If you’ve ever spent any time in Thailand, you probably know how hard it is to find an authentic bowl of tangy tom yum goong or fiery som tam salad outside the kingdom. Here in Ubud we don’t have many Thai food spots, but there are a few that do stellar Thai dishes that would be right at home on the streets of Bangkok or Chiang Mai. From time-tested favourites to newbies amping up the spicy, sweet and sour, these are our top picks for Thai restaurants in Ubud.
Located on the happening stretch of Goutama Street that is fast becoming Ubud’s own Eat Street, Warung Siam can be spotted for its bright red patio out front and the Thai flags fluttering above. Inside the space is cozy and comfortable with wooden tables and a giant mural of soldiers battling on the backs of elephants along one wall. The old fashioned lanterns and wood panelling also add a nice homey touch.
Owner Jue is originally from South Thailand, and his authentic homestyle dishes have been winning rave reviews ever since he opened Warung Siam two and a half years ago. In fact the restaurant has been so successful that Jue went on to open Buddha Bowl on Hanoman Street (for Thai and Vietnamese dishes), as well as another Warung Siam in Seminyak.
The great thing about the menu here is that it doesn’t pander to Western palates. Each of the dishes is listed with its Thai name along with a helpful description, and they come loaded with a vibrant array of fresh herbs, chillies and spices. Take for example the Gang Keaw Wan Gai with chicken, green eggplant and long beans swimming in an aromatic green curry coconut milk sauce and served with sides of pickled vegetables and a fiery chilli, garlic and vinegar concoction.
Other popular dishes on the menu include the Yam Woon Sen, a glass noodle salad with minced chicken, calamari rings and prawns dressed with a sweet and sour sauce and topped with peanuts; and the classic Pad Thai Gai with tamarind infused rice noodles tossed with chicken and dried shrimps, topped with a fried egg lattice, and served with sides of chopped peanuts, chilli flakes and bean sprouts.
Jalan Goutama No. 7, Ubud
T: +62 0812 3965 5905
H: Daily: 11am – 11pm
Already nine years running and still going strong, Siam Sally has long been the go-to spot in Ubud for Thai food for good reason. The inviting interior looks like a Thai shophouse with rustic wooden walls, birdcages, and softly lit lanterns, and the menu was designed by their Thai executive chef, so the dishes are true to Siam spices and made with fresh produce from Bali Good Food group’s organic farm, plus a few imported Thai ingredients that you just can’t get here.
Standout starters include the Crisp Morning Glory Salad with tempura-fried morning glory leaves, tender squid, chicken and cashews in a tangy Thai dressing and the Som Tam salad crunchy green papaya and peanuts, tons of flavour from the cherry tomatoes, lime, and dried shrimp, and just a hint of heat. Sally’s Summer Rolls are a great vegan option with fresh veggies, herbs and cashews rolled in rice paper and served with a soy cilantro dipping sauce.
For mains the curries are a good bet, as they come with your choice of proteins like vegan braised tempeh, beef tenderloin, roasted duck, pork or chicken, and each features house-made curry paste and creamy coconut milk. Other favourites among the mains include the crisp batter-fried Jatujak Chicken, and the Seafood ‘Drunken’ Noodles that come with a riot of prawns, squid and mussels tossed with fresh rice noodles and an umami-packed sauce with basil and hot chillies.
Jalan Hanoman, Ubud
T: +62 0361 980 777
H: Daily: 10am – 12pm
Taman Thai may be a bit of a drive from the centre of town, but the route to get there is scenic and the food is definitely worth the trip. Run by Thai native Doll and her partner Jean, this sweet little spot sits amid the rice paddies of Junjungan and it features simple wooden tables that look out to a small garden, and an open kitchen where Doll whips up authentic recipes from home.
Start with a cold Bintang, a fresh juice or a shake, or ask Doll if she happens to have any of her famous Thai iced milk tea brought in specially from Thailand. Then whet your appetite with some starters like the Golden Fried Prawns, Thai Fish Cakes with red curry and vegetables, and fried Spring Rolls with glass noodles and vegetables served with a sweet chilli sauce.
Your main meal could consist of a big bowl of Tom Yam Kung soup with fresh prawns and mushrooms in a spicy red broth infused with lemongrass and Thai herbs, an ample serving of the Waterfall Salad with grilled beef or pork resting on a bed of cabbage and mint leaves and seasoned with a piquant lemon dressing, or the Chicken & Cashew Nut stir fry made with homemade roasted chilli paste.
Jalan Tirta Tawar, Junjungan, Ubud
T: +62 085 337 658 877
H: Daily: 11am – 10pm
Like this post? Feel free to share on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter!