Thai Tham’s Pork Balls and Pig Brain Soup (Samong Moo) opened in 1957 (!) and is still today a whole-in-the-wall shophouse eatery serving mainly one dish. You guessed it – pig’s brain soup. A favorite among locals, but not as big of a secret as it used to be with more and more tourists finding their way to the Phraeng Phuthon neighborhood (Chinatown) these days. If you think a pig’s brain soup has big chunks of mushy brain meat floating around in it, you are absolutely correct.
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The texture of the brain is not that bad, though, in my opinion. I’m quite used to eating varieties of brain meat, like veal, lamb, or goat. Veal brain can be excellent when fried in a tempura batter. You get that crispy exterior with a soft, creamy inside. I’ve enjoyed this at St. John’s in London and at ORE in Tallinn amongst other places. Lamb and goat brain I’ve only had as more spreadable options, both at Alchemist in Copenhagen and at Gaggan in Bangkok. I found the flavor and consistency more similar to foie gras.
The pig’s brain soup at Thai Tham was interesting, but not particularly appetizing. The stock, pork balls, and pig brain were ok, the latter quite similar to veal brain. However, there were simply too many other unidentified pieces of innards in the soup that I, as the wussy Westerner I am, could not fully enjoy. But I don’t regret the experience, which was unique! Thanks to Billy Bautista and his lovely wife Oh Laopanich for taking us here. Check out their Thai restaurant Thai Niyom Cuisine.