9 Must-Try 'Royal Meals' in Thailand: What the Royal Court Ate in the Past

R-Han Chao Wang's curated lists, coupled with the ideal restaurants - all waiting for you to experience

In the past, food in the Thai palace (R-Han Chao Wang, or Royal Meals) was a matter of sustenance and a symbol of wealth, power, and cultural refinement. Thai royalty enjoyed a luxurious and diverse cuisine that was distinct from what the common people consumed.

Ingredients and Preparation

The royal cuisine featured rare and exotic ingredients, often sourced from across the kingdom or even beyond. These ingredients were prepared and cooked using intricate techniques to create dishes of exquisite flavour and presentation.

Exclusive Recipes

Many dishes served in the palace were exclusive to royalty, with recipes passed down through generations and closely guarded secrets. These dishes often represented the pinnacle of Thai culinary artistry, reserved for special occasions and ceremonies.

Artful Presentation

Presentation was of utmost importance in royal cuisine, with dishes meticulously arranged to delight both the eyes and the palate. Intricate garnishes and decorative elements were used to elevate the visual appeal of each dish, turning dining into a sensory experience.

Today, while the general population may have greater access to a wider variety of foods, including some dishes that were once exclusive to the royal court, the traditions and customs surrounding Thai cuisine remain deeply ingrained in society. Thai people continue to value the importance of sharing meals with family and friends, and many traditional dishes are still enjoyed in homes and restaurants across the country.

If you want to try traditional Thai food, which highlights dishes often served to past Thai royalty, Koktail has gathered a must-try menu for you below, along with the restaurants where you can find these dishes.

Miang Kham (Savoury Leaf Wraps)

A traditional snack made with various ingredients such as roasted coconut, peanuts, dried shrimp, lime, ginger, and chilli, wrapped in betel leaves.

Yum Yhai (Thai-style assorted spicy salad)

A salad made with shrimp, pork, chicken breast, pork skin, sun-dried squid, hard-boiled egg, jelly ear mushroom, cucumber, onion, roasted pounded peanuts, and herbs, seasoned with salt, vinegar, sugar, and red chilli.

Khao Chae (Chilled Rice)

A delicacy consisting of jasmine rice served with various side dishes such as fried shrimp paste balls, shredded sweetened beef, and stuffed shallots, all served with iced jasmine-scented water.

Kaeng Ranjuan (Royal Curry)

A specialty curry dish reserved for royal occasions, made with a combination of exotic spices, fruits, and meats, resulting in a complex and aromatic flavour.

Tao Jiaw Lon (Herbed Soya Beans Dipping)

Lon is a Thai meat dip featuring coconut cream and ground pork, often including crayfish or shrimp. It distinguishes itself from other dips like nam phrik. This version utilises fermented soybeans and tamarind instead of fish. It offers a savoury, sweet, tangy, and herbal flavour profile. Lon pairs perfectly with fresh vegetables.

Tom jiw (Stewed shank beef with mango and potato in sour soup)

A spicy and sour soup typically made with a clear broth, meat (such as pork ribs or beef), and a variety of herbs and vegetables. The soup is flavoured with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chilli peppers, and lime juice, giving it a refreshing and aromatic taste. Tom Jiw is often enjoyed as a comforting and flavourful dish, perfect for stimulating the appetite and warming up on cooler days.

Nam phrik long ruea

Nam phrik long ruea, translated to "chilli paste from a boat vendor," is a versatile Thai condiment. Made with roasted chilies, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste, and fish sauce, it offers intense spicy, salty, and savoury flavours. Commonly used as a dip or flavour enhancer in Thai cuisine, it adds depth to dishes with fresh vegetables, grilled meats, or seafood.

Khanom chin sao nam (Thai rice noodle with coconut milk)

"Khanom chin sao nam" is a Central Thai dish featuring powdered dried shrimp, garlic, young ginger, pineapple, and fish balls. Topped with coconut milk and sugar, it offers a sweet-savoury flavour profile.

Chor Muang (Flower Shaped Dumpling)

Chor Muang is a traditional Thai appetiser consisting of delicate purple dumplings filled with a savoury mixture typically made from minced chicken or pork, peanuts, and aromatics such as garlic, shallots, and coriander root. These dumplings are shaped to resemble small flowers and are often served as a starter or snack.


"Chor" means bouquet, "muang" means purple. The purple hue is achieved by steeping butterfly pea flowers, originally blue, then adding lime juice for the transformation.

Where you can find these menus

Praya Dining

BAAN Landai

Baan Rim Pa

Blue Elephant