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Evil Penevil

Mae Sri Ruen on Beach Road

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Mae Sri Ruen (or Maesriruen) is a chain of inexpensive Thai restaurants that began 57 years ago in Pattaya as a small place selling chicken noodle soup.  It now has 26 branches, with three in Pattaya, one in Rayong and 21 in Bangkok.

 
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The other night I dropped into the branch on Beach Road next to Central Festival.  I wasn't looking for a full meal, but more a snack to tide me over until I ate with friends later that night.
 
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I had the red pork with noodles for 50 baht.  I ordered it "dry"  (without broth) because I didn't want to fill up too much.
 
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It was good, no complaints whatsoever.  The portion was small, but that's what I wanted.  M S R remains a safe bet for Thai food.  A lot of Thai families eat there as well as many farang.
 
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I'm including a review I did of the Beach Road branch when it opened in 2016.  Not much has changed inside or out since then.  Menu prices have gone up 5 or 10 baht on some dishes, that's about all.
 
 
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The interior is bright and extremely clean, both very positive factors for me.  There is an outdoor seating as well as a large enclosed, air conditioned section.
 
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It's not a fancy place, but much more comfortable than hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve similar food.  The times I've eaten there or just passed by, it seemed most of the customers were Thai, but also a fair number of foreigners.
 
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The menu has expanded far beyond the signature chicken noodle soup.  In fact, Mae Sri Ruen could serve as a primer in basic Thai dishes.  Prices are very reasonable for the quality of food served.  You won't find expensive seafood dishes on the menu, but most of the Thai standards are there.
 
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My friend began his meal with minced pork and tofu soup. He liked it and a big bowl was 90 baht.
 
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He followed up with roast duck on a bed of vegetables. Again, he had no complaints and thought the portion was fair-sized for 160 baht. The total cost of his meal with a bottle of water (15 baht) was 265 baht.
 
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I began with hoy tod, a savory pancake made with oysters or mussels and served on a bed of bed sprouts. I chose the oyster version and it came on an extremely hot sizzling plate. That's a mistake in my eyes (and mouth) as the moisture in the bean sprouts produced a lot of steam, which turned what should be a crispy a bit soggy. The taste, however, was excellent, with plenty of small oysters to give the right accent.  At 140 baht, it was reasonable.
 
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My second dish was roast pork with rice at 60 baht. It was tasty if unremarkable.  With a watermelon shake, my meal cost 252 baht.
 
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On another night, I had the chicken soup with rice noodles. It was very good and I understand why it became the restaurant's signature dish.  At 45 baht, it wasn't more expensive than street food.
 
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Nice strips of tasty chicken.
 
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I next had pad thai with shrimp wrapped in a lace-like layer of egg.  It was delicious as well as visually appealing.
 
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It had a surprisingly complex taste with the ingredients complementing each other and the herbs providing accent.
 
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I'm sure for Thais it would have come in as mildly spicy, but for my farang palate, it was medium.
 
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At 185 baht, it was one of the more expensive items on the menu.
 
Bottom line: Mae Sri Ruen offers inexpensive Thai food in air-conditioned comfort. If you want to enjoy your meal in more appealing surroundings than Tin Cups and similar places, then it is a good choice.
 
Evil
Edited by Evil Penevil
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I’ve wondered about that place. It’s air conditioned and right on Beach Rd, next to Central Festival. I’ll have to give it a try soon. 

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