Started by Khun Oranuj Thareererg, better known to loyal customers as Auntie Ying, over twenty years ago, Kram’s philosophy of cooking centers on the philosophy of “Mom’s food is the best“. And who are we to argue – sitting down for a heartwarming lunch just about reversed my childhood traumas. Serving up homely plates of local comfort food made from mostly local produce, this 50 year-old oasis in the middle of Bangkok is the perfect hangover cure for a night of beer, cocktails and revelry.
While its secluded locale is eclipsed by the bustle of one of the lesser-known Japanese-influenced neighbourhoods in Phrom Phong, getting to Kram isn’t too difficult from the Phetchaburi Metro Station, about 20 minutes away by foot.
“I love Bangkok street food but it always gives me a stomach ache!” Sound familiar? While it’s no one’s fault many of us grew up with the deadly combination of a gluttonous tummy and a weak constitution, we can always appreciate somewhere where we can find authentic Thai fare that doesn’t break the bank – or the bowels. And hey, the fact that Kram is dressed like a hipster fever-dream, and shares its little enclave with Sarnies Roastery doesn’t hurt either.
Get the Stir-Fried Glass Noodle with Cowsleep Creeper and Egg (THB150) to fall in love instantly. The complex char on springy glass noodles and crunchy cowslip bulbs is a meal in itself, but the Spicy Crispy Gourd Salad with Fried Egg (THB220) also packs a punch with a delicious pairing of minced meat, shallot, spring onion, dried shrimp and sweet chilli.
The Crab Meat and Wild Betel Leafbush in Yellow Curry (THB340) is generously laden with oodles of meat and heat, and we imagine it’ll be absolutely bomb with a big ol’ bowl of white rice. Betel leaf adds a complex peppery twist to the already spicy curry.
To truly maximise your experience here, skip the white rice and go straight for the Prawn’s Orange Head Oil Fried Rice (THB220). As you can imagine, this umami-bomb of a dish is the result of rice bathed in the golden oil you get from deep-frying the heck out of prawn heads.
Looking for something truly aromatic to douse your tastebuds in? Get the Two Prawn Brothers (THB490) for both savoury and spicy butterflied prawns — we got two big ones and 3 smaller ones, if you’re interested — with a chunky topping of coarsely chopped prawns, onions, and minced meat.
After all the intense soul food, you may feel inclined to let your body cool down with a sweet and refreshing Coconut Shoot with Shrimp and Thai Salad, or if you’re too apprehensive to try raw shrimp roadside, the Raw Shrimp with Sour and Spicy Dressing.
For a place with a menu that’s a whopping 17 pages-long with hundreds of recipes, only a mother’s love can explain Auntie Ying’s ability to fill each and every dish with flavour, texture, and this much love.
Kram is located at 113 Phop Mit Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand, p.+66 2 258 8170. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am — 2.30pm and 5.30pm — 10pm and Sat-Sun 11am — 11pm.