Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี) is a restaurant in Bangkok along Phloen Chit Road, that serves one of the best versions of Thai green curry with beef I’ve had.

But they only serve it one day per week.

In this blog post I’m going to share with you all the details of this classic Thai restaurant that’s withstood the test of time.

ร้านสงวนศรี
Doesn’t it kind of look like an office cafeteria?

Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี)

NOTE: The common English spelling is Sanguan Sri, but there’s actually no “r” in the pronunciation, so it’s pronounced Sanguan Si (or like “See”).

Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี) is one of those restaurants in Bangkok that you could walk by multiple times and if you’re not overly observant, you wouldn’t even know it’s a restaurant.

I remember walking past the front of the restaurant numerous times over the years, always something else on my mind, like on my way to an embassy, and thinking, “that looks like an office cafeteria.”

From the decor and the style of food, it reminded of the fantastic Krua OV in Dusit. It’s a restaurant that’s been around for over 50 years, and I don’t think anything about the restaurant, or the food they serve, has changed.

best restaurants in Bangkok
Fantastic meal at Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี) in Bangkok

Located a stones throw from Phloen Chit BTS station and near the corner of Phloen Chit Road (Sukhumvit) and Thanon Witthayu (Wireless Road), it’s a Thai restaurant that’s remained classic and traditional while everything around it has developed..

I love restaurants like this.

Sanguan Sri Restaurant
Main menu at Sanguan Sri Restaurant (ร้านสงวนศรี)

The Menu

There are a few things you need to know about the menu at Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี).

I only saw that they have a menu in Thai, even written on the white board at the front of the restaurant it’s only in Thai. I don’t think they have an English menu.

But that being said, the staff and owners were all nice and I think they will assist you with ordering if you don’t speak Thai.

Sanguan Sri Restaurant
The daily special dishes

They have a main menu which is offered everyday.

But the catch is, they have a smaller menu of the different specials for each day of the week, and each day it’s something different. Usually on the day menu, they serve their signature dish that everyone who walks into the doors of the restaurant that day orders.

NOTE: Each day has about 5 special dishes, but I’ve picked out what I think is the main dish of that day.

  • Monday – Massaman gai (มัสหมั่นไก่) – massaman chicken curry
  • Tuesday- Kanom jeen sao nam (ขนมจีนซาวน้ำ) – An old Thai dish of fermented rice noodles and coconut cream, here’s what it looks like.
  • Wednesday – Gaeng kee lek moo yang (แกงขี้เหล็กหมูย่าง) – Curry made with Siamese cassia
  • Thursday – Gaeng keow wan neua (แกงเขียวหวานเนื้อ) – beef green curry
  • Friday – Gaeng phet bet yang (แกงเผ็ดเป็ดย่าง) – red duck curry
  • Saturday – Gaeng keow wan lukshin pla krai (แกงเขียวหวานลูกชิ้นปลากราย) – green curry with fish meatballs

So do keep this menu and days in mind. But that being said, I’m sure each day the signature dish is fantastic, so don’t hold back from going if you’re in the area. Or just surprise yourself on the day you go!

By chance (I didn’t know about the menu days), I happen to eat here on Thursday, aka beef green curry day.

Khao Chae (ข้าวแช่) – They also offer khao chae (ข้าวแช่), a Royal Thai dish eaten only in the hottest summer months in Thailand. At Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี) they sell it only during April and May. When I ate here, they had already finished selling it for the year. We all have to wait until April to try it!

Thai green curry
Thai beef green curry

Gaeng keow wan neua (แกงเขียวหวานเนื้อ)

The food was brought to our table, and I did my thing taking photos of all the food. In the meantime, my wife Ying started sampling some of the dishes.

She tried the beef green curry, and she literally gasped, “Oh Mark, that’s the best green curry I’ve had in Bangkok.”

My wife proceeded to devour the entire bowl of green curry (that’s one reason I love her so much), and she ordered me another fresh bowl.

That’s how good it was, once she tasted it, she couldn’t stop.

Price – 100 Baht per bowl

Gaeng keow wan neua (แกงเขียวหวานเนื้อ)
Some of the best Thai green curry I’ve ever had

In Thai it’s called gaeng keow wan neua (แกงเขียวหวานเนื้อ), beef green curry, and it’s one of those dishes for me that can be extremely good, like here, or if you pick up a bag of green curry from the market it can be mediocre at best.

It’s a Thai curry that is often sweetened up un-necessarily, and the flavor of the green curry paste and spices are often not pronounced enough.

