Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

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Bangkok Food Guide: Must eat food in Bangkok!

Bangkok is indeed a shoppers paradise and also a widely recognized food city to satisfy the appetites of foodies from around the world. Before I visited Thailand, I did a lot of research on the must try food in Bangkok, compiled them up with my good friend in Thailand Jule and also managed to meet up with famous Singapore food blogger expert of Thailand cuisine Aroi Mak Mak to go on some food hunts and café hopping. Expect some of the best food Bangkok has to offer in this guide!

 

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I have to say – eating about 120+ dishes in a space of 5 days in Bangkok for research purposes can be pretty tiring. What I realized is that quite a few of the so called must try food recommended by some websites can be misleading. Imagine my disappointment when I tasted some highly recommended stalls which turned out to be average or plain at best – but the amount of time and effort for me as a tourist to search for such places – simply not worth it. Perhaps it’s a matter of one’s preference and taste but it’s good knowledge for my write up on Bangkok food.

 

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Getting around in Bangkok to find food is not as easy as other countries. First of all there’s heavy traffic, then there’s taxi drivers who don’t speak good English and are out to make a quick buck out of you if you’re a tourist. Have no fear – if you are firm and you have a smart phone (loaded with mobile internet) – you can use GPS to guide the taxi driver where to go – just MAKE SURE they turn on their meter – if they refuse – get off the taxi immediately. Do not compromise or negotiate with them. If they’re unwilling to turn on the meter – you know they won’t be very honest with you – only go for those who turn on the meter. It will be a big bonus for you to learn how to use the BTS Sky Train as it’s the best mode of transport during heavy peak hour traffic!

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Be sure to buy one of these Happy Tourist Sim Cards which comes pre-loaded with mobile internet (very fast speeds compared to Malaysia, Philippines and Brunei). Since I rely on Google Maps a lot during my Bangkok trips as well as Instagram and Facebook – this sim card really made my life so much better in Bangkok – grab them at the airport before you leave. I chose the one from DTAC – you can click on the image or this link to know more about Happy Tourist Sim

 

Siam Area:

These will be the easiest places to find for a tourist as it’s located at the central area of Bangkok. Just take a BTS to Siam Station and you’re set to go! It’s quite a big area so you might need to walk a bit – but with Google Map’s walking navigation – this shouldn’t be a problem.

Number One Brand Thai Milk Tea

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When in Bangkok, always be on a lookout for their stalls – a very refreshing Thai Milk tea that will quench your thirst under the hot humid Bangkok weather. They have many branches all around Bangkok.

Location image taken from Aroimakmak.com. They are available at the following BTS stations as well as some food courts in this image.

Buddhi Belly Premium Frozen Yogurt

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Buddhi Belly Frozen Yogurt is my girlfriend’s favourite in Bangkok and she cannot resist a day without it!

 

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You can find Buddhi Belly branches at Siam Paragon and Central World. Both popular shopping areas for tourists.

Buddhi Belly, Siam Paragon, 3rd floor, Next to Be-Trend  Central World, 7th floor, Next to Food Hall

 

Som Tum Nua

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Som Tam Nua is one of the highly recommended places for one of Thailand’s iconic dishes – Green Papaya Salad or Som Tum as they called it. They are located at the 4th floor of Siam Centre. During peak hours – expect to queue or need to wait for a seat

 

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It’s quite a scene to see them prepare their Som Tum fresh to order. The must try dishes here are their chicken wings and their Som Tum of course. They made it easier for you to order by having a simplified menu of their top dishes.

 

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Their signature som tum with pork sausage and pork crackling.

Som Tum Nua, 889, Siam Center, 4th Floor, Rama 1 Road, Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand

 

Kum Poon

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While many raved about the famous Som Tum Nua, I personally preferred Kum Poon’s version of Som Tum. It’s located at Central World Plaza, easy to find and I like their ambience compared to Sum Tum Nua.

 

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I have to say I love the fresh herbs and vegetables they serve with the spicy chili dips on the side! Get ready your glasses of water – it’s hot hot hot!

