’re looking for a unique restaurant that serves Thai food and dishes up some recipes that have been cooked for Thai royalty, this is a top choice.
Krua OV (OV Kitchen) ครัว OV
Address: 199 Thanon Pichai, Kwang, Nakhon Chaisi, Kate Dusit, Bangkok
Prices: You’ll pay around 100 – 200 THB per person for a fabulous feast
199 ถนน.พิชัย แขวง ถนนนครไชยศรี เขตดุสิต กรุงเทพ
เปิด จันทร์ – เสาร์
How to Get There
It’s a little tricky, but Krua OV (OV Kitchen) ครัว OV, is located in the royal government area of Dusit, right across the street from the Bangkok zoo. The closest BTS Station is Victory Monument, but from there you need to either take a taxi or a bus down Ratchawithi Road towards Dusit until you get to Thanon Phichai (right across from the zoo).
Just a little ways down Thanon Phichai, enter a gate and pass the guard and you’ll see the Irish pub like entrance of the restaurant (see photo above).
It’s a very unlikely place for a restaurant, but very worth a visit!
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