FOOD BUZZ — Yadong, the famous herbal street liquor, has gotten an upscale upgrade in recent years, with hipster and high-end bars serving it in fancy shot glasses. Mahanaga, a Thai restaurant at the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 29, recently joined the trend, adding an option for guests to enjoy signature Thai food and booze at the same time.
The yadong flight comes in five shots, served in a golden tray. Nearly all of them had a sour fruit at the bottom of the glass. For THB500, you can try three unusual flavors and two traditional shots of the classic “tiger” yadong which mixes the lao khao with Chinese herbs to create a syrupy, red mini cocktail.
Mahanaga changes their homemade yadong flavors each season. We tried: longan, which is great for beginners as it’s a little lighter and sweeter; jujube, which is very sweet but pleasant with a strong cinnamon flavor; and gooseberry, which is the most challenging to the palate as it is smoky and thick, with a rich, sweet finish.
The flight is served with guava slices for cleansing the palate between flavors and a cup of spicy peanut mixture because you can’t drink yadong without a snack.
In its seasonal street food menu, Mahanaga is presenting familiar dishes in an five-star fashion. Their prawn pad thai (THB230) tastes refined with a hint of spiciness, which owes to si racha and zesty tamarind sauces while the mussel pancake (THB230) uses large New Zealand mussels with a dough crispier than other hoi todd you find on the street.
Besides the staple dishes, a rare Thai dish called khanom buang, or crispy prawn pancake (THB320), was presented on the menu. The pancake is crispy, and the prawn and chicken filling has a hint of turmeric sauce and honey.
Another authentic Thai dish is fish cake with salted eggs (THB250). Usually, you would see the fish cake alone served with sweet sauce, but the salted egg filling provides an even stronger hint to the already spicy dish. We recommend eating it with rice or veggies to balance your palette.
Mahanaga’s seasonal street food menu will be served until June 30. The restaurant is located at Sukhumvit Soi 29 and opens daily from 5:30pm to midnight.