Ney - Ney? I say Yes - Yes!
: By Danny B.
Towers of beer flow freely
Woody Allen once remarked (probably more
than once for all I know) that solitary sex had at least one
great compensation: you only had yourself to please. The
same might be said of eating alone. The true gourmet can
work his indulgent way through the menu, secure in the
knowledge that no one will comment on his burgeoning waist
line or complain that the wine chosen is too dry. Better
still no one will mutter, “I wish I’d chosen that.”
Of course, when eating alone the restaurant has to be chosen
with care. Solicitous but unobtrusive staff, a slightly
rarified atmosphere with seating that is sufficiently
separate so that you won’t have to endure a marital spat or
a business conversation and extra special food.
So no good choosing a bustling, friendly and noisy place
where you will feel isolated and somewhat overwhelmed.
Certainly I would never eat alone in one of my local
favorites, called Ney-Ney, although I am sure that they
would look after me exceptionally well. No, this is an
inexpensive Thai restaurant where even a quiet couple might
feel a little ‘out of it’. Since most of the tables are
occupied by four, six or more youngish Thais out for a fun
evening and good food, you either join in the spirit or
sadly go elsewhere.
Please do not be put off by the fact that few farangs go
there. The menu is also printed in clear English and they
will adapt the ‘heat’ on request. The manager Thanachai and
many of the staff speak English and are as friendly a bunch
of hard workers as you will find anywhere in town. It is
easy to find, situated on the corner of Soi Taewan and Super
Highway, about 150 meters before the Grand View Hotel as you
head towards Rincome junction.
Although it gets especially busy towards the weekend, with
around 150 seats you will easily find a table. There is live
music from early evening and the 8:30 singer-guitarist is
something of a star, being amusing and talented. If you
prefer a little peace and quiet choose the outside section
away from the stage and the kitchen area and you may even be
visited by an occasional elephant passing by.
As you will have gathered, a large part of Ney-Ney’s
pleasure quotient comes from the atmosphere which one might
safely describe as ebullient on occasion. But I have eaten
there regularly over the past four years and can equally
recommend the food, which is quickly served in generous
portions. The large turnover ensures its freshness and if
you happen to fancy fish from the outside grill arrive on
the early side, as they often run out on busy nights.
As for drinks, there are plenty of soft options and several
beers but by far the most popular is the draught beer which
comes in glasses or jugs (at 58 baht) and in special beer
towers (150 baht) which will run to about 10 glasses, or
rather more when served Thai style with plenty of ice. No
wine, although I guess you could bring own.
So what of the food? This is not Thai food from any special
region, although there a few specialties from the northeast.
No this is simply abundant local Thai food, served at modest
On my most recent visit, for the express purpose of writing
this report, a group of us took a long table and made a
selection of dishes. Two of each so that lots of passing
around was avoided.
Alongside the tureens of rice and the inevitable Tom Yum
soups we had two styles of Morning Glory. The first was with
garlic and chili in oyster sauce and the second deep friend
and accompanied by a spicy salad (each 60 baht).
Delicious wing bean salad with prawns (you can order it with
pork, also at 68 baht) is a special favorite, as is the stir
fried mixed vegetables (60 baht). For those who wanted it,
fried frog came with young green pepper and nuts and for the
fainter of heart there were deep fried fish with a chili
sauce. Finally chicken with Thai herbs, all washed down with
three Towers of Leo beer.
The total bill, including service and a special tip to our
attentive waiter Bird, brought the total to just on 2,000
baht for twelve hungry and thirsty diners al of whom went
away very satisfied indeed. As a neighborhood restaurant,
Ney- Ney delivers the goods. No doubt there are many similar
throughout the city and one can only urge readers to seek
them out rather than trust to the ‘safer’ options. Just
don’t expect fancy tablecloths, linen napkins or cut
I saw Sam Lehmann, the ex-executive chef from the Amari at the children’s
fair and remembered his tuna melt. This easy to make recipe is an old family
favorite that we all had as children. Our mothers had their own little
variations or improvisations, but the great advantage of this recipe is that you
can pre-make the main ingredients, whip them out of the refrigerator and present
this mouthwatering creation in a couple of minutes.
Toast both sides of bread. Lay lettuce and tomato
slices on bread. Fluff the tuna salad mix evenly over the tomato slices. Cover
with grated cheese and melt under the grill. Serve with seasoned fries, coleslaw
and lemon wedges. Sprinkle with cajun seasoning and parsley.
Rye bread, 2 cm slices
Tuna salad mix
Grated cheese mix
Lemon wedges (1/6th)