Rom Ngao Indo-Chin Restaurant

Fantastic northern Vietnamese

Photo of Rom Ngao Indo-Chin Restaurant

What we say: 4 stars

Situated on non-touristy Charoen Nakhon Road but within walking distance from Krung Thonburi BTS, this no frills open-fronted restaurant claims to be the only place in Bangkok focusing on northern Vietnamese cuisine, and they do a great job of it too.

Rom ngao is a Thai term that means "in the shade", so the full name translates as "in the shade of Indochina". Given the owner Sao Korn Dao Wieng's fascinating story, it's an eloquent name ripe with feeling and history. A native of Hanoi, Dao Wieng fled with her family to Nakhon Phanom in northeastern Thailand to escape the brutal American bombing campaign during the late 1960s. After learning Thai over many years, she moved to Bangkok and opened the restaurant in 1997.

An extensive menu is written in Thai and Vietnamese and has pictures of most dishes. Well-known selections like banh mi sandwiches, northern Vietnamese style banh xeo and pho are accompanied by interesting selections like nem nuong, a do-it-yourself cold spring roll with unexpected ingredients, and chon gio ran, a delicate salad with a lime-based dressing a type of Vietnamese sausage. Several vegetarian dishes are also available, including an entire section of noodle soups.

Portions are generous and prices are very reasonable -- 40 to 80 baht for most dishes. After your meal, wind down with an authentic Vietnamese drip coffee or ginger tea.

To get here, take exit 4 out of Krung Thonburi station then go straight at the bottom of the stairs. Walk about a half kilometre before turning right onto Charoen Nakhon Road; Rom Ngao Indo-Chin is another half kilometre down on the right, between sois 20 and 24. Apart from the words, “Vegetarian Vietnam Menu”, the green sign is written only in Thai, but it’s hard to miss the rice hats hanging from the facade out front.

Contact details
Charoen Nakhon Road (between soi 20 and soi 24), Thonburi, Bangkok
T: (024) 385 921, (086) 514 0908
Open: Daily 11:00-22:00
About the author
Usually found exploring Bangkok's side streets or south Thailand's islands, David Luekens is an American freelance writer & photographer who finds everyday life in Asia to be extraordinary. You can follow his travails here.

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