Inside Erawan Tea Room: Bangkok’s classic, albeit touristy, spot for afternoon tea

All photos: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts Media

The Erawan Tea Room is a pretty well-known spot in Bangkok, beloved by local families and tourists alike. Offering Thai favorites alongside more unconventional dishes, they are also well-known for their daily afternoon high tea service. A regular influx of tourists stops in to eat after visiting the famous Erawan Shrine — located just downstairs, and visible from the tea room’s windows.

The decor has a clubby, contemporary Asian-meets-traditional English feel. Dark floors with dark wood caning, wooden window blinds, and deep red upholstery. As you walk in to the tea room, located on the second floor of the Erawan Bangkok shopping mall, you pass a gift section where teas, coffees, and their various accoutrements can be purchased.

The place is one of those F&B mainstays that, after a few years living in Bangkok, might actually fall off your radar. But, we went back recently to try out the lunch offerings, and found that yes, it’s just as good as we remember.

We started off with their signature teas. It was too warm out to consider hot tea at midday, so we went with iced tea. They offer a variety of unusual iced teas — being a tea room and all — all of which arrive unsweetened with a small container of simple syrup.

We tried the traditional Erawan blend, a tasty black tea, a pandan iced tea served with a comely pandan leaf (makes for nice photos), and a lemongrass iced tea (priced at THB170 each). All tasted great, and we appreciated that the sugar had not been added for us, as it is at so many Thai restaurants.

Next up were appetizers. We had the yam som oh (THB240), a spicy pomelo salad with roasted coconut and peanut — it was delicious, but man, was it spicy. If you expect them to take it easy on the chilis since this place is used to serving a lot of tourists…. Don’t. 

We also tried a traditional Thai coconut-based soup featuring fresh chunks of ocean trout set off by lime, mushroom, galangal, and chili. This tom kha pla trout (THB360) is one of the tea room’s signature dishes and among the most ordered.

For mains, we shared a skillfully prepared pla yang bai toey (THB1,250), an entire red snapper grilled on a pandan leaf with a bit of crispiness before you bit into the soft, white flesh of the fish. It was prepared with a tangy sauce with a hint of tamarind.

For sides, we chose hed hom phad med mamuang (THB250), a traditional vegetable side dish of stir-fried, battered mushrooms with tofu, cashew nuts, capsicum and a bit of mango in the sauce.

We also ordered pad yod mara (THB230), a plate of Thai stir-fried greens most often referred to as water mimosa in English. They have a fern-like texture and were prepared (surprise, surprise) with fresh chili and garlic. This is a common northern street food dish, served elegantly on a footed dish at here at the tea room.

For those with large appetites or who want to try a large variety of tapas-sized Thai dishes, the tea room also offers a daily all-you-can-eat dinner service, from 6pm until 9:30pm, for THB950.

It’s not a buffet, but allows guests to simply keep ordering small plates of food until they are satisfied. The all you can eat menu offers Thai soups, salads, curries, fried and steamed dishes, rice and noodle dishes, desserts, ice creams, coffees and teas, many of the same that appear on the a la carte menu.

The Erawan Tea Room is located in the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, near BTS Chitlom.

FIND IT:
Erawan Tea Room
494 Rachadamri Road
Open daily, 10am-10pm
BTS Chitlom

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