Chef Luke Farrell’s simple and notably concise menu (there are about 20 dishes in total, majoring in curries, stir fries, drunken noodle dishes and salads) pays homage to the food of Bangkok’s neon-lit Yaowarat Road where Chinese and Thai flavours collide. Key dishes include sweet corn fritters; salad of pickled mustard greens and Chinese sausage; drunkard’s seafood and beef noodles; minced beef with holy basil; and crispy pork and black pepper curry. Speedboat’s signature dish, Tom Yam Mama, is influenced by a long-standing restaurant in the area that combines Mama-brand instant noodles with roasted pork, squid, limes and long leaf coriander to create a fragrant soup.
There is just a single dessert - a clever take on the deep-fried pineapple pies found in Thailand’s ubiquitous 7Eleven shops - and the drinks offer is as tight as the food menu with a focus on beer, whisky sodas and cocktails.
Proof that not every restaurant on this list is a polished high-end dining room, Speedboat Bar has a themed feel with walls decorated with souvenirs, awards and signed portraits of speedboat racers and staff kitted out in a specially made Speedboat team football kit. Downstairs has a utilitarian, stainless steel finish while upstairs has a slightly more comfortable feel as well as a bar and pool table. Wall-mounted TVs display Thai re-runs of Thai sports, including sepak takraw, a compelling hybrid between football and volleyball.
The result is an undeniably fun restaurant with a seriously authentic food offer.