Restaurant Review : Madame Saranair

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Madame Sarinair is a  Thai restaurant located on Sukuhumivt 21 Soi 3. about 300 meters up from Soi Cowboy on the same street as Heatlhland. You turn onto Soi 3 and it is on the immediate left before Healthland.

Madame Sarinair exemplifies Tourist Thai cuisine. Tourist Thai food is deseasoned to make it palatable for farangs. The hot spices and fire are omitted or used sparingly resulting in a bland version  tourists can tolerate.

Tourist Thai cuisine is not to my liking. Travelling halfway around the world to eat food transformed into the food I left behind seems ludicrous but my opinion is not universally held. My  night at Madame Saranair every table was full and not with farang but with Thai, Japanese and Korean diners. Judging by the crowd Madame Saranair is a commerically successful endeavor.

The interior is warm and inviting and suitable for conversation. The tables are very close together but it’s a weird thing because with mostly Asian customers who respect  your space and converse at modest volume levels the proximity is not a problem. The same spacing with farang and it would be a problem—farang talking so loud their conversation intrudes and where you get constantly bumped by the big white people moving around.

The patrons are well dressed and mostly middle class Thai’s and Asian business types.

The farang manager came over to check on the food and service. He was warm, polite, professional and engaging–an excellent host.

Here are some pics of the menu. You can click on them for larger versions or go to for the full menu.

This is the asparagus and shrimp. It is a rather small serving and all the peppers and chilis were absent.

The is the roast pork.The pork was a good cut with just the right amount of fat and it was fried expertly. The outside was crispy and the inside was tender and juicy.

On the right is the mixed mushrooms. Well cooked, fresh ingredients, but completely lacking in taste.

This is the curry fried rice.

This dish epitomizes Tourist Thai Cuisine.

For those eating in Thailand for the first time this dish has a lot of flash. It’s served in a coconut with chunks of BBQ pork, pineapples, etc. and spiced with Indian curry. For the first timer it must seem quite exotic.

In actuality, it’s a dish that a food science major would design as a profit booster– similar to the featured drinks on most commercial American restaurant menus that consist of a minimum amount of cheap liquor masked by fruit juice or soda and sold for the same price as a double shot of premium whiskey. It’s rice, pineapple, curry and some small bits of scrap pork, all cheap ingredients, dressed up and sold for the price of a  main entree.

It’s virtually impossible for a dish like this to be outstanding because the spices and juice from the pineapple wold have to be carefully and individually balanced for each serving to create the perfect mouthful. Everyday the pineapple would vary in sweetness and the curry in strength and the chef would have to combine to suit. In my serving, there was too much sweet pineapple juice which overwhelmed the curry making it overly sweet.

I am not sure what these are. They were ordered by one of the Thai girls with us.

I do know that the sauce was way too sweet and syrupy.


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