Home Cuisine Islamic Restaurant, to give it the full and rather grand title, has a lot going for it.
For starters, it’s a pun-oriented blogger’s dream. Some increasingly tenuous examples so we can move swiftly on: There’s no place like Home Cuisine. Home Cuisine is where the heart is. Wherever I lay my baht, that’s my Home Cuisine. Etc.
For mains, it’s a timeless little gem of a restaurant tucked in the back streets of Bang Rak. Whilst it’s difficult to have a regular eating spot in a city bursting with abundant, cheap and delicious food, Home cuisine is about as close as we get.
Getting to Home is a doddle, from the BTS at Saphan Taksin it’s a 10-15 minute walk straight up Charoenkrung Road, turning left at Soi 36. The restaurant is at the end of the road on the right, opposite the French embassy and next to the mosque. You can spot it by the green and white awning.
Inside, prepare for a slightly incongruous mix of hearty Thai Muslim food soundtracked by classic British songs from the 60s. Biryani and Beatles, together at last.
You can hide yourself away in little green banquettes while you peruse the menu. It’s very relaxing and quiet inside, with a mix of locals – it’s particularly popular with worshippers from the mosque next door in the evenings – and the occasional tourist.
Home Cuisine is a funny place in that it’s always busy but never packed, so it’s a good spot just to take your time and enjoy. And there is certainly plenty to enjoy on the plate.
There is a range of classic Thai food on the menu, but the reason we go so often is for the Thai Muslim dishes. These are dishes you might more closely associate with South Asia – samosa, biryani, dhal – but with a definitive Thai twist. The flavours are gentler and softer, without the spicy punch you find in Indian versions of these dishes. In place of spice, there’s a more aromatic and tangy flavour.
Home’s claim to fame dish is the mutton biryani – khao mok phae. Interestingly the English and Thai names are at odds here – phae is the Thai word for goat, so that’s probably what you’re eating. Whatever it is, it’s delightful.
At 180B, it’s enough for two to share, although you’ll be fighting over it. Perhaps the clue is in the title of the restaurant, but it tastes like proper home cooking, hearty and cooked with care. A fluffy mound of gently spiced, slightly smoky yellow rice, which has clearly been mellowing for quite some time will arrive, topped with various crispy alliums and hiding a large melting bone of mutton within. The meat – imagine a particularly beefy version of lamb – cannot fall off the bone fast enough, dissolving into tender nuggets of flavour.
I always find it amazing how so much taste can be coaxed out of such a simple set of ingredients. If I could only eat one dish forevermore, it might well be this.
There is also a chicken version which is a wee bit cheaper, but slow-cooked chicken just doesn’t hold the same appeal as slow cooked sheep. Or goat. Or whatever.
You’ll also be given a range of sauces and pickles to accompany your meal – drizzle a good whack of the green one on the biryani and you can’t go wrong.
Alongside the biryani there are other stars. Chicken masala and vegetable curries are favourites of ours. Also be sure to get a bowl of dhal curry. The dhal seems to change daily but it’s always tasty and wholesome. An absolute must is a paratha roti (at least one each) to soak up the feast. In a city where breads are not really a thing, these flaky, chewy fried flatbreads are almost literally manna from heaven.
You’ll leave Home Cuisine with a full stomach and likely a full wallet. Three of us ate here recently and it cost less than 500B combined. Around 200B per person will feed you very well indeed.
Home is open from lunchtime to evening (around 9pm) every day except Sunday, when it’s evening only.
Home Cuisine – Charoenkrung 36, Bang Rak, Bangkok. Nearest BTS: Saphan Taksin (10-15 minute walk)