Oodles of Boat Noodles
Located at the Peninsula Plaza Bangkok on Ratchadamri Road, MaiMai Eatery is a testament to a family’s passion for food spanning three generations. The restaurant’s family narrative is nothing if not gripping as it’s beautifully and deliciously delineated in each dish.
The story of MaiMai began decades ago when Thanpuying (Thanpuying is an honorific title similar to High Lady) Chanut Piyaoui introduced the original Ayutthaya boat noodles to the posh high-end mall, and soon the famous Penin Boat Noodle was born. Fast-forward 30 years and after several menu and theme makeovers, Sunong “Mai” Salirathavibhaga and Chalita “Mint” Salirathavibhaga – Thanpuying Chanut’s daughter and granddaughter – decided to opt for a change of name in favor of “MaiMai Eatery” while keeping the original signature menus unchanged.
Given the luxurious mall’s classic style, the owners have lately brought a breath of fresh air and glamor to their newly refurbished restaurant, now with its elegant modern décor, single color theme and chilledout ambience. The all-blue venue is bright and beautiful during the day thanks to the sunlight that floods in through the skylight ceiling.
The story of the widely respected founder and her family seems to pervade every inch of the restaurant. The coasters bear a printed image of either Thanpuying Chanut’s first car or the family’s lovely pet dog.
“For our family, food has always been a vital link between us. Whether it be a family vacation or a weekend get-together, our activities usually revolve around food. This is why every dish here portrays the story and love from our family which we want to share with our guests,” explains Chalita.
The menu includes many standout delights inspired by the family’s favorite dishes and flavors. The renowned “Penin Boat Noodle” is served with the tantalizing aroma of the herb-infused brown broth that wafts up from the kitchen even before the soup lands on the table.
The noodle dish should keep beef lovers happy as it comes with rib-eye beef. Morsels of the raw and thinly sliced beef are placed in the bowl before the chef pours the soup over it so that the beef becomes medium rare and juicy.
“Boat noodle is one of the most famous Thai street dishes, but we want to bring it to a new level. So after experimenting a few twists, we came up with the perfect combination of high-quality beef with authentic boat noodle broth,” says Chalita.
Another must-try dish is “Thai Pork Satay with Thai-style Toast” that’s accompanied with rich peanut sauce and
refreshing ar-jard dip. The pork is well-roasted with the subtle sweetness from a coconut milk marinade. The ar-jard – a mixture of thin cucumber slices in vinegar – brings freshness to the rich satay and helps cut the greasiness perfectly.
“Stir-Fried Flat Noodle with Fried Fish, Black Beans and Gravy Sauce” – Thanpuying Chanut’s favorite dish – is flat rice noodles and carefully sourced fish stir-fried until golden brown with black beans and spices, and topped with gravy sauce. The dish says a lot about the chef’s meticulous attention to detail as evident in the freshness of the ingredients used and the balance of flavors that is just right.
The restaurant’s traditional Thai set meals include the popular “Sticky Rice and Papaya Salad with Barbecued Pork Ribs”, which is worth trying. The barbecued pork just melts in your mouth and the som tam, or papaya salad, is well-seasoned and complements the flavor of the pork.
“Stir-Fried Rice Mackerel with Fresh Thai Herbs” is simply amazing. The mackerel comes with a pleasant aroma from the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and chili. The subtle spiciness is contrasted with the sourness from the lime.
“We want to keep the food here authentic and easy to understand while reminding our guests of homemade Thai cuisine and the tastes you’ll find at home,” adds Chalita.
There’s also a range of signature desserts to choose from. “Banana in Syrup”, a traditional Thai delight, is not overly sweet and easily achieves perfection with a splash of coconut milk. “Coconut Crème Brulee” is given a Thai twist, adorably served in a coconut shell and has a chewy texture thanks to the use of coconut milk and fresh coconut meat. Savoring these mouth-watering, Thai-style desserts is the best way to end a meal here.
MaiMai Eatery is the perfect place for a quick and easy gourmet lunch or a flavorful dinner after a long day. Open daily from 10am to 8pm, it is a great place to feast on authentic Ayutthaya boat noodles and classic Thai dishes with a modern twist, while learning about a family’s interesting love affair with food.
The Peninsula Plaza, 153 Ratchadamri Rd., Lumpini
Tel. 02 652 1399