By nature of the curry, gaeng keow wan (แกงเขียวหวาน) in Thai the exact translation is, “curry green sweet.”

However, the sweetness is not supposed to be abused with adding lots of sugar, as is the common case sometimes in modern Bangkok.

The sweetness is supposed to come naturally from the thick coconut cream required in the recipe.

best green curry in Bangkok
Can you see the richness of that curry!

At Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี) Restaurant, they made their Thai green curry, what I would probably call perfect.

The sweetness was only there from the coconut cream, and I could taste the richness of the green curry paste including the green chilies, the kaffir lime leaves, and sweet basil, and additionally a hint of cumin.

Their gaeng keow wan neua (แกงเขียวหวานเนื้อ) included cubes of tender beef and Thai eggplant that was so creamy that it melted into the coconut cream.

In my opinion, this is the definition of what Thai green curry should be.

Thai restaurants in Bangkok
Crispy snakehead fish with sweet ginger chili

Prik king pla chon tod krob (พริกขิงปลาช่อนทอดกรอบ)

I’ll tell you straight before getting into it, prik king pla chon tod krob (พริกขิงปลาช่อนทอดกรอบ) has never been one of my favorite dishes, but I wanted to try it since it’s a popular dish to order at Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี).

This version was made with bits of snakehead fish that were minced up and deep fried to a complete crisp. It was then coated in a sweet chili ginger sauce and topped with shredded kaffir lime leaves.

The first taste you’ll get is sweetness (which is why it’s never been my preferred dish), and then you get a nice ginger aftertaste.

If you enjoy dishes on the sweeter side, this is an interesting dish to try.

Price – 80 Baht

Tod man pla krai (ทอดมันปลากราย)
Fried fish patties

Tod man pla krai (ทอดมันปลากราย)

Just from the appearance of it, I could tell the tod man pla krai (ทอดมันปลากราย), fried patties of pureed clown featherback fish and curry paste, would be good. From looking at it, you can detect that sponginess.

best Thai restaurants at Phloen Chit
Enhanced with some pickles

They were very good, and especially the dense yet spongy texture is what really shined.

The flavor of the curry paste was mild, but the overall taste of the blend of pureed fish with the vinegary pickles, was fantastic.

Price – 80 Baht

Gao lao tamlung (เกาเหลาตำลึง)
Soup with ivy gourd leaves

Gao lao tamlung (เกาเหลาตำลึง)

For a soup, my wife and I ordered gao lao tamlung (เกาเหลาตำลึง).

Tamlung, which in English is ivy gourd leaves, has always been a favorite vegetable of mine. It kind of looks and tastes like spinach, but with less of a slimy factor.

This was a plainer, un-spiced soup, just seasoned with salt and pepper and included meatballs, ivy gourd leaves, and mushrooms. It was a great palate cleanser.

Price – 50 Baht

Gaeng tai pla (แกงไตปลา)
Southern Thai fermented fish curry

Gaeng tai pla (แกงไตปลา)

My wife being from southern Thailand, we eat a lot of gaeng tai pla (แกงไตปลา), which is a southern Thai curry made with fermented fish entrails.

The curry soup base of the gaeng tai pla (แกงไตปลา) at Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี) was wonderfully flavorful, salty, and spicy.

While I usually like my gaeng tai pla (แกงไตปลา) with a mixture of roasted fish and some other vegetables like pumpkin or eggplant, their version came with only bamboo shoots.

The taste was very good, but I would prefer it with a few more ingredients.

Price – 60 Baht

Kana pla kem (คะน้าปลาเค็ม)
Kailan with salted fish

Kana pla kem (คะน้าปลาเค็ม)

To finish off our exquisite classic Thai meal, we ordered kana pla kem (คะน้าปลาเค็ม), kailan stir fried with salted fish.

It was an absolute winner.

They didn’t over-do it with the salted fish, but they added just enough to season the greens, but so it wasn’t too salty. Additionally the kailan remained crisp and filled with the flavor of the wok.

Kana pla kem (คะน้าปลาเค็ม) is a must order when you eat at Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี).

Price – 80 Baht

Our total bill for 2 came to 596 THB

Total price

Our total bill for my wife and I came to 596 Baht, but we did eat quite a bit for 2 people.

You could spend anywhere from 100 – 300 Thai Baht per person depending on how much you eat.

