Boran, simply put, is a traditional Thai-style noodle shop set in a modern air-conditioned retro Thai-style cafe. Located on the second floor of the Exchange Tower makes it within walking distance to Asoke BTS via the sky walkway.
Retro posters adorn the walls, along with a retro looking portable tv that takes pride of place on a high shelf next to the semi-open kitchen. The dark wooden stools and tables that populate this noodle cafe is a salute to the old school markets and stalls.
The menu comes in Thai, so if you don't read Thai (like me) just request for one in English instead. Saves having to work out how to decipher the menu with limited or no Thai reading skills.
Unsurprisingly, reading from the title of this post, it's all about the noodle here. The main showstopper - in my opinion - being the traditional boat style noodle soup.
Simply pick your protein from pork or beef in your preferred style: meatballs, sliced, braised, combination and so on. Then select the broth; aromatic boat style, clear soup. Move on to choosing your noodle from thick rice noodles to egg noodles to glass noodles. And finally don't forget to specify whether you require a large or a small portion. Prices range from 55-105 baht.
They also have a small selection of dim sum: pork or prawn shui mai, prawn har gau (all 45 baht each), bbq pork buns and a couple of others for 25 baht each.
My steamed prawn shui mai came out alarmingly quick. This is good if you are super hungry, bad if you are a little wary (like me) of why food comes out so soon. But, I have to say they were plump, juicy, and really quite tasty considering. Just remember that this is Thai style dim sum, not Cantonese style dim sum. Yes, there is a difference!
Now for the braised beef boat style noodles. I chose glass noodles (woon sen) as they are made from mung beans and therefore, I regard them as a healthier alternative to rice noodles.
Below is a small, but very generous portion. It had lots of yummy fresh veggies; cabbage, greens, coriander and beansprouts. The braised beef was super tender, although a little fatty. But nothing that a bit of carefully orchestrated biting with good chopstick skills can't solve. Besides, cooking with the fat still on the meat only helps to tenderise it during the cooking process and adds a bucket load of meaty goodness to the flavour of the soup.
On a separate occasion, I came back to try their braised pork boat noodles, again with glass noodles. The pork was less fatty, but still super tender.
You can make it as salty, sour, sweet or spicy as you like with the traditional four condiments that is mandatory for Thai noodle soups. Thai noodle soup served without these four condiments is like serving a scone without jam and cream.
Drinks here include old fashioned rock sodas, iced teas and coffees, Singha beer and a handful of other soft drinks.
Service is quick, friendly and easy going. It may not be as cheap as a street stall, but in my book, it is certainly more comfortable and you do get very generous portions.
2/F, Exchange Tower, 388 Sukhumvit Rd, Klong Toey, Bangkok
Tel: +66 (0)88 022 4022
Nearest BTS: Asoke, exit 6. Walk along the skywalk and take the walkway into the Exchange Tower on the right hand side. Boran is the second shop on the left as you enter the building.