 

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I have to say their Som Tum is better than Som Tum Nua’s version but it’s a matter of preference I guess. This one had more flavour and kick to it – and to me – packs a punch! Kum Poon also serves a family style som tum platter which is served on a metal tray! A sight to behold and it’s highly recommended! *note: skip their pad thai – forgettable*

 

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*photo of the somtum tray from friend’s phone camera*

Kum Poon, Central World, 7/F, Beacon Zone, Rachadamri Road | Pathum Wan, Bangkok, Bangkok 10330,Thailand

 

Ban Khun Mae

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Ban Khun Mae is located just right opposite the entrance of Siam Square One (or some would say opposite the Hello Kitty Café). The name of the restaurant means Home of Mother’s Cooking and it is my recommended place for good authentic Thai cuisine. You can of course specify the level of the hotness of their dishes. Now would you look at that mouth watering looking tom yum kung!

 

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I have to say their glass noodles salad is one of the best I’ve tasted and we were happily enjoying this – it took the limelight off the baked prawns glass noodles dish which we usually enjoy!

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Ban Khun Mae also has a pretty good comfortable ambience. Mary, Jule and Abby (Ren Ching and me not in the pics) had a good lunch here. Wished we could had ordered more dishes to try!

Ban Khun Mae, 458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8, Rama 1 Road, Patumwan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

 

Somboon Seafood

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Somboon Seafood has many branches and taxi drivers can sometimes try to scam you and bring you to SomBoon Dee, which is a more expensive and not as nice version. Thankfully – Somboon has a branch located on the 4th floor of Siam Square One. This is one of those famous places that tourists would flock to like Som Tum Nua and if you’re planning to eat here – be sure to book or come during non peak hours. Some had to wait an hour to get a table.

 

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We ordered their other dishes such as the baked prawns in glass noodles as well as their fried fish which were average. Reading reviews from other people who come here – there’s two dishes here that makes people come back here.

 

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Despite their other dishes being normal – their curry crabs seriously stole the show. I can even argue that this is the best crab dish I’ve ever tasted – and I personally tasted lot’s of crab dishes in my life. Super delicious – and the best part? You can order shell-less versions – where they pick out all the crab meat for you! OMG! Ideal for those who don’t want to get their hands dirty!

 

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Their crab fried rice is a good match for the fried curry crabs – we initially only ordered a small portion of this and regretted deeply ~~ it was really a match made in heaven with the curry sauce. If you just want to try the food in Somboon – just order curry crabs and crab fried rice – that would be the only dishes you need to eat. So good ~~ you would rather not order anything else.

Somboon Seafood, Phraram 1 Road | 4 th Floor Siam square one, Pattumwan

 

MBK Food Court

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MBK is not only a great place for shopping and hunting for bargains but to me – their food court at level 6 offers a great variety of Thai favourites. One of the funniest surprise was when I was researching for the best Thai Style Oyster Omelet – Nai Mong Hoy Tod was the MUST TRY Oyster Omelet in Bangkok – it’s located around Chinatown area but when I tried it – I was utterly disappointed – since I needed to take a taxi to find the place. The good news for you all is that – MBK food court has quite a good Oyster Omelet – way better than the famous Nai Mong. Though there’s a stall in Bangrak that I missed out because it’s closed when I visited Bangrak – maybe for the next post!

 

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No need to go to Nai Mong Hoy Tod for Oyster Omelet – just go MBK food court and you’re good to go!

 

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Crab meat, dumplings and char siew noodles to the left and pad thai on the right. You’ll be spoiled for choice here and this is a definite convenient spot for every tourist since you’re bound to shop here – and the food court is very good!

MBK Food Court, Phaya Thai Road. | MBK Building, 6F, Bangkok

 

The famous Pork Leg Stew Rice and Wonton Noodles, and many street food stalls opposite Platinum Fashion Mall.

 

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When one visits Bangkok, one will most definitely shop at Platinum Fashion Mall – and one when goes hungry – they will take a skybridge from Platinum mall to go to the opposite street to the Soi 19 area, the alley for the famous SabX2 Wonton noodles and Pork Leg Stew, be sure to expect a long queue as they are very very popular with tourists. For taxi – ask them to drop you at Shibuya (which is opposite Platinum Fashion Mall – although it’s easiest to tell them to drop you at Platinum).

 

SabX2 Pork Leg Stew Rice and Wonton Noodles

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For Pork leg rice lovers, this is a must try spot and I had to queue twenty minutes just to get a taste of it!

