Chinatown Bangkok: 8 Indulgence Food To Eat In Yaowarat Road
Yaowarat Road is the home of Bangkok’s Chinese community, just like our Chinatown. By day, it doesn’t look any different from other parts of Bangkok, but this big street has some hidden gems waiting to be explored. When night falls, the neon signs blazing with Chinese characters are turned on and many eateries spill out onto the streets filled with foodies. There are many articles about Yaowarat but mostly are just on the surface. We decided to go in depth to explore a few hidden gems, sat down with the owners to hear their stories.
Eia Sae 益生老店
Address: 103-105 Phat Sai, Khwaeng Samphanthawong, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
No trip to Chinatown is complete is you haven’t visit Yi Sheng coffeeshop. THIS IS MY BEST KEPT SECRET. Opened since 1927, this is one of the oldest coffeeshop around Chinatown and even the princess of Thailand came here to make coffee as well. To be recognized by the palace is really something (just like the pad thai I have previously written).
Every morning, the coffeeshop is very crowded with old uncles having their morning break, reading newspaper while sipping coffee. Some of them gathered here for small gamble. This time round, we decided not to fight with the morning crowd and arrived after lunch, where it’s quieter and good for small talks. Rich and aromatic traditional coffee is what they are good in, have it together with some toasted kaya bread slices and watch the world goes by.
Interestingly, each uncle loves to have a table of their own but they would just converse with each other by speaking Teochew really loudly across the shop. Just a few units down the same street, there is another Yi Sheng coffeeshop which is owned by the brother. Well, I don’t dare to ask if they are on good terms anot.
P/S Totally not appetizing to say this, but it is kinda cool that their male cubicle is just a corner behind the wall.
Nai-Ek Roll Noodles
Address: 442 Yaowarat Rd, Khwaeng Samphanthawong, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
There are alot of kway chap shop in Chinatown. This is the famous one that everyone loves visiting. But…
We prefer the one at the junction of Yawarat Road and Yaowa Phanit (opposite White Orchid Hotel, beside 馬利興金行).
Its kway chap in mixed organ soup is peppery, but not overly peppery as compared to the famous one that everyone was raving about. Fresh and bouncy offal and thinly sliced sio bak make it good. The aromatic garlic oil adds the depth. They also sell pig trotter and double-boiled soup.
Watch the video on my Instagram!
Yaowarat 9 Dessert
Address: Khwaeng Samphanthawong, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
Just beside the kway chap shop, there is a dessert shop selling all the traditional dessert. Juan learnt from her aunty and eventually set up her own dessert shop. Specialty? Well, they mix sticky rice and tau suan, drizzle some coconut cream and eat it together!
Thai Rong Jie Kueh
Address: 461 Yaowarat Rd, Khwaeng Samphanthawong, Khet Samphanthawong
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
This shop sells traditional kuehs made with turnip and chives. They also have very good chee cheong fun flavoured with mushroom broth.
Fresh Fruit Juice
Address: 469 Yaowarat Rd, Khwaeng Samphanthawong, Khet Samphanthawong
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
Just a few units down from chee cheong fun stall, there is a stall selling fresh fruit juice. Well, there are so many fruit juice stalls in Yaowarat, why did I pick this to feature?
While I was having my plate of chee cheong fun beside this fruit juice stall, I sat there for a good 30 minutes and watch her squeeze the orange juice. At her age, she is really swift while doing this. She said she has been doing this for 20 years, that explains the quick movement. We bought a bottle of pomegranate juice and orange juice. I love their pomegranate juice because it was so sweet. She said to me proudly,”I don’t add any sweeteners unlike other stalls.” I guess it is because of her belief in real good juices that’s why she can have a physical shop in Yaowarat (most fruit juices here are push carts).
Plaeng Nam Shark Fin-Bird's Nest（義福巷燕窩）
Address: 47 Plaeng Nam Rd, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
There are many shops selling sharks fins and bird’s nest in Yaowarat Chinatown but our favourite is Plaeng Nam Shark Fin-Bird’s Nest（義福巷燕窩). Recommended by well-known Hong Kong travel columnist Roger Wu, Plaeng Nam Shark Fin-Bird’s Nest is very popular shop among Chinese.
I am not a fan of sharks fins, but their bird’s nest in coconut has got to be my favourite. It’s juicy, healthy and not too sweet. Putting it into the coconut gives it a subtle aroma, the perfect guilt free dessert served hot or cold. We had the 3rd class bird’s nest in coconut. Guess how much is it? 250 baht only, which is less than 10 SGD! They also have other stir fry dishes like crabs and oyster omelette. The owner is very friendly, you can speak mandarin to her, not a problem. Check out for Miss Tam Chiak’s certificate when you are there!
Mung Korn Khao Noodle
Address: 395 Yaowarat Rd, Khwaeng Samphanthawong, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
If you ask, how do we know where to eat in Bangkok? Honestly, most of the time we are as clueless. Of course I do my own research, and I get recommendations. But whenever we eat in a eatery, we get recommendations from the stall owners themselves what else is good to eat in the area. That’s how we eat in Thailand. After having a delicious bowl of bird’s nest in Yaowarat, the stall owner recommended us to eat wanton mee at the junction of Yaowarat Road and Yaowa Phanit. She says,”Nothing beats this stall’s wanton mee, but very little, I need to eat at least 3 bowls.”
She is so right. This bowl of wanton mee is only about one huge tablespoon, with little crab meat, we finished like 3 bowls of it? Never mind about the portion, at least they are very friendly owners unlike SabX2 which is totally not worth the hype and too expensive (read my complaint about SabX2 here).
At Mung Korn Khao Noodle, it is her HK style thin egg noodles that won the hearts of many. She tosses the noodles in hot boiling water, put it in ice water and returns for final toss in the hot water. What you get is reall QQ baa mee. And that lonely wanton, mixture of prawns and minced pork, juicy juicy lah! It’s quite easy to find that stall because they are the one with a huge crowd and long queue.
Char Kway Teow
Address: 293 Yaowarat Rd, Khwaeng Samphanthawong, Khet Samphanthawong
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
We concluded this trip with a video of the ultimate street food nazi. Located in Chinatown market, this char kway teow uncle fries his noodle USING A SPOON under hot charcoal fire. Yes I am not kidding, a small metallic spoon. And why call him a food nazi? Because he doesn’t allow photos. His wife or himself would constantly be looking around and scolding people when any customers take photo of them.
So we carried out a “secret operation” to try to take as close up as possible. Don’t ask us how we did it, we just did. But it has to go through massive editing because half of what we shot are scenes of the wife scolding customers. Well despite being a food nazi, he has a good stream of crowd queuing for this CKT. Just how good is his small packet of CKT? The kway teow is springy, packed with wok hei flavor and chewy cuttlefish. This has got to be the CKT with the strong wok hei I have ever tried. 够力!
If you are thinking of going toPlatinum Fashion Mall after Chinatown Bangkok, you may want to read “5 Good Eateries Near Platinum Fashion Mall to Indulge in!” for more info.
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