Just down the street from my house in Bangkok, Thailand is Major Ratchayothin Mall. A small five-storey mall, Major Ratchayothin is comprised of mainly restaurants and cafes, and consequently is packed with people at all times of the day and night. If you’re looking for an inexpensive meal, you’re at the right place with Major Ratchayothin. Almost all the cafes and restaurants here are cheap, but these four are the best.
Major Ratchayothin Food Court – In the last year or so, Major Ratchayothin has added a small food court. Located on the ground floor of the mall, to the right hand side after you’ve walked through the main doors, the food court is the best place in the mall for cheap food. With only around 10 stalls, there’s still a wonderful selection of authentic Thai food from stewed pork with rice and egg to som tam (spicy papaya salad), Thai curries, noodles and fried rice dishes. Although all the menus are in Thai, most of the stalls have photos of the food they serve, so a quick point to what you want will get a smile and a freshly cooked meal while you wait.
My favorite dish here is the stewed pork. Served on a bed of rice, with half a boiled egg, a sweet brown sauce and a side of cooked green kale, it’s filling and delicious, and at 45 baht ($1.50), it’s an amazing deal.
Don’t miss the desserts too. There’s a small coffee and cake stall that makes the best chocolate balls (10 baht or 33 cents each) and another stall in the main area selling authentic Thai desserts like taro in ginger sauce and lod chong (rice flour, pandanus and sugar in coconut milk – they look like green worms but are absolutely delicious).
Chester’s Grill – A Thai fast food chain restaurant, the food at Chester’s Grill is surprisingly good. Specializing in chicken dishes like fried chicken, stewed chicken and rice, chicken burgers, hot dogs and even a spicy chicken with rice, Chester’s Grill is perfect for those who want a cheap meal that also tastes good. Expect to pay 95 baht ($3.10) for a ‘set meal’, which is made up of some kind of chicken on rice, with vegetables, a side order of french fries and a drink. Chester’s Grill is on the ground floor of Major Ratchayothin, just passed the food court.
Gateaux House – If you’re at Major Ratchayothin and dying for a coffee and a cake, ignore the Starbucks and McCafe and go to Gateaux House instead. A cheap cafe, Gateaux House is right next to Chester’s Grill on the ground floor of Major and has a big selection of Thai pastries and cakes. Prices start as low as 25 baht (83 cents) and, if you throw in an iced coffee too, both won’t cost you more than $1.75.
S&P – On the second floor of the mall is another Thai chain restaurant, S&P. They’re famous for their Thai and Western dishes, which Thais love as the quality is high but the price is still cheap. Try one of their many pasta dishes, Thai curries, spicy Thai salads, noodle dishes or various sandwiches. S&P also has a decent selection of cookies and cakes, and their lattes are pretty good too.
At S&P, entrees begin at the 80 baht mark ($2.65) and, as the portions are large, they’re a good deal.
Major Ratchayothin is at the intersection of Pahonyothin and Ratchadapisek roads. It’s about a mile down the road from Central Ladprao Mall and close to Bangkok’s famous Elephant Building (Dtuk Chang). To get there, the easiest way is to take the underground train to Pahonyothin Station, and then a number 104, 503 or 63 bus to Major Ratchayothin four stops down on the left hand side.