 

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The famous wonton noodles ~~ the chef certainly looks rugged!

 

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When the noodles arrived – I though it was boat noodles because of the small portion for 60 baht. It’s pretty good but for me – the portion is very small so you might need to order double portions.

 

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But of course – the star is the pork leg rice – tender and flavoursome – I had to order two of these to satisfy my cravings.

SabX2 Wanton Noodles, 4/32-33 Soi Petchburi 19, Pratunam. Try not to go later than 3pm as they could sell out very early.

 

Alternative Pork leg stew rice and Yong Tau Fu further up Soi 19

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The good news is – along soi 19, there’s another pork stew rice that’s pretty good as well if you’re not willing to wait or queue – just go further up and you will spot a stall selling pork stew rice – and they have pork innards if you love those!

 

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There’s also good yong tau fu soup noodles there if you like them!

 

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Be sure to grab a bottle of these freshly squeezed pomegranate juice while walking around. I love them!

Various street food stalls opposite Platinum Fashion Mall

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There’s plenty of street food along the streets opposite Platinum Fashion Mall – so do check them out ~~ yum!

 

Food stalls near Thip Samai

To make our foodie trip easier – I’ve grouped food stalls or restaurants that are nearby in one category and these restaurants are open from 5:30pm onwards. I chose Thip Samai restaurant which is famous for Pad Thai because there are quite a few restaurants that are nearby making it easier for you to do restaurant hopping. To get to Thip Samai – tell the taxi driver “Prathu Phi Pad Thai” and try not to say Mahacai or they will get confused and bring you somewhere very far out of town! (thanks to Aroi Mak Mak for the tip!)

Thip Samai Pad Thai Restaurant

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Thip Samai is the go to place for good charcoal fired stir fried pad thai and there’s quite a few good restaurants nearby – and since it’s a popular tourist spot – most taxi drivers should know where this is – just tell them “Pratu Phi Pad Thai” and they will be able to take you here.

 

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The popular is this prawn pad thai wrapped with an egg omelet. It’s very good and if you need to adjust flavour – there are condiments on the side for you to add on. Be sure to order their in house orange juice!

Thip Samai, 313 Mahachai Rd., Samranrat, Phra Nakorn 10200, Thailand

 

Lueng Pha Pad Thai (next door to Thip Samai)

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Located just next door to the more popular Thip Samai, is another restaurant that’s sports a more traditional feel. To some, they actually preferred pad thai from this store – so as a foodie, it’s fun to actually try from both places!

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One of the secrets to their Pad Thai is using prawn fat or some say prawn heads to make a sauce base for their pad thai ~~ resulting is a strong prawn flavour for the noodles.

 

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Would you look at that delicious looking plate of prawn infused Pad Thai ~~? ooooh laaa laaa ~~~ it’s difficult for me to choose between this restaurant and Thip Samai – so I will give it a draw! Try both if you can!

Lueng Pha Pad Thai, next door to Thip Samai.

 

Tee Yen Ta 4 (Pork Stew Noodles and Yong Tau Fu)

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As you walk out of Thip Samai – turn left and keep walking and you will see this road side stall with lots of tables and chairs, and lot’s of customers! This place is famous for soup noodles and pork stew. When you see celebs patronizing this stall, you know it’s good eats!

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They have Tom Yum hot and spicy noodles and also pig’s blood noodles here – I quite like the tom yum noodles here! *slurps*

 

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Here’s another type of soup – and notice you can select the thickness of your rice noodles – here I selected a slightly thicker version for a different texture in terms of taste.

 

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Last but not least – is their famous pork stew – which goes very well with the soup. This is my favourite out of the four! Tender pork stew and white radish soup ~~ ooo man!

Tee Yen Ta 4, Bamrungmuamg rd. (Samran Rat), Wang Burapha Phirom (same row as Thip Samai)

 

Jay Fai Restaurant (Drunken Noodles and Crab Omelette)

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Jay Fai is also located on the same street as Thip Samai, just less than 2 minutes walk away. The restaurant is famous and widely reported and recommended by many articles. They are famous for being more expensive than other local establishments despite their down to earth ambience. The reason is their head chef jay Fai, who does not skimp on ingredients and she is the only chef cooking – which can take quite a bit of time if there’s a crowd. Still despite the price, you will find lots of people flocking here for a taste of Jay Fai’s cooking!

