Make sure you don’t get too curried away.
By Ashima Sethi
Tuk Tuk Asian Streatery is a vibrant Indian eatery nestled inside the sprawling The Circle Ratchapruek shopping complex on the outskirts of central Bangkok. Although this branch is a newcomer to Bangkok’s impressive list of Indian eateries, the chain’s original outposts in Edinburgh and Glasgow have become ultra-popular with patrons looking for delicious Indian cuisine for affordable prices. Founded in 2012 by Rizvi Khaleque, Tuk Tuk’s ethos is centred on serving food inspired by the tireless hawkers of India, offering menus of simple, home-style, and lovingly-prepared food.
Taking up a cosy corner-spot in the outdoor mall, it’s almost impossible to miss the restaurant if you’re walking by, thanks to its striking cobalt blue exterior. Inside, the restaurant’s lively décor comprises of marble-topped tables, patterned counters topped with miniature tuk tuk models, and large colourful murals of cartoon figures and mottos all of us desis are familiar with, including an eye-catching print of every Indian uncle’s favourite joke: ‘No Life Without Wife.’
Food and Drink
As we’re presented with menus, it’s clear that the food at Tuk Tuk differs from the majority of Indian restaurants, as food is served as small plates (tapas-style) rather than in big family-sized portions. So, rather than the usual routine of ordering a couple hearty dishes to share (only to then complain for hours about how full you are), at Tuk Tuk you can expect to sample tons of different items without needing a post-meal nap!
We began with a couple of street food-inspired starters, including the moreish Okra fries (THB 95). Now I know what you’re thinking… bhindi, really? But we promise, these coated lady fingers are extremely addictive, especially when dipped in Tuk Tuk’s smoky Thai chilli mayo. Another fusion-inspired appetiser, we also tried the Chicken lollipops (THB 95) which paired juicy Keralan-spiced chicken wings with traditional nam jim gai, also known as the much-loved Thai sweet chilli sauce.
Moving onto mains, we decided to order a mix of meaty dishes and vegetarian fare, as well as Classic naan (THB 80) and Garlic naan (THB 85) to soak everything up. We began with the Butter paneer (THB 200). Served in an adorable clay pot, this classic dish of fresh paneer cooked in a creamy, buttery sauce, is ideal for those seeking a curry without too much heat. Another staple we sampled was the Temple daal (THB 100), where flavourful yellow lentils are tempered with cumin, turmeric, and other immunity-boosting herbs. The result? A dish that’s just as comforting as it is healthy.
Opting for one of their recommended dishes, we ordered the Railway lamb curry (THB 230) next. Inspired by a dish made popular by chefs working aboard the Indian railways during the British Raj, the curry comprises of tender lamb cooked in a smoky onion and tomato-based gravy. Of course, when it comes to Indian ‘classics,’ one can’t go wrong with biryani. On this occasion, we ordered the Prawn biryani (THB 240), which was a refreshing change from the usual mutton or chicken variations we’d become accustomed to. Top it off with their refreshing Raita (THB 35) for an added depth of flavour.
As we concluded the meal, we were told it would be a shame to leave without sampling any of their unique sweet treats. Not one to shy away from dessert, we opted for the Grilled pineapple (THB 100) served with a coconut ice cream. A combination of slightly sour and plenty of sweet, the dessert is perfect for Thailand’s hot summer days. Keeping up with the fusion theme, the Nutella naan (THB 100) is reminiscent of the popular Thai sweet roti.
To add to the dining experience, Tuk Tuk offers a menu of non- alcoholic drinks that pair well with the diverse flavour profile of Indian cuisine. Examples include the Rani’s kiss (THB 120), a tangy concoction made with fresh mint, orange, blackcurrant and topped with lemonade. Similarly, the refreshing Honey I’m home (THB 85) combines longan with rosemary and honey. For a true taste of India, the famous Thums Up Cola (THB 95) is available, as well as steaming hot cups of Chai (THB 40).
Tuk Tuk Asian Streatery
C24-C25, The Circle Ratchapruek
39 Ratchapruek Road, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170
Open daily from 11.30am to 8pm
Tel: 02 108 9954
Facebook and Instagram: @tuktukasianstreatery