With its relaxed vibe, spacious terrace and tasty food, Ruam ticks all the boxes for us.
District: Wan Chai, Hong Kong
How much: Snacks priced between $78 and $118; salads between $118 and $148; meat and seafood between $128 and $278; curries between $158 and $188; rice and noodles between $118 and $138; desserts $88
Must order: Red Duck Curry; Mango Sticky Rice
The best for: Casual alfresco dinner or drinks
Sassy Tip: The spacious outdoor terrace is also a dog-friendly haven. Just make sure to call ahead when bringing along your furry friend!
We’re always on the lookout for casual, neighbourhood restaurants. The kind of place you can rock up to any night of the week, enjoy a few drinks and some casual fare. And new to the Wan Chai dining scene is Ruam, a relaxed Thai bar and eatery that is ticking all the boxes for us.
Located on the first floor of J Senses (where Koh Thai used to be), a quick trip up a flight of stairs from Ship Street and you’re worlds away from the bustle below. Welcoming guests with its spacious terrace, full of lush greenery, Ruam has opened at the perfect time of year for those looking to dine alfresco.
The menu features favourites from across Thailand. From spicy som tum (papaya salad with snake beans, dried shrimp, chilli and peanut; $118), to creamy gaeng kiew wan gai (free-range chicken thigh green curry with peas and eggplant; $158) and the classic pad see ew (wok-fried flat noodles with kale and light soy sauce; $128), the food at Ruam brings an authentic taste of the country to Wan Chai. We particularly enjoyed the rich and aromatic gaeng phed ped yang (duck leg curry with lychees, banana chillies and peanut; $188), served with flaky roti ($38). The confit duck was tender and fall-apart, with crispy skin that held its own against the heavy sauce.
Sure to be an ideal drinking snack, we also enjoyed tucking into the moo ping (pork belly skewers; $78). Deceptively simple, the pork was soft and full of flavour, with just the right amount of char.
Of course, no Thai meal is complete without the classic mango sticky rice ($88). The combo of ripe mango, sticky rice and salty, sweet coconut sauce is always a winner, and Ruam’s rendition of the dish didn’t disappoint.
If you’re unsure what to pick from the variety on offer (or are just ready to feast!), we recommend opting for the “Feed Me” menu. Featuring a plethora of favourite dishes, the great-value sharing menu is priced at just $200 per head for the first 250 customers each month.
We also recommend heading to the casual restaurant and making the most of its happy hour deal and gorgeous outdoor terrace. Drinks on offer include ice-cold Singha beers ($52) and the signature Oh Yeah! cocktail ($88), both of which are 50% off during happy hour (Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm). We hear that a brunch menu is soon to be announced, so you’ll know where to find us come the weekend.
Our verdict: Ruam may not serve up the most extraordinary Thai food in the world, but what is does offer is tasty food, that’s relaxed and which errs on the right side of authentic. Those looking for a new, casual outdoor spot to drink and dine need to add this one to their list.
Ruam, Shop 9, 1/F, J Senses, 60 Johnston Road, Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 3160 8535, www.ruam-thai.com
All images courtesy of Ruam.