I clearly remember my first time at Muslim Restaurant in Bangkok’s Bang Rak district – it was about a year ago, on my usual lunch-break-stroll in the area around my office, that I decided to finally give this place a try. I’ve passed by many times, but as I’ve never been a fan of places serving pre-cooked meals from metal trays, I had never considered it as a lunch option. However, there was something about those sky blue walls that lured me in that day, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that I had one of my most intensely satisfying food experiences there and then.
I was almost teary-eyed after my first bite of their roti mataba. Not from the pickled chilis that came alongside it, but because it was so, so delicious. A perfect balance of crispy roti with a tender beef filling – with the right amount of spices and greasy-ness. In retrospect, the fact that I was very hungry might have contributed to this moment of food euphoria – but really, this place is extraordinary.
Founded by a South-Indian goat butcher almost 80 years ago, the restaurant grew into a local institution over time. Now run by the founder’s daughter, a stern-looking but lovely lady manning the counter, the restaurant attracts a mix of 200-year-old uncles from around the neighborhood, office workers on their lunch break and the occasional tourist or two.
The name already indicates the no-frills way business is done here: they serve fantastic food, nothing more, nothing less. The utilitarian interior hasn’t changed a single bit since its opening in the 1940’s, which is, funnily enough, surprisingly refreshing in a city where almost every new restaurant tries too hard to be Instagram-worthy. Service is efficient, quick and super friendly, something that’s not always a given in this part of town.
Visit on a Monday or Friday for their specialty: mutton biryani (khao mok phae). Melt-in-your-mouth slow-roasted goat meat hidden under a bright-yellow pile of fragrant rice. The eggplant curry that comes as a side is not to be missed, either.
The real showstopper, however, is the roti mataba (more commonly known as ‘murtabak’), a delicious edible package of goodness made with beef, chicken or egg. They usually sell out fast, so your best bet would be to come for an early lunch. While you’re at it, don’t skip the spicy-sour oxtail soup and order a sweet lassi on the side – by far the best lassi I’ve had in Bangkok.
Prices per dish range from 30 THB to 150 THB, so order a table full of food without having to think twice about your bank account.
1345-1346 Charoen Krung Rd
Bang Rak, Bangkok
+66 2 234 1876
Monday – Friday: 7 am – 5 pm
Saturday– Sunday: 7 am – 3 pm