Kungpao Suphunburi: By Brian Baxter
Super quality fish restaurant – at modest cost
This Thai restaurant is both easy and
difficult to review. First, the short simple part. Kungpao
Suphunburi offers superlatively fresh and well-cooked fish
(and other food) in spacious -if inelegant- surroundings.
The service is friendly and the prices are reasonable. There
you have it. Most of what you need to know in a few words.
my allocation of space here comes the more difficult part.
To persuade you that the journey is worthwhile, especially
as they make few concessions to farangs with even the name
printed only in Thai above the large front entrance. It
refers to a province north of Bangkok (I am told) and the
first part of the name means either grilled or barbecued
prawns, which is their speciality.
It is to found a little way out of town, a few minutes along
the Super Highway, in the first soi or street on the left
immediately after the well signed Lanna Hospital – heading
towards Lamphun. The actual location is about 250 meters on
the right down that soi which is known as Lanna Hospital
street. You may know it, since a little further down is the
more well known Green Mile Restaurant. That’s also
recommended, but this week may I urge you to stop before you
The Kungpao is large and brightly lit and adjoins an open
car park. It has two similar open eating areas separated by
a grassy middle and joined by gravel walkways. The structure
is simple with few concessions to fancy décor. The wooden
tables are large and flanked by benches and can seat up to
eight or ten people. You come here for the food, not linen
In case you wonder, there are meat dishes available. Such
stalwarts as stir fried chicken with cashew nuts, deep-fried
chicken and pork and beef dishes. No doubt they are as good
as in any other Thai eatery and are probably worth trying if
you are in a group. There is no wine available so best take
your own (make it a screwtop) or settle for the inexpensive
beer. Large Chang and Singha is just 60 baht, with Leo at
50. Juices are 25 baht, as are shakes, coconut milk and
The menu offers an English translation of most things and is
quite extensive with one page devoted to a mixed bag of
specials and ‘starters’, including deep fried fish patties
(60 baht) and shrimps with vegetables (70 baht).
There are plenty of salads, including crispy fish, mixed
seafood, grilled pork, grilled squid and the spicy tuna
salad, which we opted for. They are all priced at around 60
baht. Other options include deep fried morning glory at 40
baht and stir fried vegetables in oyster sauce at 60 baht.
There are also plenty of soups, including the classic Thai
spicy varieties. Plain rice is just 10 baht a portion and
there is a whole range of fancier options, mainly stir fried
with fish or meat at 30 or 40 baht.
Not surprisingly, my companion and I went for the fish on
offer, including one from the ‘prawn page’. On offer were
variations such as those stir fried with yellow curry,
roasted in butter, steamed with garlic (our choice at 120
baht) or the most popular, those grilled or barbecued and
served with dipping sauces The Mail’s photographer was
eating with a large group at another table and they enjoyed
a veritable feast of those and declared them and the crab in
yellow curry excellent.
Mote interesting are the fish – sea bass, Tub Tim and
freshwater varieties – which come prepared in various ways
and sauces, including Japanese, sweet and sour and lemon or
with garlic and pepper, which was truly delicious. All fish
are priced at 119 baht, regardless of how prepared.
We had a large Singha each and four dishes (plus rice) –
some of which were packed up for taking away – and the bill
for two came to 650 baht including a tip for the young
waiters. On this visit, a Monday evening, it was quiet but
it gets busy at the weekend. Even so parking and finding a
table should present no problems. So there you have it. Why
is that so difficult? Simply because I know from experience
that many people want a restaurant on the doorstep and one
which makes plenty of concessions to the western palate and
other expectations. Certainly more than this restaurant
does. However, I think once you have found it you may well
become a regular.
Kungpao Suphununburi. .Lanna Hospital Soi, off Super
Highway. Open from 15.00 hours until late, seven days a
Japanese Gourmet Chicken
This is another lightly done dish which takes only a few minutes to cook, but
there is the downside - a couple of hours in the marinade. The easiest way to
accomplish this is by using the plastic bags with a zip top (Ziploc). Use large
ones, so that the meat is not all stuck together in the bag - the concept is to
let all sides of the chicken meat to come in contact with the marinade. The
original recipe calls for Japanese rice wine (sake), but Thai rice wine (sato)
can be used.
Place chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag. In a bowl, mix
the Soya sauce and sake to make the marinade and pour into bag, seal and place
in refrigerator for two hours, before removing from bag. In a heavy based pan,
heat the butter and vegetable oil and sauté the chicken breasts for two minutes.
Turn down the heat and pour in the marinade and simmer for four minutes, turning
the chicken breasts frequently until they are cooked properly and then remove
and drain. Now add the bell pepper and sauté quickly.
Arrange chicken breasts on a plate and garnish with sliced, sautéed bell pepper.
CChicken breast fillets
Light soya sauce
Sake (or sato)
Green bell pepper sliced