Sanguan Si (ร้านสงวนศรี) Restaurant in Bangkok
The outside entrance of Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี)

Conclusion

In an area of Bangkok now dominated by malls, hotels (by the way it’s a good area to stay in Bangkok*), and embassies, Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี) is a shining light of good classic traditional Bangkok Thai food.

All of the dishes I tried were solidly good, but nothing could outdo their beef green curry (gaeng keow wan neua แกงเขียวหวานเนื้อ) which has moved up my best list to become one of the top versions of green curry I’ve ever had in Bangkok.

Sanguan Sri (ร้านสงวนศรี)

Address: 59/1 Witthayu Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330
Open hours: 10 am – 3 pm on Monday – Saturday (Closed on Sunday)
Phone: 02-251-9378 (if you want to eat here are noon on a weekday, you may need to reserve a table)
Prices: Dishes range in price from about 50 – 100 Thai Baht. The portion sizes aren’t big, but they are sufficient and you can order a range of different dishes.

ที่อยู่ 59/1 ถนนวิทยุ (ใกล้สถานีรถไฟฟ้าเพลินจิต ติดกับโรงแรมพลาซ่า แอทธินี) ลุมพินี ปทุมวัน , กรุงเทพมหานคร 10330
เปิดบริการ จันทร์-เสาร์ 10.00-15.00 น. (ปิดทุกวันอาทิตย์)
โทร. 02-251-9378

How to get there: The restaurant is literally a stones throw from Phloen Chit BTS station. Take Exit 5, make a left on Thanon Witthayu, and walk about 50 meters, located along the main road you’ll see the restaurant.



63 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • David Fincher

    3 months ago

    Hey Mark! Just walked past here today on the way to the Vietnamese Embassy. Looked at it and saw the sign, went to do a visa application and came back for early lunch. ยำหมูกรอบ แกงเผ็ดเป็ดย่าง and พระรามลงสรงหมู – which is a dish I rarely see here in Thailand. Everything was fantastic.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 months ago

      Hey David, great to hear from you, and thank you for sharing – glad you had such a good meal here. So many dishes to try on their menu, I’ll try to eat the dishes you’ve recommended on my next visit. Thanks!

  • Mihai

    4 months ago

    Been there today. What a gem! Wanted to get all today’s specials, but 2 out of 5 were sold out (the massaman curry being one of them, unfortunately). Went for green chicken curry instead – excellent choice, spare ribs soup – again, very very good, some sweet curry that didn’t hit home for me and crispy pork salad (stellar). Plus morning glory with salted fish – the kale was sold out, as well.
    Here is a pic of their daily specials menu between Mon-Thu (in English, with pics): https://s10.postimg.org/yakehkjyh/20161010_143835.jpg

    • Mark Wiens

      4 months ago

      Hi Mihai, great to hear you ate here today and enjoyed it. Yah, they do run our of their special pretty quickly. Thanks for sharing the photo!

  • Belinda Travuss

    5 months ago

    Hi we went for a meal on Monday, it was about 1.45 so most of the office staff were heading back to work, so it was getting quiet, the food was swift in its arrival and fantastic, the staff were very helpful and the place spotless. we never would have found it without your post, the image helped too as its sign is not in english. We will go back there on our next trip to sample the fantastic menu of the day. Thanks for the heads up Mark.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 months ago

      Hey Belinda, thanks for sharing about your great experience eating here. Glad the food and service was so good!

  • Belinda Traviss

    5 months ago

    Looved your tips heading down Wireless road tomorrow. You are so lucky living here, whilst we are just briefly passing thru. Lov the TV clips too. Thanks

  • Qiufon

    5 months ago

    My husband visited this restaurant few weeks ago(actually just 2weeks ago). I made sure he read your blogs and watched your videos before he visited Bangkok.

    So when he walked passed by this restaurant he immediately recognized it’s the restaurant you mentioned that they served one of the best green curry beef in Bangkok. And he had a late lunch there.

    And few weeks later, we are going to visit Bangkok again! We definitely will have a meal at this restaurant!

    Thanks for your recommendation!

  • Ilan Ben Tov

    5 months ago

    They have english menu.

    • Ilan Ben Tov

      5 months ago

      And of course thanks for the recommendation, I really enjoyed the food!

    • Mark Wiens

      5 months ago

      Ok, thanks for sharing, good to hear that!

  • Adam

    7 months ago

    Great website! I’m in Bangkok for a layover next month so I’ll be sure to to check this and a few of your other recommendations out.

