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The Local: Authentic Family Recipes From Fried Seabass To Run Juan Curry In A Vintage Thai Building

The Local has great food in a vintage Thai building

Great food is even better with an ambiance. That’s one of the secrets behind the great taste of Thai street food.

For those who love a bit of history, The Local is a great choice. Its vintage decor and furniture compliment its equally old family recipes.

Here’s what makes this restaurant a favourite for both locals and expats.

Authentic family recipes from all 4 Thai regions

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Although Thailand is well known for its deliciously spicy food, each region has its own distinct spin. The Local’s menu represents the 4 major Thai regions well, from Southern Thailand’s ultra-spicy curries to Isaan’s som tam.

While every dish is definitely worth a try here, there are a couple of dishes that have made a name for the shop. 

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With how fresh their fish is, the deep-fried seabass with fish sauce (ปลากะพงทอดน้ำปลา) is a stand-out. The fish is deboned and professionally filleted, so it is easy to eat. The natural sweetness, from how fresh the fish is, pairs well with the Thai-style sweet and sour dipping sauce that comes with seafood. 

For veggies, we recommend trying stir-fried Melinjo leaves with egg (ใบเหลียงผัดไข่, Bai Lieng Pad Kai). This is a southern-style vegetable stir fry that is difficult to find in Bangkok, and even more difficult to find done well. 

For curries, try the beef or pork in Thai herb and shrimp paste curry (แกงรัญจวน, Run Juan Curry). This rare dish was originally a leftover recipe developed during the reign of King Rama 5. 

Image credit: @thelocalthaicuisine

It combines your choice of tender meat with Thai herbs such as lemongrass, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, and basil. The final ingredient is the intense shrimp paste. The Local balances the herbs and shrimp paste just right, so that you can get the intense flavours of the shrimp paste while retaining the fragrance of the Thai herbs. 

Great ambiance and service

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Equally impressive to The Local’s stand-out food is its vintage decor. The restaurant sits inside a large colonial-style house. 

The vintage look is complete with wicker chairs and murals depicting traditional Thai houses. 

As you walk through the restaurant, there are also old photos and tools in cabinets that’ll make you feel as if you’re in a museum, rather than a restaurant. 

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You can choose to enjoy your food indoors or outdoors. They even have VIP rooms that are perfect for private parties whenever you have a reason to celebrate. 

Image credit: @thelocalthaicuisine

While the restaurant is quite busy, its staff is some of the most hospitable, even by Thai standards. Thai food can be very intimidating with all the spices and ingredients, so the staff is ready to assist you in selecting the perfect dishes for your meal. 

The Local is a favourite among expats, so you won’t have to worry if you’re still a Thai-language newbie. The staff is more than ready to assist you in English.

Bib Gourmand Thai food at The Local

The Local’s food gets the stamp of approval from both Thais and expats. It also gets the Michelin stamp of approval, and has held the Bib Gourmand title for over 5 consecutive years.

If you’re looking for rare historic Thai food with an ambiance to match, look no further.

The Local by Oam Thong Thai Cuisine
Address: 32 32/1 Soi Sukhumvit 23, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110
Opening hours:
11.30am-10pm, Daily
Contact: +66 2664 0664 | The Local’s website | Facebook | Google Maps

Other Bib Gourmand recipients in Bangkok:

Cover image adapted from: @kaidofei and @thelocalthaicuisine