We never imagined that a weekend wander around the far-out reaches of the city, in Ratchaphruek area, would result in us running into an Indian restaurant named after the motorized rickshaws we see all around Bangkok — and imagine our surprise when we later found out that it’s part of a well-known F&B chain from Scotland.
Tuk Tuk Asian Streatery, which just opened in June of this year, sits at a corner inside The Circle Ratchaphruek shopping center. Its interiors are dominated by eye-catching, vibrant decor and flashy, colorful murals. Its concept is to make Indian dishes “inspired from the streets of India,” with some Thai twists to the cuisine.
The restaurant may be new to those of us in Thailand, but apparently it’s quite well-known among foodies in Edinburgh and Glasgow, where the first two branches are located. In 2017, Tuk Tuk even defeated dozens of competitors to win Best Scottish Street Food at the Food Awards that took place in Edinburgh.
Coconuts Bangkok recently spoke with founder Rizvi Khaleque, who told us: “We have been thinking about international expansion for a while and Bangkok seemed the ideal location due to the diverse culture — and locals love to eat out here!”
While the first two branches in Scotland only serve Indian dishes, here at the Bangkok outpost, Khaleque and his team decided to make a few changes in the menus by mixing Thai and Indian culinary styles together — and the results are tasty.
Aloo Tikki Chaat (THB125) is a popular street snack in Northern India, and at Tuk Tuk, the fried potato patty comes topped with sweet tamarind chutney, honey yogurt, Bombay sev (chickpea flour sticks) and the popular Thai dessert tubtim krob (water chestnut in coconut milk).
You can forget greasy fast-food French fries, too — the crispy Okra Fries (THB85) here are even better. They arrive alongside an addictive dipping sauce that’s simply made up of Thai chili and mayonnaise. There’s also the Kelada Kroquette (THB125), three pieces of croquette-like cakes that are stuffed with crab meat, potato and chutney that’s infused with tom yum paste.
“I would say Indian cuisine is still up-and-coming in the Bangkok dining scene while the locals are still getting used to the taste. Due to this factor we thought it would be ideal to mix some Indian dishes with Thai ingredients as there are certain ingredients that are used in both cuisines,” Khaleque said.
Moving on to the mains: The highlights, for us, were the aromatic, almond-y Old Delhi Butter Chicken (THB190) dish, as well as the Chicken Biryani (THB220), a traditional curried rice dish loaded with well-seasoned marinated chicken pieces. And, of course, the Garlic Naan (THB80) and Cream Cheese Naan (THB115), warm flatbreads that are made fresh daily.
When asked how he would react to potential criticism that Tuk Tuk does not serve authentic food, Khaleque replied, “When we planned to open in Bangkok, our market survey indicated that it would be best to have a mixture of Thai and Indian dishes purely because of what our customer target base wanted … We may not be the most authentic restaurant due to serving two cuisines from one kitchen, but we are trying to come with dishes that definitely aren’t being created by other restaurants similar to us.”
Tuk Tuk Asian Streatery is located inside The Circle Ratchaphruek shopping mall on Ratchaphruek Road, in the west side of Bangkok.
Tuk Tuk Asian Streatery is at The Circle Ratchaphruek, Ratchaphruek Rd, Taling Chan, Bangkok
Open 11:30am – 9:30pm daily
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