There are many dishes of Chinese origin in Thailand, as well as a great deal of food using Chinese ingredients, but Chinese food as the Chinese eat it in China is quite rare. Thus my ears perked up when my trusty partner in food, Aong, mentioned that she knew a good Yunanaese restaurant.
In reality, Kuaytiao Naam Ngiaow is something of a hodge-podge of Chinese cuisines, ranging from Taiwanese to Szechuanese, but the most interesting dishes are those of Yunanese origin. The owner comes from the Yunanese community of Doi Mae Salong in remote Chiang Rai Province, a town known for the noodle dish that serves as the restaurant's namesake. Like the food, the restaurant's clientèle was authentically Chinese, and the menu items were written on the wall in Chinese characters.
Before we even had a chance to sit Aong had already ordered mii phat, fried noodles:
This was the first dish that arrived, and upon tasting it, I knew that this restaurant was going to be special. The noodles had a deliciously smoky wok hei and lacked the oiliness of lesser fried noodle dishes.
I like green things that are fried with salty things so I ordered a dish of yot thua lantao, pea greens, fried with oyster sauce:
The greens were fried the way the Chinese do so well; cooked but not soggy or wilted. Tons of garlic and dried chilies didn't hurt either. At this point, things were going very well.
Things got even better when we received my favourite dish of the meal: Szechuan-style tofu:
A variant of this dish, tao huu son khrueng, is quite popular in Thailand, but doesn't come close to this version, which was strong with the numbing/hot flavour of Szechuan pepper.
And last but not least, we ordered nuea phae naam daeng, goat in red sauce:
A stew-like concoction served over a layer of steamed bok choy. I liked this one a lot as it reminded me of a very similar oxtail dish I had once eaten in Macau. The broth was thick and tasty, and loaded with red wolfberries, which a Chinese chemist once told me are good for the eyes.
Well done, Aong.
Kuaytiao Naam Ngiao
466 Soi 20 Mithuna, Thanon Pracharatbamphen
(The easiest way to reach the restaurant is, beginning from Huay Khwang MRT station, take exit #1 for Pracharatbamphen Road. Get in a taxi and immediately turn left into the aforementioned street. Continue until you reach an intersection where you're forced to turn right or left; turn left and the restaurant, identified by Chinese letters, is about 500 m up on your left side.)
02 690 3174