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Khua kai at Phlapphlachai

Posted date:  February 26, 2010
6 Comments


A dish of kuaytiaw khua kai at Nong Stamp, a restaurant in Bangkok

After more than a decade in Bangkok, I’m still stumbling upon new entirely new dishes and places to eat. My latest discovery is an obscure intersection near Bangkok’s Chinatown that is home to several restaurants serving kuaytiaw khua kai, a fried noodle dish that’s also a relatively recent discovery of mine. The dish, which consists of wide rice noodles fried with chicken breast and pickled squid and served over lettuce, I first encountered at this alleyway vendor in Chinatown. He has been my go-to guy for the dish, and I don’t believe I’ve tried it anywhere else.

Until now.

For some reason, the Phlapphlachai intersection is home to at least five restaurants and street stalls serving kuaytiaw khua kai. Visiting the area over the course of two nights, I did three of these restaurants.

Located right at the intersection, Nong Stamp:

Nong Stamp, a Bangkok restaurant serving kuaytiaw khua kai

Does the standard kuaytiaw khua khai as described above, but we opted for the slightly unusual seafood version of the dish (pictured at the top of this post), which includes fresh shrimp and squid. Smokey and crispy, it was a very good interpretation of the dish, although I found it a bit under seasoned, and missed the combination of chicken and egg. (Nong Stamp also has an interesting menu of other non-kuaytiaw khua kai dishes, so you can expect to hear more from me about this restaurant in the near future.)

Just up the road, Nong Ann:

Nong Ann, a Bangkok restaurant serving kuaytiaw khua kai

does several versions of the dish, and very little else, other than tasty fruit shakes (try the watermelon). We opted for the traditional, chicken with pickled squid:

A dish of kuaytiaw khua kai at Nong Ann, a restaurant in Bangkok

Although good by most standards, particularly in terms of seasoning, it wasn’t as satisfying as Stamp’s, lacking the smokiness and slight crispiness I associate with kuaytiaw khua kai.

Located in an alleyway behind Nong Ann, Nay Hong immediately won me over its huge crowds:

Nay Hong, a Bangkok restaurant serving kuaytiaw khua kai

ridiculously old-school and photogenic setting:

Nay Hong, a Bangkok restaurant serving kuaytiaw khua kai

and crusty old cook:

Making kuaytiaw khua kai at Nay Hong, a restaurant in Bangkok

who cooks the dish, over coals, almost pancake style, allowing the messy mixture of chicken, eggs and noodles to crisp on one side before flipping the whole lot over en masse. This provides the dish with a crispy texture and lots of tasty singed bits:

A dish of kuaytiaw khua kai at Nay Hong, a restaurant in Bangkok

Smokey and well seasoned, and it’s the perfect kuaytiaw khua kai.

Kuaytiaw Khua Kai vendors
Phlapphlachai Intersection, Bangkok
Dinner


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6 Comments for Khua kai at Phlapphlachai


i love the smokiness of cooking with charcoal!
the flying embers makes for some excellent photos too 🙂

[…] dish with an unpleasant, almost petrol-like aftertaste. This is in stark contrast to the vendor at Nay Hong, where the choice of fat (pork fat, in this case), provides the dish with a savoury, meaty depth. […]

[…] The kuaytiaw khua kai at Nay Hong: […]

[…] and well-seasoned. My only gripe with this (and the phat Thai) would be that, unlike the version at Nay Hong, Mae Am uses vegetable oil, not lard, as her fat of […]

Love the photo of the wok and the popping coals. What kind of camera conditions did you use in that snap?

[…] A while back, I blogged about the stalls and restaurants serving kuaytiaw khua kai, wide rice noodles fried with chicken and egg, near Bangkok’s Phlapphlachai five-way intersection. I mentioned three places in that post, but was aware at the time that there were a few more vendors selling the dish. In particular, I’d noticed one vendor selling kuaytiaw khua pet, a previously unknown variant using duck. […]



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