 

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The chef Jay Fai is quite a masterchef, wears full make up as well and using these two charcoal fire stoves – and at different temperatures to help with her cooking. It’s like watching a performance! For a foodie – this is part of the dining experience I guess!

 

 

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I ordered the seafood drunken noodle, and watched her as she cooks the dish switching from her wok from medium to high heat – guarantee-ing a strong ‘wok hei’ or what we called caramelization of the noodles. She throws in a generous portion of squid, jumbo prawns and crab meat into the mix. I must say when I had a few bites – I coughed from the intensity of the flavours! My friend Jule explained to me that Drunken noodles basically means intense flavours till you can feel it or get drunk from it! There’s no alcohol in this dish!

Jay Fai, 327 Mahachai Road, Samranras Subdistrict, Phra Nakon District.(along the same street as Thip Samai)

 

Nine Zong Duck Noodle Soup

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The duck noodle place is really good and a must try if you visit Bangkok. Take a tuk tuk or taxi to Sao Ching Cha area – near the road opposite Tiger God Shrine – and look out for this road side stall just in front of a bank (Bangkok Bank if I am not mistaken)

 

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Be ready to enjoy the various parts of the duck, including the kidney and the tripe ~~ and even duck’s blood! I’ve tasted pig’s blood before but this duck’s version is pretty good! You can order either dried version or with soup.

 

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This stall is located along Sao Ching Cha area along Thanon Tanao (near Tiger God Shrine) Opens night time.

 

Lookchin Phreng Nara (Charcoal grilled meatballs)

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After having so much food – we walked around and found this famous place opposite Nine Zong Duck Noodles, which is selling charcoal grilled meat balls dipped in a delicious sweet and spicy home made sauce. This place is also famous for the boss beautiful daughters. I met one of them and I must say she’s gorgeous! They even got a Facebook page if you want to follow their updates! Click here~ 

 

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Mmmmmm ~~~ the sauce is an essential component to this! Yum!

 

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There’s also a nice fried dough (char kueh) store just behind this. Good for having a bite while walking around!

Lookchin Phreng Nara, Sao Ching Cha area along Thanon Tanao (near Tiger God Shrine)

 

Next Morning:  Tang Hua Seng Department Store Area

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These stalls are open in the morning and located around Banglapoo area. Take a taxi to Banglapoo and ask them to drop you off at Tong Hua Seng Department store. Your first food journey will start with the Khanom Chin Namya Thai Style Laksa.

Google map location of Tan Hua Seng

Khanom Chin Namya (Thai Style Laksa)

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Recommended by Miss Tam Jiak, this stall is located along Chakrabongse road, and in an alley in between Tang Hua Seng Department Stall and Tang Hua Seng Supermarket. They have three different type of soup bases: fish, coconut curry and pig’s blood and you can choose to add on condiments on the side.

 

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Look out for this alley in between Tang Hua Seng Supermarket and Department Stall and you will see quite a number of people gathering around a food stall. This is the one!

 

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A good heartwarming breakfast that is very cheap – less than 80 baht for two plates of different soup bases. It is very different from Malaysia and Singaporean Laksa.

Khanom Chin Namya, Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200

 

Kway teow pead yang balampoo (Duck Noodles Soup)

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Walk across the street from Tang Hua Seng Department store and turn left – you should spot this famous duck noodle store recommended by Miss Tam Jiak. When I sent this pic to her, she was impressed that I am the first one to actually find this on my own. Well I had great help from Jule, my Thai friend.

 

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This duck soup stall had a lot more interesting duck parts and entrails to savour. Did you see the duck head and beak?

 

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A very interesting tasting soup which has a slight herbal soup taste and it was an eye opening dining experience to see duck head and beak!

 

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My two dining companions Jule and Mary for the morning’s food hunt ~ with Jule as our navigator! Thanks Jule!

Kway Teow Pead Yang Balampoo, Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200

 

Roti Mataba

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After having duck noodles, walk out and turn left – then turn left again and you will see this Roti Mataba stall which is actually a place for Roti Canai. According to Jule, this place is pretty popular amongst the locals.

