Food Review: Sorn Fine Southern Cuisine, Bangkok | Is This Michelin Starred Thai Restaurant The Best In Bangkok?
The Place I was determined to get a table at Sorn, Bangkok, and read that it is notoriously difficult to secure a reservation. And when I managed to, I was elated. Sorn is a Two-Michelin Star restaurant in Bangkok, and most recently ranked Number 2 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022. The restaurant is helmed by Supaksorn ‘Ice’ Jongsiri, hence the name Sorn, who grew up with Southern Thai cuisine and hence the ethos of fine southern Thai dishes at Sorn.
The restaurant is tucked away in a small lane in Sukhumvit 26 Soi Ari, in a reconstructed old house where the dining space spans over two storey. The dining ambience on level one gives you a glimpse of the open kitchen, while level two is more private and intimate.
I was assigned a private dining corner on level two which is perfect if you just want to enjoy a quiet dinner.
The Food Inspired by the tropical forests of southern Thailand, the ingredients at Sorb are sustainably sourced, mostly within Thailand, and you can expect very refined and sophisticated cooking.
There is only dinner service with one seating at 6pm, and the reservation does state that it only accommodates up to 30 minutes of lateness. Do consider the notorious traffic jam in Bangkok when you make your way here.
Another tip is to arrive with an empty stomach. There is only one menu at 6,500THB per person and you can expect around 14 courses with more than 22 dishes in total. Dishes can be quite spicy as with Southern Thai dishes, so do request for mild spiciness if you are not good with spice.
The meal started with a series of prelude dishes.
The Beach – Sand mole crabs, squid, seaweed powder
Phuket lobster, pickles, and sea conch
“Surat Thani” – Tapee river prawn, rambutan, salted egg. The style of presentation for some courses is that the staff will present the ingredients used in the dish so you get a visual representation, which is great.
Torch ginger ice candy – Torch ginger flower, culantro jelly
Gems on crab stick – Crab, crab roe, yellow chilli paste. One of the signature dishes at Sorn, this is a luxurious showcase of blue swimmer crab legs coated with crab roe.
Coconut – Southern plants, dried squid and shrimp. A lovely coconut soup to go with the gems on crab stick!
Next up is “The Rice segment” where you get Southern jasmine rice cooked by charcoal in claypot using Ranong mineral water.
The rice is accompanied by a series of side dishes where the main course is “The Southern Classics” with vegetable pairings. Here are the series of dishes I had:
Roti – Southern beef curry, live crab curry
Yellow curry – Southern fruits and vegetables
Silver sillago – Turmeric and garlic
Pumpkin and egg – Pumpkin, lobster, wild quail egg
Stinky beans – Flathead lobster, shrimp paste, smoked horseshoe crab roe
Egg sausage – Clear soup
The Condiments served are also very elaborate and it include the likes of Grilled chilli pastes, Hat Yai fried chicken skin, fermented soybeans, coconut milk dip, sweet pork, fish sauce and chill.
This style of serving reminds me of what I had in Pangium in Singapore this year, where the main course is also a communal-style where small dishes are served with various condiments. I guess Asian cuisine has a lot in common, and rice is definitely an integral aspect.
For desserts, it is an elaborate affair no less and here are what I had:
Sago boiled in young coconut water – Longan ice, longan jam, frozen coconut milk, grilled coconut
Seasonal canned fruit
Petit four with Southern style tea or coffee
This is the most elaborate Petit four I ever had. I was shocked when a trolley was wheeled out which has at least eight different types of desserts to select.
Honestly, I was already very full at this point, but I still made a feeble attempt to try one of every piece.
Rants The pace of the meal feels rushed for me, but that might partly be the fact that I was late (it was a very wet evening where the Bangkok traffic was worse than usual), hence my table was far behind others in terms of the progress. The service is good, but could have been more relaxed and personal.
Reservation can be challenging for tourists too. The best tip is to follow their Instagram so you are aware once the slots for the month are released.
And be warned: the mineral water here costs about 700THB or 800THB? A crazy amount even more than what I experienced in Copenhagen!
Will I Return Again? Overall, I had a good meal at Sorn. It can feel a tad overwhelming at some point in terms of the number of courses, where there could be better explanation of the dishes for non-Thai diners like me. Worth a try if you want to give a shot for a refined Thai dining experience.
Is Sorn the best restaurant in Bangkok right now? Let me know your thoughts!
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
56, Sukhumvit 26 Soi Ari, Klongton Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tuesday to Sunday: 6pm to 10pm
Closed on Monday
Ranted by The Ranter