If you talk to foodies in Bangkok; one restaurant always pops up in the discussion...Shahrazad. There are numerous Middle Eastern restaurants located along Sukhumvit Soi 3 (Nana) and Soi 3/1. Everyone in Bangkok knows that the area is called the Middle East Street, which connects Soi 3/1 with Soi 5, demonstrating clearly the significant Arabic influence in the area.
I have to admit; the decor is not the prettiest in town and the ambiance is very 'unique'. I have never been to a Middle Eastern country (except for lay-overs on the way to France). However; I am sure I would not be wrong to assume that sitting in Shahrazad is like sitting somewhere in a Middle Eastern country. The diversity of different types of Middle Eastern nationalities is amazing. Actually; the Asians in the restaurant are the minority.
The first dish was baba ghannouj. The fire roasted eggplant was really good, it was delicately mixed with garlic, lemon juice and tahini sauce, sprinkled with sumac (sour berry) and drizzled with extra olive oil. It went so well with the roti bread.
The next dish was tabbouleh salad. Freshly chopped parsley, tomatoes, green onions, bulgur wheat, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. Tons of textures and flavours.
The next dish was humus. A smooth medley of crushed chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini sauce, drizzled with olive oil. Another wonderful dish that went well withe the roti bread.
The next dish was home made roti bread. The bread arrived at the table hot. They roll, throw up in the air and bake their own roti bread. Really nice.
The next dish was rice pilaf. Very fluffy and tasty rice. Topped with raisins and whole cashews.
The next dish was grilled lamb leg. One of the house specialties. The lamb comes out so tender and just falls off the bone. Nothing beats this dish!
The next dish was grilled minced lamb kebab. One of my favourite dishes; perfectly grilled, tender & juicy...so tasty.
The next dish was deep fried chicken. The most bizarre looking fried chicken you will ever receive. The whole chicken looked like it was whipped before being deep fried. However; the chicken is so crispy on the outside and tender & juicy on the inside. The chicken is stuffed with rice pilaf that is so tasty.
The refrigerator in front of the entrance where you can see the fresh food that is ready to be grilled for your dinner.
The outdoor kitchen. It is at the entrance of the restaurant. You feel hungry seeing them cook everything before you enter the restaurant.
The smoke from the grilling clouds the entrance.
A really good place to have a quick dinner. I mention quick because the food comes to your table so quickly and you do not notice but the whole dinner is finished in less than an hour. It is like fast food. They want you in and out in the shortest time. The amount of times I see them turning the tables is quite amazing. But they have to because so many people are waiting to eat at Shahrazad.
The staff is very efficient but do not expect friendliness from any of the staff. All the staff are female and they are all wearing chadors. Apparently, they have instructions to only serve and do not smile or start a conversation with the customers. The bouncer in front of the door who is in charge of sitting you (no reservations are allowed) is a very scary person. I would not want to get on his bad side.
Oh..and one more thing...no alcohol is allowed which is understandable but not good for us wine lovers. We think the food would go so well with some red wine. Oh well.
Train: Take Exit 1 at Nana BTS skytrain station and walk back to
Sukhumvit Soi 3/1. You'll see Shahrazad about 500 meters into the soi
on your left-hand side.
Tel: +66 (0)2 251 3666