24 Mar '12, 8am

Yup, called it #Bangkok's best Isaan. > MT @benlimisella went to Benjarong -- amazing! Might've seen it on yr site.

Yup, called it #Bangkok's best Isaan. > MT @benlimisella went to Benjarong -- amazing! Might've seen it on yr site.

Quite possibly, yes. And it's not even cooked by Isaan natives. Bangkokian Puang Paka (left, above) opened Benjarot ('five tastes') in Bangkok's Nang Leong neighborhood over thirty years ago. The building in which the restaurant resides (3 tables in the downstairs open-air section, more up, with air-con) belonged to her mother. Relatives wanted to sell it, but she disagreed. To justify keeping the building in the family she started a business on the ground floor. Why not Isaan food? she thought. She began alone, preparing the menu's two items - nya nam tok (grilled beef salad) and laab - by herself. As she cooked, she asked relatives and friends to taste and criticize, and her skill in the kitchen grew. Over time, she added other dishes: somtam, fried rice, fried chicken, 'exploded' catfish salad. As a boy her son, Thongchai Cheynim (right, above), helped out everyday from...

Full article: http://eatingasia.typepad.com/eatingasia/2008/02/bangkoks...

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