Many times, the environment of a place is more important than the location itself, such place exists at Play Farm and Play Café in Thepharak district. Located a few hundred metres in Soi Thewa 3 is a rustic and retro-style restaurant juxtaposed to Khlong Samrong, the original canal that was excavated from the time of Thailand’s greatest poet Sunthorn Phu.
Some might think it’s an antique store or a kingdom of collectibles–retro toys, classic motorbikes, bikes, old-school advertising posters and grandfather clocks. Mai, Sermkit Thammawong converted the empty space next to his house into an animal farm with a restaurant. The assortment of animals eventually reduced to only chickens, ducks and geese but the food menu continues to grow. What I like the most is the sabai feeling of an open-air space which is rare in Bangkok. Since this location is closer to the mouth of the Thai gulf and has a network of waterways around it, clean air and cool breezes serenade the space at night. The nostalgic atmosphere reminds me of yesteryear restaurants/pubs or the ‘upcountry’ places where we would go for a birthday dinner with friends and family, graduation day, first date or the broken-hearted night.
My first dish was black pepper ostrich in a hot pan. The aroma of black pepper and the sizzling sounds arrived first. The ostrich meat tasted like good quality beef, tender but firm. Followed by a curry with milky texture, roasted mushrooms and Cha Plu (betel) leaves. The blend of unique textures with sweet and spicy flavours in the coconut milk was great. The
highlight was the aroma of Cha Plu leaves and the secret creamy taste that revealed when I cracked the mushrooms in my mouth. The danger is once you start, it’s hard to stop! Next was a snapper yellow curry in hot pot, a southern curry style with the spiciness toned down to match the taste of central Thailand. The last dish, indispensable for a meal here, was tuna sago salad–sashimi tuna covered with a mixture of Thai lemongrass and wasabi. The magic created between the wasabi and lemongrass was one of the most unforgettable sensations of all!
There is also live folk band on stage by the khlong. I appreciated that I didn’t need to shout while talking since the music wasn’t too loud, though this place left me feeling so happy listening to music over great food and cold drinks.
Address: 882 Soi Thewa 3, Theparak Rd, Muang, Samutprakarn. Take the Skytrain to Samrong Station, then a taxi to Soi Thewa 3 for less than B50 and a short walk. Play Farm opens 2pm-12am daily except main Buddhist days and election days.
Tel: 085 596 4161