    I work in Hanoi so if you ever go back there I’d happily send you some recommendations, I know some good spots for your typical and not so typical VN food.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Paul

    8 months ago

    Great post. Mark, BTW, I often stay a the Grand Mercure Fortune Hotel in Bangkok. I really enjoy watching the food tour videos you hosted for the Accor hotel group!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Thank you very much Paul, oh cool, appreciate that!

  • Kitti

    8 months ago

    Hope video is coming!

  • Kitti

    8 months ago

    So P’Ying ate an entire bowl of beef green curry on her own!? Must be really great green curry dish.

    Would love to see you feed P’Ying while she is filming you, that would be cute

  • Tony

    8 months ago

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the post, love the colour of the Beef Green curry.
    Looks authentic to me.
    Also the Kailan with salted fish is a great recipe to try for me.
    Will sure visit that restaurant when I am in Bangkok.
    Thanks

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hi Tony, great to hear from you, thank you!

  • Vikas

    8 months ago

    My hotel was on the next road! If only this article had appeared a few months back.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Vikas, ah too bad, hopefully next time you’re in Bangkok!

  • Stan

    8 months ago

    Great post and once again some useful info including a photo of the front of the place and the map. Interesting that the massaman is chicken and the green curry is beef, whereas in Thai restaurants in Western countries, it is always the reverse!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Stan, thank you very much for reading. Thanks for sharing, that is very interesting. Beef is also not extremely common in Thailand for green curry, but for massaman it’s almost always chicken.

  • RICHARD SIMMERS

    8 months ago

    Mark,

    I want to echo everyone and tell you what a wonderful job you do with these blog posts; my wife and I *especially* love your videos! I don’t think we would ever have found places like this on our own, and there are so many great places to visit and eat!! For example, we often take visiting friends and family to Khlong Lat Mayom floating market (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม), Baan Silapin (บ้านศิลปิน) Artists House & Traditional Puppets Show, and Ang Sila (อ่างศิลา) — always get happy trips from your reviews.

    I don’t see others say it, so I must tell you: putting the Thai characters for locations and food names is *extremely* helpful. I’m just scratching the surface on really reading (I have learned to recognize “ฟรี” everywhere, lol) but pattern-matching food names has opened up so much more for us. Food carts, restaurants like this one, and even small food courts like the one at Saint Louis hospital are now adventures instead of being things we couldn’t get into. A big THANKS!!! to you and your wife for the great work.

    Richard

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Richard, I got back to you by e-mail, but thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words. Glad we share a love for learning and eating Thai food!

  • enam chowdhury

    8 months ago

    Need recipe for this green curry and tod mun phla.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Enam, I will be trying to post some more recipes soon. Thanks!

  • Jan

    8 months ago

    Thanks for the reciipie it is all so nice but i am here in the Phllipines and realy mis thai food . I sill rememer the first tie i went there 1984 and get out off the train in Chng mai and buy chicken down the road it was delicious Sarap what she say here . Thanks Jan

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hi Jan, great to hear from you, and glad you enjoy Thai food so much. I’ll be sharing more recipes soon.

  • Bradley Nestadt

    8 months ago

    Please ignore my thoughtless survey reply

  • tee l p

    8 months ago

    Went there on a weekday lunch period. . . very crowded. . . but authentic old style & taste
    Very unpretenious !

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Tee, thank you for sharing, glad you made it here!

  • Jina

    8 months ago

    Mark I love
    Your blog! Just FYI it’s palate not palette when referring to taste !

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Jina, thank you for catching that. Will get it changed now.

  • Nina

    8 months ago

    I can’t wait to try out this place the food looks goods perfect just what I was looking for. Will be eating there next month :)

  • Nina

    8 months ago

    Mark thank you for this information regarding this restaurant I will be definitely going to eat there. I came last year summer with my family and was so confused as to where to eat as there is so much choice of food around Bangkok so busy. We got confused and ate anything as we where so hungry we also ate in the Siam food court which was ok but the food was a bit expensive there and not that tasty. Started doing my research on what to eat now as we are coming again end of July staying in Bangkok, Krabi as well as Vietnam. Thank you for all your information and youtube videos Im really enjoying learning about Thai food and I love the way you eat keep it up. Hope you find some more amazing foods to share.

  • Tim H

    8 months ago

    Great post! I lived in Thailand years ago and green curry was my favorite dish. After two years, I thought I knew what a good green curry tasted like — and then I had one that just blew me away. It was so vibrant with all the flavors of the fresh curry paste. I hate to admit it, but that curry was served at the Grand Hyatt Erawan weekend buffet! I’d gone to indulge in western food, but after tasting that green curry, that’s all I wanted.

