Street-chic Thai Eats
Soul Food Mahanakorn
‘Wholesome ingredients. Honest cooking. Serious drinks.’ Owner and food writer Jarrett Wrisley’s tenet is as simple and straightforward as his restaurant Soul Food Mahanakorn is popular.
Originally developed as a relaxed, but chic bar/café featuring small share plates of the best Thai street food, Wrisley’s deft interpretations of staple classics soon had the city’s foodies knocking on his door. His name is now whispered in the same gushing tones that Thai chef guru David Thompson’s name elicits, and his restaurant has resulted in epithets ranging from Thai izakaya to Thai tapas in attempt to moniker this little taste explosion on busy soi Thonglor.
What is without doubt, is the provenance of ingredients, many of which are organic, locally sourced from small farms in the northeast of Thailand, fair trade and free range. Spicing is authentically hot (no farang-friendly fare here, thank heavens) but it’s the tweaks and twists that enchant – an impeccable duck larb appears with smoked rather than plain duck; salty fried chicken gai tawt hat yai is served with crunchy pickled watermelon; and classic, rich and sour eggplant salad yam makrua yao’s pork is here replaced with smoky bacon and the eggs soft-boiled instead of hard.
The lowlit wood walls, polished cement floors and convivial atmosphere are as much a draw as the excellent Manhattans and martinis, but for our money, it’s all about the melting, addictive Sticky Tamarind Pork Ribs with caramelised pineapple chutney. Soul food indeed.