Located on Soi 12, off the Sukhumvit Road, Cabbages and Condoms is a very popular Thai restaurant with several dining areas including a garden complete with powerful fans which have the dual functions of keeping dinners cool in the heat of a Bangkok night and ensuring that there are no insects to bother you whilst you are eating.
The service is very good and the restaurant has unusual theme: condoms. Sounds strange but there is point to this and it is not because this restaurant is a sleazy joint, indeed quite the opposite; there is nothing sex industry related to this restaurant it’s a family friendly restaurant.
The Population and Community Development Association (PDA)
Cabbages and Condoms is a commercial venture of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) which is an NGO promoting family planning and sexual health in Thailand, particularly in rural areas where local people have poor educational opportunities.
The PDA has been operating since 1974 and takes some of the credit for a massive drop in the annual population growth in Thailand from 3.3% in 1975 to 0.6% in 2005 and a decrease in the average number of children per family from 7 to 2 over the same period. If you go to Cabbages and Condoms you won’t just be having a great meal the profits from your restaurant bill go towards helping to fund the activities of the PDA. The condom theme reflects the work of the PDA and is also intended to make talking about contraception less of a taboo in Thailand, which is in many ways a very morally conservative country.
Garden Dining Room
There are several dining areas at Cabbages and Condoms, on two levels, both inside and outside. The largest and most popular dining area is the garden in the centre of the restaurant. The garden is attractively lit by hundreds of small lights hanging from the many trees and plants in the garden. Along the back wall of the garden dining area there is a long fish pond with giant koi carp.
There is also ‘wishing well’ with water cascading down a wall of rock. Every evening there is a live music from a Thai lady in traditional dress playing the Thai version of the gamelan, the ‘Ranard’. The music is unobtrusive and when we dined at Cabbages and Condom we didn’t really notice the music until we saw the girl playing.
Menu At Cabbages and Condoms
The focus of the menu is traditional Thai food with some small alterations to make the food more ‘gourmet’. You can eat the same dishes elsewhere for a fraction of the price, but the presentation won’t be as good. Our meal for 2 people and one very small child cost 1,647 THB (inclusive of 10% service charge and 7% VAT) including beer or me, fresh coconut and water for my wife and daughter. The main dishes are 300 THB to 400 THB for seafood and 150 THB to 250 THB if you eat chicken or vegetables. We had the following, see below for pictures:
- Chicken dumplings (Chaw Muang)
- Traditional Thai Betel nut leaf wraps (Mien Khum)
- Soft shelled crab in yellow curry sauce (Poo Nim Phad Pong Kari)
- Chicken with cashew nut and dried chilli (Kai Phad Med Mamuang Himmapan)
Location of Cabbages and Condoms Bangkok
- Soi 12, Thanon Sukhumvit, Bangkok