Generation T lister Thitid Tassanakajohn’s taxi arrives in front of Lerdtip on LadpraoWanghin 70, a Thai-Chinese restaurant run by chef Kamol Chobdee-ngam, at almost midnight on a Friday. The 31-year-old culinary star, also known as chef Ton, is quick to apologise for being behind schedule—it was a busy evening at his modern Thai restaurant, Le Du. He could have picked an after-service food fix near the restaurant but insisted we come here. “The location is far from convenient, but it’s worth the travel,” he tells us. Soon our table has been filled with his usual order: Thai-style marinated raw crab salad, grilled pork topped with lime dressing, deep-fried pig intestines and duck paloh.
While he cooks fine food for patrons every evening, Ton generally goes casual with his own meals. “Actually, Thai street and soul food are great inspirations for my work at Le Du,” he explains. When not at his other family recipe-inspired outlets, Baan and Backyard, his lunchtime gems include unostentatious eats at Boon Aek and Hua Pochana on Chan Road. “I think the charm of these places is that they are absolutely unpretentious. The chairs may be uncomfortable to sit on, the service may not be smooth, the ambience may not be aesthetically pleasing and the dishes may be clumsily plated—but it is truly all about how good the food is.”