Walking directions from Tan Hua Seng to Roti Mataba

 

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The oxtail stew with rice is pretty good – tender with a sweet and sour stew sauce.

 

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I ordered the mutton and the chicken curry with roti – but preferred the chicken one. The mutton one was average.

 

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They got sweet variations too – which are surprisingly yummy!

 

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After all that food – I need some coffee! Luckily there’s a good coffee shop just next door!

 

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Carbony Roasters is just next door to Roti Mataba and it’s indeed a good find as it has just opened recently.

 

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You can tell it’s serious as the machine they are using is enough to buy a small car in Malaysia.

 

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Aaaaaa now that I’ve my good cup of coffee ~ we can continue our food hunt for the morning!

 

Thing Tiao Reur (Boat Noodles)

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After coffee, take a taxi to Sao Ching Cha area and ask them to take you to the famous Thing Tiao Reur along Dinso road. This place is famous for boat noodles – small bowls of flavour packed noodles that used to be served on boats!

 

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They are small portions and are of course very cheap at only 12 baht per bowl – the fun part is to eat as many and stack them up ~~

 

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Be sure to add the fresh Thai basil on the side to your boat noodles to enhance the experience! I have to say if I wasn’t on a food hunt – I could had easily eaten 20 bowls of these. Seriously delicious! There’s another good stall near Victory Monument which is very good as well.

Thing Tiao Reur, 121 Dinso Khwaeng Wat Bowon Niwet, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200

 

Goh Loon Nom Jeen Hailam (Hainanese Pork Stew Rice Noodles and Mutton Herbal Soup)

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Just nearby Thing Tiao Reur, you will find the next two destinations – the Hainanese Noodles and Fish Maw Soup area. Thanks to Miss Tam Jiak’s blog for these three places as well!

Here’s a map of the location for both the Hainanese Rice Noodles and Fish Maw Soup

 

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You can have yummy Hainanese rice noodles soup with roasted pork and pork spare parts which is served with a very good home made chili with a strong taste of shrimps.

 

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Or you can have this pork stew with salted vegetables rice noodles soup ~~ *slurps*

 

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The gorgeous pot of pork stew and the made to order Mutton herbal soup ~~

 

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Mutton Herbal Soup ~~ ahhh so heartwarming ~~~

 

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Don’t forget to pair your food with the chilies and shrimp floss!

Goh Loon Nom Jeen Hailam , Mahannop 2, Khwaeng Sao Chingcha, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200

Mit Pochana (Fish Maw Soup)

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I must say when I saw this Auntie smiling as she scoops up bowls of fish maw soup – I know for sure the soup is going to be good! Despite eating so much food – the fish maw soup managed to make me hungry again just by looking at it!

 

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You will see fish maw, quail’s egg and also chicken blood (oooh yes!!!) – the contrast of textures is simply amazing! Heaven in a bowl!

Mit Pochana, Mahannop 2, Khwaeng Sao Chingcha, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200

 

Phetchaburi Soi 5 Area: Near Ratchatewi BTS Station

Around 5pm, you can check out the Phetchaburi Soi 5 area where there’s plenty of street food and also at Phetchaburi Soi 7 along Soi 5, you will see the famous Rann P Aor, which is regarded by many as having the best Tom Yam Noodles. You can take a BTS to Ratchatewi BTS station – OR ask the taxi driver to drop you at Phetchaburi Soi 5 (opposite Bangkok City Hotel).

Walking map from BTS Ratchatewi to Rann P Aor

 

Rann P Aor/ Pee Aor (Tom Yum Noodles)

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Located along the famous Phetchaburi Soi 5 area, this place is pretty easy to find if you use the google map walking directions I provided. Look out for their colourful banners and a picture of a sexy Thai lady at their door.

 

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Be ready to feast on giant prawns like these ~~ ooooh yes ~~

 

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You can try out their rice dishes served with prawn egg sauce or prawns but I find them average in comparison to their soup dishes.

 

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A spicy sweet and sour Tom Yam Gong Soup with glass noodles and juicy plump big head prawns. Ooooh yes .. can this get any better? Yes ---

 

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You can go for their super duper lobster seafood Tom Yam Noodles special with assorted seafood and half boiled eggs~~ oooh la la ~ SLURPS!! Good to share for 3-4 people.

