When we were in Bangkok four years ago we had dinner at the traditional Thai restaurant at the Shangri-la Hotel, where we were staying. This time we stayed at the new Pullman Hotel (site of our conference), but we decided to return to this beautiful and elegant Salathip restaurant on the edge of the Chao Phraya River for our one fancy dinner.
“Salathip” means “old house” in Thai (for those familiar with Italian and French, sala in the Thai language is identical to sala in Italian or salle in French!). This old house is a beautiful recreation of a traditional Thai noble family’s house, some of which still exist having survived the onslaught of “progress” with so much recent tear-down and new construction.
The food at Salathip is not the only attraction.
First is the setting, right on the river. With our colleague John Foreyt from Baylor College of Medicine, we sat out on the terrace, watching the world go by on the river. The river traﬃc continues 24/7 and includes tour boats, commuter boats, “long tail boats” (with their outboard motor propeller shafts way above the water line!), tiny tugboats pulling loaded barges via a long chain, neon-lit dinner cruises and delicate hotel ferries.
Further attractions are the dancers and performers wearing brilliant costumes. Their formalistic, highly-stylistic dances relate ancient stories of thwarted love, royal family hi-jinks, and epic battles.
For dinner, this night the three of us ordered separately. I continued on my search for the most delicious Tom Yom and Pad Thai in Bangkok. While I wasn’t disappointed, I also hadn’t sampled enough to declare a winner! Dr. John and Dun were more adventuresome — Spicy Eggplant and Pad Thai for Dr. John, and an unpronouncable ﬁsh for Dun.
The photos may not do the whole experience justice, we loved our return to this oasis on the river.