Northern-style Chinese food is relatively hard to find here in Bangkok. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as most Chinese-Thais trace their roots back to southern China, and anyway, heavy wheat-based food isn't generally the first thing people reach for when they're sweating from every pore. So stumbling upon Khrua Paking (Beijing Kitchen) while actually in search of another restaurant, was a spot of good luck.
The restaurant appears relatively new, is a literal hole-in-the-wall, located in a neighbourhood I imagine only Chulalongkorn University students are familiar with, and serves most of the northern-style standards. The dish above, which was recommended, combined tasty hand-pulled noodles with a minced pork topping and slices of cucumber. The pork topping had an intensely meaty flavour and an almost dried texture.
The restaurant also pushed their flash-fried greens:
which, seasoned with garlic, a pinch of salt and a few drops of soy sauce, and just barely cooked, were very Chinese and very good. It's funny how such a simple dish can be so hard to find in Bangkok (the Thai equivalent uses different greens and seasonings and a lot more oil).
I'm usually not a fan of Chinese-style soups that combine egg, corn starch and vinegar, but the restaurant's Sichuan soup:
was actually pretty good.
There was a salad of Sichuan-style preserved greens:
which was a bit heavy on the sliced leeks, but crunchy and satisfying.
And fried dumplings:
although to be honest I thought I was ordering something similar to the stuffed breads described in this post. These were good, if a bit greasy, and like all the dishes here, were fully flavoured, made and served with confidence, and exceptionally cheap. Khrua Paking is definitely worth checking out if you're looking for something a bit different. And yes, it's air-conditioned.
Khrua Paking 229 Soi Chula 11, Bangkok 02 611 9281 10am-10pm
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