“Avoid if you want a decent eating experience. Don't avoid if you're looking for local, drunken rowdiness.”
Disappointment and betrayal
I am sorry to report Suang Muang porn is, unfortunately, no longer the best evening dinner spot on Khao Yai Tiang. In fact, I don't think I would recommend anyone but the risk-takers to continue eating there. To be fair, here is why:
As a foreigner living in Thailand whose employment involves hosting international guests, I was very happy the first time I found Suan Muang Porn restaurant. It used to have a great feel with live music, good scenery, and decent menu of thai and western food. I took my western guests to eat there three different times, the latest being just the ninth of March, this year.
That's when I noticed things were off.
I'm not sure if there was a change in management or financial difficulties, but the portions were considerably smaller. Then, when the music was supposed to happen... Well, nothing did. We didn't stick around though, so I wrote it off as an off night for them.
However, when I returned to take my family on an outing tonight, it was obvious that the place has changed. Orders were taken and subsequently lost. Where there used to be live music they played (and I kid you not) that saxophone bit from "careless whispers" OVER and OVER on a loop for the entire two hours I endured our dinner (well, the bit of it they managed to remember to bring out). I also noticed something I had seen during my previous patronage to this restaurant: an increase in drunken groups of thai uniformed workers and business men. I could literally smell the alcohol of my co-eaters at the table beside me. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but when I bring my parents and younger siblings I would have preferred to have been seated in a less rowdy part of the restaurant. Now, granted, I did find my own seat, but this was because there was absolutely no service on walking into the restaurant. I truthfully thought the eatery was actually closed when I walked up to it, as the lights in their gift shop (at 5 in the evening) were off and doors closed, with no employees around at all. So, even though I had to find my own seat, I would have appreciated someone perhaps suggesting our party of underage minors may enjoy some less... er, enthusiastic table-neighbors. We ordered about fifteen minutes after entering the restaurant. An hour and forty-five minutes later, our order was still incomplete. The restaurant had forgotten our main entree of a lemon-fish dish! By now, after listening to "sexy saxman" for two hours on loop, sitting next to a drunk party of thai uniformed workers, and waiting for our food to arrive, we finally decided to simply leave and make the most of the night we had left. Before we left, however, I thought I would have a conversation with the manager to see what was up tonight, as I speak fluent Thai having grown up in this country. This is the worst part, the part that convinced me I would not be returning to this place.
At first, I jokingly mentioned to the waitress-manager that the same song had been playing for two hours. I received a curt excuse about how it wasn't her problem. I then asked for her manager. He was a younger man, maybe late 20s, and didn't speak English. So I told him about the forgotten and late orders (the rice was very late... How does a Thai restaurant mess up the rice?), the music driving me buggy, and the fact that I was told to pay for everything I ordered, including the items I had not received. He was polite, as anticipated, but all he did was apologize and give excuses why "sexy saxman" had to be playing instead of, perhaps, some nice quiet silence. Apparently, the entertainment for the night failed to show up.
"That's fine, but can you at least change the song?" I asked in Thai
"Oh no, we must only play this style and house music... And I don't think house music is good for our environment" he replied,
"No, this type of music is ok," I explained, "but can't you at least change to another song of this type? You're not even playing the full song, just the saxophone hook!"
"I don't know how to change, the music people are not here."
And this was the big problem: everyone I complained to claimed it wasn't their problem, no one was willing to take any responsibility. Now my goal wasn't to dish out blame, but to hopefully see some action on suan muang porn's side to resolve the situation. Instead, I got empty apologies, nothing for my long wait and missed order, curt and defensive responses from employees, and the drunken cacophony grew louder as the sisyphean soundtrack of that saxaphone bit from careless whispers played on. I don't think I was looking for much; a simple 10% discount, a gesture, would have told me they at least cared about their customer. After asking around, it seems I'm not alone in my changing experience at suan muang porn's restaurant.
I have no clue as to the cause, but it seems the hey day muang porn enjoyed of being a bangkok-elite level restaurant is over and the joint has become a layout for rowdy groups of paycheck-pocketbooks looking to get drunk, sing karaoke, and drag a once beautiful eatery to the level of your average Thai-country karaoke bar. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a bit of singing fun with the co-workers after a long, hard day at the factory, but if you are looking for a refined, scenic, well-run restaurant, you can join me as I am once again on the quest for a quiet place to enjoy Thailand's wonderful food and scenery. And if you want to bring your favorite mixtape along, that's fine, so long as you leave (and I'm serious) the, for me now eternally ruined, song "Careless Whispers" behind.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.