Ross Kitchen Explores Thai Cuisine in Neon-lit Retro Glam

A retro-modern Thai restaurant in Phaya Thai that features a cocktail bar you can chill at!

Ross Kitchen Explores Thai Cuisine in Neon-lit Retro Glam

Ask what makes Thailand so well-known to the rest of the world, and almost anyone would say it’s the food. There's no denying that diverse ingredients, techniques, and tastes of Thai cuisine have managed to capture the hearts of so many.

This popularity is how regional Thai food becomes widespread, spawning countless recipes and renditions of classic dishes.

In Bangkok, finding a good place for delicious Thai treats is as easy as turning around the corner. Be it spicy Isan dishes or flavorful Kaeng Pa; you just need to choose what menu to enjoy this evening, and you’re all set for a delicious dinner from a local eatery.

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On this note, we’ve scoped out a restaurant in Phaya Thai. Ross Kitchen serves iconic menus from all regions of Thailand; it also houses a cocktail bar where you can get ice-cold, creative concoctions.

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© Siam2nite
Various menus at Ross Kitchen
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© Siam2nite

After walking into Akara Bangkok’s 4th floor, you’ll find a dining hall chock full of vintage vibes. Ross Kitchen leans into retro Thai aesthetics from the ‘70s-’80s, which is strongly reflected in the décor and design elements.

The open kitchen/bar counter area borrows its appearance from brightly-colored buses, so it feels as if Ross Kitchen is waiting for you to take a tour of each region’s culinary highlights.

Pha Khao Maa patterns on the padded seats and the menu help bring on a casual and homey atmosphere, while wooden chairs and tables give out a warm aura. On the walls, you’ll see vintage Thai movie posters, as well as tiger-shaped neon lights, that provide an original retro-modern ambiance.

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© Siam2nite
© Siam2nite
© Siam2nite

Ross Kitchen takes local delicacies from the four regions of Thailand and gives them a modern makeover. Although the hot Thai flavors still shine through, each menu features plenty of fusion twists. These can be a change in key ingredients or presentations, as well as new interpretations and techniques.

The menu offers quite the variety: spicy salads, grilled items, shared dishes, and bar bites. However, the first signature dish we’d like to recommend is the Larb Duck Confit (400 THB) - duck entrails (liver & gizzard) and mushrooms in Larb seasoning. There's the rich aroma of truffle oil, and the dish is topped with a duck leg confit.

The thigh and drumstick piece is thoroughly seasoned and slowly cooked in oil at 120º C for two hours, then deep-fried to make the skin crispy. (And super delicious!)

Savory Shrimp Cake (300 THB) is Thai-style shrimp cake pops stuffed with salted egg. A bit sweet and very tasty, it’s served with plum and chili dip that we think go perfectly well together.

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Larb Duck Confit
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Savory Shrimp Cake

Next is Mama’s Crab Curry (650 THB) - southern-style crab curry with Chaphlu leaves. It’s made from a seafood stock base (crabs, shrimp heads, and various seafood), which is then mixed with coconut milk, Chaphlu leaves, and crab meat chunks.

Served alongside the curry are rice vermicelli, winged beans, bean sprouts, and dried chilies. Although it’s already salty and spicy, this rendition is a milder version of the original dish, making it easier to enjoy.

Crying Tiger (350 THB) - Isan-style grilled beef brisket in a tenderizing marinade. It’s served with jaew dip and fresh vegetables. For the meat, Ross Kitchen uses grain-fed beef imported from Australia.

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Mama’s Crab Curry
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Crying Tiger
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Crying Tiger

This next one might just be the new favorite for spicy food lovers. Ross Signature Salad (450 THB) - salmon, scallops, and oysters tossed in a Phla-style spicy salad.

The exciting part is that Ross Kitchen will present the ingredients to you at the table: mint, cherry tomatoes, chili paste, fried garlic, fried shallots, and various herbs. Then, they’ll be tossed with the fresh seafood right at the tableside.

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Ingredients for Ross Signature Salad
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The salad is tossed fresh at your table.
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Ross Signature Salad

The following, Pla Ra Bong & Laotian Salsa (similar to Isan’s jaew dip), is a complimentary appetizer set served to every table. Both are intense in flavor with just the right amount of spiciness and kick. They’re served alongside pork cracklings in tiny Kratip and fresh vegetables like cucumber, eggplant, napa, cabbage, and herbs.

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Appetizer Set

Wrap up your meal with ice-cold drinks from Ross Kitchen’s cocktail bar. Designed to look like an old-timey marketplace, the bar’s walls are lined with metal accordion doors. Storefront signs display names like “Paraosot”, “Sao Isan Karaoke”, and “Chai Lai Beauty” with fonts that that remind you of the street ambiance from 40 years ago.

To add futuristic & modern vibes that contrast with the vintage aesthetics, bright red neon lights run through the length of the ceiling. If you love taking photos, you’d definitely want to drop by and take some pictures of this iconic setting.

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© Siam2nite
© Siam2nite

As for the drinks, Ross Kitchen serves everything from wines, beers, to Thai herbal infusions. What you shouldn’t miss, however, is the six signature cocktails (380 THB each), which focus on Thai alcohol and the ingredients found in Thai classic dishes.

Nuan Nang is similar to a piña colada minus the coconut cream. It’s Thai rum, coconut rum, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and lime juice. For finishing touches, the drink is sprinkled with curry powder and garnished with star anise and cinnamon.

On the upper right side is Poh Taek - Thai rum, simple syrup, lime juice, and drops of chili paste oil. It’s garnished with culantro, cayenne pepper, and dried shrimp powder.

The purple-red drink in the lower left corner is Ross Uthai - vodka infused with rosemary, lime juice, mulberry juice, simple syrup, and Uthaitip. It's then topped with rosemary and dried mulberries.

The last of the four is Lam Yong Song Jai - Thai spirit, bitters, and jasmine syrup. The drink is garnished with fresh jasmine flowers, making it very fragrant.

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Nuan Nang
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(Left to right) Ross Uthai, Nuan Nang, Lam Yong Song Jai, Poh Taek
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Poh Taek

Ross Kitchen is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a new take on Thai food with alternative ingredients and modern culinary techniques. And though the food here is packed with creative twists, it retains all of the explosive Thai flavors we know and love.

What are you waiting for? Get your friends and family together and treat them to a delicious meal in a hip, retro Thai setting!

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