Nay Lao

 Raat naa and phat sii iw at Nay Mong, a restaurant in Bangkok I was taking photos at Nay Lao, a noodle restaurant in Bangkok, when the owner made a serious face and called me the back of the restaurant. I thought he was going to scold me for snapping pics, but instead he asked, "Are you Catholic?" I replied "Sure" and immediately thought back to the photo I had just taken:

Nay Mong, a noodle restaurant in Bangkok

"There's a father visiting Bangkok from the Philippines. He's here to cure people, please come by," he said, handing me a brochure.

In addition to salvation, Nay Lao also specialises in two tasty dishes: raat naa (shown on the left above), rice noodles served with pork, greens and a thick gelatinous gravy, and phat sii iw, rice noodles fried with pork, greens, egg and soy sauce (sii iw). Either dish can be ordered with sen yai, wide flat rice noodles, or sen mii, vermicelli-like strands. The pork has been marinated and is tender, and the vegetables, a type of Chinese kale, are fresh and crispy.

But the best thing about the dishes is how they're prepared. The men wielding the spatulas at Nay Lao are masters, expertly charring the phat sii iw and providing the dish with a smokey flavour that remains in your mouth a good hour after you've eaten. This is done in a single vast wok that really could use a bit of cleaning:

Frying noodles at Nay Lao, a restaurant in Bangkok

but we can only pray for that to happen.

Nay Lao 124/8 Th Nang Linchi, Bangkok 02 678 3517 11am-11pm, Mon 11am-3pm

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and Thanon Senanikhom 1

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