One thing I have learnt from being asked this question by friends so many times is that they all mean different things by it. For some it will be the restaurant with the most spectacular views, for others, the best food. And, for those who have picked Thailand as their honeymoon destination, the most romantic. Because of this experience, I have now learned to give them all the same answer: “Google it!” It’s not that I’m being unkind or unhelpful, simply that what works for me may not work for them. I want my last night in Bangkok to be about Bangkok and all it means to me. I want the great food; I want to “feel” the city around me, I want to take those memories back to the UK with me. I’m not going to get that feeling sitting on the 65th floor of a skyscraper surrounded by diners dressed up to the nines eating horrendously overpriced lobster Thermidor. Nor am I going to get it being fed morsels of some molecular gastronomic miracle in surroundings that supposedly represent a Whale’s belly.
Let’s face it, the choice of restaurants in Bangkok is so huge there is something for everyone, this is my choice for my last night in Bangkok. The views beat those of any skyscraper restaurant because they are constantly changing; you can feel the rhythm of the city, the old, the new, the unexpected. The prices are certainly modest, or another way of looking at it, ridiculously inexpensive given the surroundings. The choice of dishes absolutely huge, unmistakably Thai, and if you want that lobster you can pick one from the tank at a fraction of the price his brother would have cost you 65 floors up. Also if it’s good enough for Kasma Loha-unchit, one of Thailand’s great food writers who takes her Thai food trip participants there, then it’s good enough for me! By the way, this started out as a great idea (for me anyway!) for a blog post, I mean, after all, I’ve eaten there so many times I have some really wonderful photos to back it up. And I do, somewhere! I mean somewhere as in several hard disks worth of somewhere. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, I’m sure that someday all these digital images will be neatly dated and categorised however that day is not now I’m afraid. Managed to dig out a few but there are some much better pictures over on Kasma’s page here.
UPDATE 2017. Nothing ever stays the same and sadly, Yok Yor is no exception. On our last visit the views were as great as ever but the much-changed menu gave the first indication that this had now become another formulaic tourist joint, ordering a couple of dishes confirmed it. And the waitress added the kiss of death “new owners ka”. Still a nice place to have a beer and watch the river life go by but no more than that now. UPDATE DEC 2019 Oh wow, this place now comes with an avoid at all costs warning, the locals certainly do. The crisps that come with your beer will be the most expensive you have ever eaten, of course you won’t know that till the eye-wateringly high bill arrives.
Yok Yor Restaurant. Chao Phraya River.
There are actually two Yok Yor restaurants on the river, the Yok Yor Marina, and Yok Yor Klongsan, five minutes apart (by boat) on the south side. I personally prefer the Klongsan branch but whichever you choose you won’t be disappointed. Getting there is fun too! You take the Skytrain to Saphan Taksin, walk downstairs to the riverbank and just off to your left there is a pier where the restaurant shuttle boats go back-and-forth picking up passengers. Just tell the attendant you want the Yok Yor boat and before long you’ll be on board a beautiful open-sided wooden lauch deftly navigating the non-stop Bangkok river traffic to whichever of the Yok Yor branches you have chosen.
Check out their website for details and to make a reservation. Yok Yor
Incidentally, they also do night-time river cruises with a full à la carte menu that you order in advance of boarding. To my mind, this is a far better, and much cheaper, alternative for seeing the stunning Bangkok night-time river views than the (colourful) tourist monstrosity boats with the Mexican (why?) music thumping away and an indifferent buffet. The downside for you may be the fact the most of your fellow passengers will be Thai doing what Thai’s do badly, karaoke! Still, great fun and authentically Thai!
A rather younger Molly about to tuck into her fish!
Mexican music playing Thai Cruise boat Yok Yor dinner boat