    Next time in back in BKK, I’ll make a beeline for Sanguan Sri on Thursday or Saturday.

  • Scott

    8 months ago

    Just got back from Bangkok last Wednesday – sorry I missed it!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Scott, no worries, next time in Bangkok!

  • Pisonth

    8 months ago

    Next visit to Bkk in Nov, I will be there to have lunch. Thank for good advice.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Pisonth, good to hear that, thanks for reading.

  • Kevin

    8 months ago

    Woh, that looks very nice

  • Jimi

    8 months ago

    The description sounds wonderful. I know we’ve walked by it before, so next visit we will definitely go in. Thank you for all your recommendations.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Jimi, you’re welcome, thank you for reading. Hope you can try this place out.

  • Chris Wotton

    8 months ago

    Hey Mark – great take on Sanguan Sri. It’s one of my favourites and, as you say, a fantastic spot for classic Thai dishes done exceptionally well. I’ve not tried their green curry, though, so I’ll have to make sure I do soon! I’d like to give the kanom jeen sao nam a try, too. I’m not sure whether you’ve written about Sanguan Sri before (though it doesn’t sound as though you have), but if you’ve not already tried the gaeng phet bped yaang they serve on a Friday then you must – it’s another stunner! Also, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe there’s a small English-language menu but that it lists just the daily specials rather than the full selection of dishes. I’ve been eating there every so often for a while, and wrote about it at the tail-end of 2014: http://theworldandhistuktuk.co.uk/sanguan-sri-old-school-thai-food-downtown-bangkok – and now I’ve got some serious cravings going on! :)

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Chris, good to hear from you, thanks for reading, and sharing your post as well. Sounds like maybe we should dedicate an entire week to just eat here everyday so we can experience the full menu!

      • Diane

        8 months ago

        Just wanted to chime in here – they definitely have an English menu, but they keep it underneath the counter and you have to ask for it. Also, I think it only lists the “normal” dishes and not the everyday specials, as I’ve eaten here several times and didn’t even know about them until this post! But hard to go wrong here just looking around and ordering by pointing at what other people are eating :)

  • tobias

    8 months ago

    Great that I found your site – you got quite a thing going on! Great foodshots!!

    I definitely should try some of the restaurants you mention next time I´m in BKK. Only thing is that I´m quite uncomfortable when there is no English menu… I probably just walk by… :-(

    Anyway, thanks for the great recommendations!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hi Tobias, nice to hear from you, thanks for checking out my site. Sometimes it’s a little challenging if you don’t speak Thai, but if you can store some photos of the dishes on your phone, that should be very helpful.

  • Kai Persson

    8 months ago

    Looks so delicious , love your website :)

  • Derek

    8 months ago

    It’s early in the morning in Cali but I can almost smell that curry the photo is so good.

  • Nancie

    8 months ago

    I should not have read this today. I am fasting, and now my stomach is growling :). This restaurant and the green curry is on the top of my list the next time I’m in Bangkok. I’ve noticed over the years that Thai food seems to becoming sweeter, which I am not a big fan. Good to hear that the green curry isn’t overly sweet. I could probably eat here everyday for a week. All of the specials sound amazing.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hi Nancie, good to hear from you, thank you for reading. Yah, you’re right, some of the modern Thai food, especially in Bangkok has unfortunately been becoming more and more and unnecessarily sweeter, when it shouldn’t be.

  • Rahul Bhattacharya

    8 months ago

    Now I know where I’m having my first meal in Bangkok when I get there on July 7th – a Thursday!!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Rahul, good idea. Try to arrive at about 11 am if you can to make sure there’s a table and stock or curry.

  • Carina Simeon

    8 months ago

    Oh Mark, I just loved this article of yours and all the incredible photos, too. I assume your wife Ying is Thai? If she devoured :) that bowl of green curry in one it really really must have been good!!! For our next trip to Bangkok (we normally always stay a month) we surely will go to this “Canteen”-Restaurant of yours – it sounds absolutely great and the prices….omG, reasonable! Of course, living in South India it is very very difficult to get Thai cooking items here (and I do love Blue Elephant) – so I either have to bring my supply in when I come over, or ….. I will look out for more valuable tips from our beloved Bangkok. Thanks to you and Yin.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Carina, thank you very much. Yes, my wife is Thai, and she really did finish off a whole bowl of the green curry while I was still taking photos! Hope you can check this place out next time you’re in Bangkok.

  • JRC

    8 months ago

    wow looks great