Yaowarat, or Chinatown is one place that I try not to miss whenever I go Bangkok.
It's a good place for a good dinner, at very affordable prices. My friends used to tell me it's a must place to have Bird Nest and Shark's Fin. Bird nest is alright for me, but I honestly do not know the authenticity of the source. The price differs according to the grade of Bird Nest. Shark's Fin? Hmm... No fuss about it, but I try not to order it at my own initiative, although I still consume it during wedding dinners.
For my last few trips, I have been patronising this old stall along the Yaowarat street, infront of a corner Chinese Goldsmith shop. It's all T & K Seafood. This stall opens from the evening, 6pm till early morning, after the goldsmith shop closes. This is probably an arrangement between them. Most of the shops along the street open till around 5pm. Thereafter, the street stalls selling food dominate the night scene along the road.
I was told there's a huge day market at one of the streets, but I not visited it before. If you have, do drop me a comment if it's worth exploring.
This stall is very popular for its BBQ seafood - prawns, crabs and so on, in Thai food. Of course, you can also order Sharks Fin from the stall. It's almost certain that every Chinese food eatery at Yaowarat serves Shark's Fin.
It was our late dinner, or supper rather. Hence, we didn't order too much food. This is what we ordered:
BBQ Prawns. It would probably be called "Tiger Prawn" or King Prawn in Singapore. Of course, after peeling the shell, it's not that big. But still finger licking good!
This is my favourite dish - Glass Noodle with Crab. A pretty popular Thai dish too!
Thai Style Kang Kong. What we like is the garlic fried together with the vegetable. They are not minced garlic, and you can actually buy these small garlic bulbs (eaten as a whole) in the markets.
Tom Yam Goong - translated as Prawn Tom Yam soup. Don't underestimate the spicy level of this. We were all sweating over after a few mouthfuls.
Being the typical Chinese, I need carbo to fill up the tummy a bit. This is the only disappointment that I have. It's oily and the rice is pretty dry.
Overall, it's definitely a good dinner/ supper and worth the trip here, although it's a distance from the city area. Traffic is horrendous at Yaowarat and it's not serviced by the BTS / MRT. The nearest MRT is Hua Lampong and you still need to take a short taxi ride to Yaowarat. Taxi drivers are very reluctant to go to this area due to the traffic. I had previous bad encounters with taxi drivers who even drop us off half-way when they have initially agreed to drive us there. Experience taxi drivers will know how to avoid the one-way street and go by the back road. My suggestion is do your part by getting off from the returning back road and walking up to the main Yaowarat road, if traffic is really bad. I believe you would not want to be caught up in the "so near yet so far" situation.
Snew's Rating: 4.5 / 5
I couldn't really remember the exact bill. But it's totally worth it. The meal was less than S$30 for 4 person. We have prawns, crab and tom yam soup. Where would you be able to find such pricing in Singapore? Totally worth it! It definitely cheaper than the proper Chinese restaurants found along the streets. But well, do manage your expectation on the hygiene level. Do not try to see what's on the ground. There's dustbin or should I say, a pail, at almost every table. On some parts, dirt water runs on the ground, probably due to the washing of plates and so on. So, if you are a hygiene freak, this place is not recommended.
林真香- This is the very popular and famous shop in Chinatown for tourists bringing foodstuff home. The staff can speak Mandarin, Cantonese and probably Teochew (as the majority of Thai Chinese are Teochews) as well. If you purchase quite a bit, the boss at the cashier counter will ask if you would like to pack it in box or bags. They actually pack your buys in the carton box, ready for you to check in at the airport, at no extra charges. I'm impressed at this additional service.