Benjarot | Benjarote BokBok Somtam | Restaurant | Thai food | Bangkok | Fried Chicken

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Review
 
Benjarot
Restaurants and bars
Bangkok
Open: Mon - Fri 11am - 1pm
Price: Low
Score (/20): 15

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Address: Thanon Krung Kasem (cnr Thanon Nakhon Sawan)
Bangkok
Country: Thailand

Benjarot (or to give it its full name - Benjarote BokBok Somtam) serves some of the best food in Bangkok from two small shop fronts not too far from the National Boxing Stadium. The food is cooked freshly, uses good ingredients and is delicious.
First, however, you need to know how to find Benjarot. Ask your taxi driver to take you along Thanon Krung Kasem which runs along side of a canal until you get to the intersection with Thanon Kakhon Sawan. This intersection is at the bridge crossing the canal and is known as Intersection 26 or Thewa Kam. If you stand with your back to the canal then you will be facing the double-fronted shops that are Benjarot. (Look at the photos below to orient yourself.)
The original shop has just a few tables and is not air-conditioned but this is where all the action is. You can eat at one of the few tables here or go next door where there are five or six tables in an air conditioned street-level room.
It's near an alley called Trok Nang Loeng 1, which gives you access to the excellent nearby Nang Loeng market well chronicled by Robyn Eckhardt on her Eating Asia blog - http://eatingasia.typepad.com/eatingasia/2008/07/steps-from-the.html . She also has a great post on Benjarot - http://eatingasia.typepad.com/eatingasia/2008/02/bangkoks-best-i.html .
Don't leave here without ordering the fried chicken. It looks very simple on the plate but a piece of this chicken combined with the fiery chilli sauce will win you over within seconds. The outside of the chicken is fried to a deep crispness and the inside is succulent and flavourful. All the pieces are on the bone for added flavour.
The Som Tam here is also special purely because of the flavours they manage to pack into the dish. The grated green mango provides the base for a range of flavours and textures including tomato, dried shrimp and peanuts. The depth of flavour in the dressing for this common salad was extraordinary.
One of our favourite Thai dishes (if it is done well) is Pla Dook Foo which is a salad of green mango and crispy catfish with a dressing of lime, coriander leaf, fish sauce, sugar and chilli. The skill in making this dish is frying the cooked and shredded flesh of the fish to achive a very crisp raft of fried fish on top of the oil. This is cooled and incorporated into the salad. Here the flavour is sublime and the texure is excellent. In fact there is a small twist here with pieces of crispy fish skin also added to the mix. What a blast! This is a great dish.
We also enjoyed a dish of roast pork pieces presented very simply but with a dish of chilli on the side. Here the marriage with the chilli transformed it from an interesting dish to a knockout.
We love this restaurant and it is now firmly on our list of must-visit eating places on our frequent trips to Bangkok.
Some pictures follow.
 
     
 

How to find Benjarot: Arriving at the crossroad of Thanon Nakhon Sawan

Thanon Nakhon Sawan, Bangkok

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How to find Benjarot: The Nakhon Sawan Pier is just opposite the restaurant.

Nakhon Sawan Pier, Bangkok

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How to find Benjarot: The Intersection 26 sign

Intersection 26, Bangkok

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How to find Benjarot: Benjarot from across the street

Benjarot, Bangkok

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How to find Benjarot: Benjarot from Trok Nang Loeng 1 alley entrance.

Benjarot from alley, Bangkok

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How to find Benjarot: The air-conditioned shop

Benjarot air conditioned, Bangkok

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The plate of roast chicken

Roast chicken, Benjarot, Bangkok

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Crispy catfish salad

Crispy catfish, Benjarot, Bangkok

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Som tum green mango salad

Som_tum, Benjarot, Bangkok

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The plate of roast pork with chilli sauce

Roast pork, Benjarot, Bangkok

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