Supanniga X Roots is the riverside restaurant we’ve been waiting for
While the banks of the Chao Phraya River may be a great place to take in the sunset, enjoy cool breezes, and have a romantic evening out, the chances of combining this experience with authentic top notch Thai food and a cool vibe venue are highly unlikely. The best you’ll get usually involves high prices and stuffy fine dining. Thus, the arrival of Supanniga X Roots is the biggest splash along the water to date, bringing together some of Bangkok’s top names in food and drink in an absolutely unbeatable location.
If you aren’t familiar with Supanniga Eating Room, you should be. The restaurant’s two city branches (Thong Lor and Sathorn) have been on just about every Bangkok food critic’s list for the past several years. Owner and restaurateur extraordinaire Thanareuk Laoraowirodge opened Supanniga in order to pay homage to his late grandmother’s home recipes, which feature many dishes that come from Trat province—on Thailand’s Eastern seaboard—not easily found in most Bangkok establishments.
Laoraowirodge is a master at combining diners’ nostalgia for home-cooked meals with cool contemporary ambience, without bank-breaking prices. And he’s done this not only with Supanniga, but with his ode to Isaan cuisine, Somtum Der, whose New York branch received a Michelin star, and now has outlets in Ho Chi Minh, Tokyo, and soon-to-open Beijing (as well as a Bangkok branch over on Silom’s Sala Daeng Rd). And now, for his most recent rabbit-out-of-the-hat trick, Laoraowirodge has chosen possibly the most beautiful and iconic spot along the Chao Phraya to open his latest venture.
Supanniga X Roots is nestled right up over the river, with the absolute top city view of Wat Arun across the water. Colourful and chic divans with gold and red fluffy cushions grace a homey wood and terracotta two-storey home that looks out at the “Temple of Dawn”, which is now back to its status as Bangkok’s top twilight and night photo-op must (as all the scaffolding that has been covering it for the past several years has been completely removed). The sunsets here are epic, but the golden lit-up temple once the last light has faded is even better.
You’ll have a hard time looking at the view though, or at least find it in fierce competition with your main reason for coming here, Supanniga’s down to earth and authentic Thai treats. The appetizer platter (B295), with Ma Hor, Mieng Yong, and Khaotang Namprik Kakmoo is a great way to start, featuring an array of small pork bits served with garlic on tangerine, or dried and shredded with roasted coconut wrapped in Cha Plu (wild betel) leaves, offering a spectrum of all of the Thai cuisine flavours—from spicy to tangy to sour.
Look around and you’ll see that almost everyone has a bowl of the signature Moo Chamuang (B190) on their table, a succulent long-stewed pork curry, flavoured with garcinia leaves (a favourite in every Supanniga eatery). The tender braised pork melts in your mouth, mixing with the almost medicinal Thai herbs. Also on most tables will be a plate of Poo Ja (B250), ground crabmeat and pork that has been seasoned with pungent Chantaburi pepper and steamed inside a crab shell, making it wonderfully soft and bursting with flavour.
Beverages are given as much devotion as the food here as well, with mixologist stalwarts Vesper creating cocktails like the earthy Krungthep Twilight (B280), which combines Ketel One vodka with a cider infusion, lemon, and pandanus syrup, or the wicked Wanted On Voyage (B270), which blends rye whiskey, rambutan-infused cider, tawny port, longan syrup, and a drop of absinthe to provide one sunset-loving buzz.
What sets this Supanniga apart though, besides the view, is its teaming up with noted local cafe gurus Roots Coffee and creating an extensive Thai desserts menu to go with the coffee, as the venue serves as an afternoon café as well as being an all-day dining establishment. You can opt for the popular street food-favourite Kanom Krok (B150), a selection of sweet cakes, or the deep blue butterfly pea custard (B150) served with steamed bread. Accompany your chosen dessert with a cappuccino or flat white (B120 each), or perhaps something more adventuresome, such as the Hanuman Cold Brew (B140), where cold brew gets infused with dehydrated jackfruit and an oolong and chrysanthemum tea blend. It’s a Roots creation that is totally unique and found only at this location.
It can’t possibly get any better than this—authentic Thai food, creative drinks, and the Chao Phraya as your romantic Ground Zero—but, then again, if you really want to get “on the water”, Supanniga also runs an intimate river dinner cruise, complete with champagne, and all of its signature dishes. The small 40-seat boat will even pick you up right at the pier in front of the restaurant.
By Dave Stamboulis
Supanniga X Roots
Riva Arun Riverfront | 392/25-26 Maharaj Rd.
Open daily: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm
Tel. 02 714 7608