House Number 1712 should be on everyone's list of must-visit restaurants in Sakon Nakhon. Indeed, if you were taking a gastronomical tour of Thailand, House Number 1712 should be on that list. It is one of only a few restaurants in Sakon Nakhon province that might be classified as "fine dining". However, the menu is surprisingly affordable with dishes ranging from 120 to 250 baht on average. And the atmosphere is casual, with a distinctive local flair.
The menu is what we might describe as Isaan Cosmopolitan Cuisine or Isaan Fusion. It's an eclectic blend of traditional Isaan food styling combined with inspiration from European and Asian cuisine. Thus, you might find on the menu delicious, locally sourced escargot; Duck confit on a bed of hand-made fettuccine; grilled and smoked chicken salad, drizzled with locally harvested honey; tasty beef skewers made with the province's famous Pon Yang Kham beef; and spicy Isaan soup with spare ribs, to only mention a few.
All dishes are created with careful attention to taste, texture, and presentation. The offerings change regularly, with a Seasonal Menu being offered several times throughout the year. However, the Seasonal Menu does sell out due to certain farm fresh, local ingredients being no longer available. When that happens, new weekly offerings are created, which you can choose from on an iPad given to you at the table. Photos of the menu items are all perfectly shot and (unlike at many restaurants) are very close representations of what you will receive at the table.
Although the menu that you see on House Number 1712's Facebook page is in Thai, all you need to do is save the menu photos to your phone. Then load the photo into Google Translate to get a very good translation of the items on their published Seasonal Menu. The restaurant also offers hand-made non-alcoholic drinks, locally made white spirits, and Singha beer.
Take note that House Number 1712 closes mid-afternoon, and is open from 11-2 pm for lunch and 5-9 pm for dinner. Unlike many Sakon Nakhon restaurants, it is closed on Tuesday (rather than on Monday), which is a smart decision, taking advantage of the fewer number of restaurants open on a Monday.
If you are following the Google Maps' voice directions to House Number 1712, you need to be careful that you don't go too far. If you arrive at the traffic lights/intersection with Big C on the right and Pizza Company on the left, you have passed the alley you need to turn down. The restaurant is located down a tiny alley about 100 meters before the traffic light (directly opposite a temple). You turn down that alley, which dead ends at Tiger Gym. Then turn right at the gym and the restaurant is in front of you. Plenty of parking is available.
To learn more about House Number 1712, check out our interview with co-founder Tammawit Limlertcharoenvanich (Khun Top). He is often at the restaurant and will be happy to explain dishes to English speaking tourists, and make recommendations, if you don't speak Thai.