Who’s behind it? The restaurant is run by a husband-and-wife team: Prin Polsuk, the husband and head chef, is amongst the few cooks who research the complex dimensions of Thai food through rare cookbooks. He was David Thompson’s protégé, heading Nahm in Bangkok before going solo in 2018 with a series of pop-ups. Also on the pass is Thanyaporn “Mint” Jarukittikun, Polsuk’s wife. Mint does not only handle the front of house with sisterly warmth, but also co-directs the ever-changing menus and assists Polsuk in sourcing produce from the network of suppliers and artisans that she maintains close relationships with.
What’s the vibe? The restaurant fits snugly behind a residential quarter in the hip Charoen Krung area. If you cannot find it on your first visit, you won’t be the only one: it’s hidden beyond a garage. The interior gives off the cosy vibe of eating food and drinking shots in your friend’s kitchen, but said friend happens to be a skilled chef who cooks with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Thai food.
On the menu: Samrub Samrub Thai serves progressive Thai food that rethinks national cooking traditions. The tasting menu changes monthly according to what Polsuk has been researching and what’s in season, and the compact size makes it possible for him to serve hyper-seasonal, hyper-local ingredients. Even when a theme is repeated, it’s presented from uniquely different angles: when Polsuk cooks southern Thai cuisine, on one occasion it might be dishes with roots in the ancient Srivijaya Kingdom. Next time, you may find the region represented through the food heritage of the Urak Lawoi people, an uncelebrated, yet living ethnic fishing community in Satun province.
Worth noting: While dishes change monthly and rarely ever repeat, there are a couple of add-on favourites for returning diners. The most notable is Regency Kapow, devised from a popular recipe by home economist Mae Porn circa 1972. Kapow is a quintessential Thai stir-fry dish, known for its explosive flavour medley of aromatic sweet basil, garlic and chilli. Polsuk appropriates Mae Porn’s recipe with a generous splash of Regency pineapple brandy, adding sweet, smoky and boozy dimensions to the dish.
100 Maha Set Rd, Khwaeng Si Phraya, Khet Bang Rak Bangkok, ThailandVisit Samrub Samrub Thai on Facebook