BANGKOK - Well known for its authentic Thai dishes, Supanniga Eating Room recently expanded to the Chao Phraya River, offering diners a captivating menu of sumptuous central Thai dishes. The new branch is not a restaurant by the river, though, but takes gourmets out on the water on a brand new 40-seat cruiser.
The restaurant, which has built up a reputation for delightful home-cooked dishes prepared with prime quality ingredients, has two branches, one on trendy Thonglor and the other on Sathorn Soi 10. Now the Supanniga team, led by founder and co-owner Thanaruek Laoraowirodge, is treating gourmets to a scenic dining experience on board the Supanniga Cruise, which launched last month.
"I've long been fascinated by rivers, and have always want to do something close to one," Thanaruek says, "Initially I was thinking about opening another Supanniga Eating Room by the Chao Phraya, but I found this newly built vessel and the idea of a dining cruise immediately came to mind. This is like a dream come true! So we're offering our signature dishes from the restaurant's menu along with a selection of wines from Germany and Italy, champagne from our extensive Tattinger bar and Thai-inspired cocktails created exclusively for us by Vesper."
The compact yet comfortable cruise accommodates 40 people at several tables on the lower deck, and there's additional seating on the upper level. Decorated in subdued gold, earthy yellow and warm wood, the vessel is fully furnished with comfortable seating enhanced by plush pillows. The sides are all open, ensuring an unobstructed view of the Chao Phraya River during the entire journey.
The six-course dinner, priced at Bt3,250 (S$130) net per person, features an array of tasty Thai dishes. Whet your appetite with Thai-style amuse bouche, miang pla tu, for which deep-fried Thai mackerel is wrapped in a betel leaf and enjoyed with a fragrant and salty shrimp dip. Dinner proper starts with a platter of three appetisers; the fruity and savoury mahor with minced pork and orange, kratong thong with spicy chicken in a crispy basket and pomelo salad topped with grilled prawn.
Spicy and herbaceous tom yum soup with jumbo prawn is served next along with a sam rap to share. This comprises several signature dishes such as pork curry with cha muang leaf, crab roe dip and fresh veggies, spicy salad with crispy fried salid fish and boiled eggs topped with caramelised sweet-and-sour sauce and fried shallots.
End the meal on a sweet note with mango and sticky rice, and petits fours a la Thai served with organic herbal tea.
Adding to the gourmet delights is the view. Diners are given a small booklet giving the route and details of each iconic landmark passed. During the two hours, you'll sail past such historic and memorial sites such as Bangkok Fire Station, SCB Taladnoi Branch, Rajini School, the Church of Santa Cruz, the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Pho as well as several beautiful old colonial buildings.
An advantage of this cruise is that it is slower than the larger - and usually louder - dinner cruises, allowing you to really savour the picturesque scenery in a relaxing setting. The timing is also very nice. You set off at dusk when the sky is changing colours and spend the rest of the trip marvelling at the well-lit river.
Supanniga Cruise also offers a shorter cruise, the one-hour Evening Cocktail Cruise, which is ideal for pre-dinner drinks. In addition to a few light and medium body European wines and Tattinger bubbly from France, you get a selection of newly created cocktails by Vesper, priced from Bt320 to Bt450, from which to choose from. Recommended is Arom-Dee (Thai for good mood), which is made with a house liqueur, rose lemonade and champagne with the cooling fragrance of fresh white champaka. For a more spirit-forward choice, opt for Bangkok Negroni with kaffir lime-infused Kristall gin.
- Pick up and drop off point is at River City Pier.
- The 1-hour Evening Cocktail Cruise is available from Monday to Friday at Bt1,250 net inclusive of one drink and snacks, The boat departs at 4.45pm.
- The 2-hour Dinner Champagne Tattinger Cruise, starting from 6.15pm, is available daily and costs Bt3,250 net per person.
- Reservation is recommended at (090) 951 1492 and (097) 238 8284.
- Find out more at www.SupannigaCruise.com.