After 90 years, Bangkok’s ‘Muslim Restaurant’ to serve its last mutton biryani

Images: Muslim Restaurant / Facebook
Images: Muslim Restaurant / Facebook

A legendary halal restaurant in Bangkok’s old quarter will shut down next week after nearly a century.

After serving delicious authentic Muslim-friendly dishes over 90 years, the unambiguously named Muslim Restaurant on Charoen Krung Road has announced it will cease operations Sept. 1 due to years of losses, mainly stemming from rising rent. The pandemic was the final straw after it was forced to close for months and saw tourism evaporate. 

“Even though we haven’t had profit for a long time, the only reason we fought until today was because the restaurant was founded by our grandpa and his passion,” said restaurant co-owner Natthapol Pakkayawong.

Founded by Maidin Pakkayawong, the family-run restaurant served signature recipes including mutton curry, chicken murtabak and milk tea. It’s been popular with generations of Thai-Muslim locals, tourists, and Assumption College students. Its mutton biryani was only served Monday and Friday. 

After the restaurant announced its last day would be Aug. 31, many have paid final visits. Some customers have shared memories of the restaurant online, or expressed hope it could reopen elsewhere or transition to delivery-only. 

“I’m saddened when I learned of the news. I really liked the mutton biryani, it is the best dish I ever had,” Thitima WSC wrote in reply to the announcement. “I really wish that in the future the restaurant would find a different platform to open again … I don’t want any more good restaurants to close down.”

Paisarn Hataiborvornpong pointed out that it served a more diverse demographic than the name would suggest.

“I have regularly visited this restaurant for a long time, since 2003 when I started to attend Assumption Cathedral, that’s how I knew of this place,” Paisarn wrote on social media. “I’ve been eating at this restaurant for 20 years. What a pity. By the way, this restaurant also has many Catholic customers.”

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