Re-interpreting Street Classics at Samlor Restaurant & Bar
The concept at Samlor focuses on Thai klap klaem, a genre loosely defined as dishes that go well with boozy evenings out.
After running 80/20 for several successful years, Thai chef Napol “Joe” Jantraget and Japanese pastry chef Saki Hoshino left the Michelin-starred restaurant in early 2021 to establish Samlor Restaurant & Bar in an historic corner building on Charoen Krung Road.
The concept here moves closer to Joe’s cultural roots with a focus on Thai klap klaem, a genre loosely defined as dishes that go well with boozy evenings out. With the help of head chef Piyapong “Bom” Ming-Ngam, the menu of re-interpreted street classics crosses over into comfort food that can easily be enjoyed with or without alcohol.
Since we first visited in July, amidst a strict semi-lockdown where booze was completely off limits, the menu has changed more than once, but remains anchored by dishes that became instant favourites with frequent diners. One of these is Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce Glaze (280 baht), easily the restaurant’s most Instagram-ed plate. The more recently added Smoked Wings with Jinda Chili Butter Sauce (250 baht) might end up even more popular.
Khao Moo Dang stars pork jowl marinated in red rice koji and slow-roasted over charcoal, served with a homemade red-miso gravy, gooey eggs, kale, and rice steamed in a bamboo joint. Rich, stew-like Khao Kaa Moo, smoked pork belly with stir-fried kale and rice in bamboo, oozes with flavour and just might be the best version of this dish we’ve ever encountered. Equally more-ish is Khao Mun Gai, Samlor’s interpretation Thai-Chinese chicken rice, made with rice from Chef Saki’s hometown Nagoya.
A short section of burgers on the menu includes the popular Krapow Pork Burger with Fried Egg, along with the Sumo Burger, which layers a pork patty with teriyaki sauce, mozzarella, onion, lettuce, garlic aioli, spicy papaya ketchup, and homemade chili brioche bun, and the Thai Wagyu Beef Burger, boasting caramelised onion, demi-glace, bone marrow aioli, and chilli tomato paste.
The available side dishes include a non-Thai standout in Poutine, the French-Canadian dish of fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Daily specials appear on a chalkboard, and have recently included Miso-Braised Thai Wagyu and Rack of Lamb. Thai whiskies and Thai craft beers fulfil booze needs.
Chef Saki’s own Yora-brand artisanal ice cream features all-natural ingredients drawn from Thai, Japanese and international influences. Our faves include Milk & Corn Flakes, Chili Rocky Road, Coconut & Palm Sugar, and the challenging-yet-rewarding Fish Sauce Caramel
Open Wednesday to Monday for lunch (11am-2pm) and dinner (6pm-10:30pm; last food order is 10:30pm; drinks available until midnight; reservations recommended); closed Tuesday.
Samlor Restaurant & Bar, 1076 Charoenkrung Road, Bang Rak, +66 (0) 98 940 3406,