Rann P Aor/ Pee Aor ,68/51 Soi Phetchaburi 5, Between Soi 5 – 7, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi

 

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Along the streets opposite Pee Aor, you will see a stall selling charcoal grilled prawns too ~~ order some and bite while you walk around.

 

Kanom Krok (Coconut Pudding Snacks)

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On the same alley, you will also see these corn/scallions with coconut cream filled snacks called Kanom Krok. Expect a slight crisper outer layer and a creamy coconut center! Really delicious snack!

 

Stall along Soi Phechaburi 5 (Baked Prawns Glass Noodles)

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Just near the creamy coconut snacks Kanom Krok, we discovered this stall by chance and this auntie serves one of the best Glass Noodles with Prawns!

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Oooh I can still taste the peppery herby flavours from the noodles!

 

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You will also see some of these snacks – which are fried fritters – I specially love the quail egg wrapped with wonton skin~~ nom nom

 

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I also came across a guy selling crispy crepes along Soi Phechaburi 5 – be sure to try out the egg, pork floss and crab meat crepe, smothered with a sweet spicy sauce ~~ yum!

 

Bangrak Area

Bangrak Area can be easily reached by taking a BTS and drop off at Saphan Taksin BTS station. There’s quite a few travel agencies running food tours for this area – but I feel you can just do it yourself and explore. This area serves one of the best pork porridge I’ve had and is a good location for other good eats such as traditional Thai desserts, Oyster Omelet and Roasted Duck. Unfortunately, I did not get to cover most of the shops as most of them were closed on Sunday morning. Hopefully I can update this Bangrak section when I return to Bangkok again for further research.

Fried Banana Fritters Stall

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Fried Banana Fritters stall located at the corner of Charoen Krung and Si Wiang is a good place for this crispy snack. It’s good but I still prefer the one in my Kuching Food Guide but that one is simply hard to beat.

 

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In a mood for fried banana fritters? Start your Bangrak food tour with them~

 

Jok Prince (Best Pork Porridge)

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Along the same road as the banana fritters cart, you will spot Joke Prince, which means Prince Porridge. Wonder why they got such a cool name~~ but this seriously is the prince of all porridge!

 

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The flavour of the porridge has a good mix of ginger and pork, while the porridge has a very good soft texture similar to Hong Kong porridge. Very very good and one of my favourite dishes in this food hunt!

Jok Prince, Charoen Krung Road – same road as banana fritters stall.

 

Prachak Pet Yang (Roasted Duck)

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Pratchak Pet Yang is famous in Bangrak for good roasted duck and I have to say – I tried most of their roasted meats and I would only recommend the roasted duck and rice – forget the others.

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If you love Roasted Duck – this is the right place to visit ~

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Succulent fatty roasted duck ~~ oooh yeahhhhh~~~

Prachak Pet Yang, Charoen Krung Road – same road as Prince Jok.

 

Jao Long Luk Chin Pla (Yong Tau Fu Noodle Soup)

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If you’re in a mood for Yong Tau Fu Soup – they got similar varities to Tee Yen Ta 4 mentioned earlier in the blogpost but they focus more on the halibut made fish balls. You can also request for the pig’s blood soup version. It’s good but I still prefer the Pork Stew versions at Tee Yen Ta 4.

Joa Long, 1456 Charoen Krung Road, near entrance of Shangri-La hotel

 

Muslim Restaurant (Roti Canai and Goat Briyani)

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Muslim restaurant has a long history in Bangrak and serves Roti Canais as well as their famous goat briyani rice.

 

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Muslim Restaurant, 1354-6, corner of Charoen Krung and Silom.

 

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So that concludes my Bangkok Food guide especially for tourist foodies! Rest assured I will go back Bangkok again and research more places for you to check out! I felt I haven’t discovered Chatuchak yet and there’s bound to be more good eats to be discovered! Look out for my next Bangkok post – the Cafés of Bangkok! Stay tuned! Special thanks to Jule who brought me around, to Mary my food partner, to Aroi Mak Mak and MissTamjiak for their food recommendations!

 

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Stay tuned for the best coffee places in Bangkok featuring Aroi Mak Mak!

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