Pheng Phochana

DSC_5424 Pheng Phochana, a longstanding restaurant in the Suan Luang Market area behind Chulalongkorn University, is quite possibly Bangkok's most popular destination for kuaytiaw khua kai, rice noodles fried with chicken and egg:


This doesn't necessarily mean it's the best bowl in town, but there are a couple things that make the dish unique here. Firstly, the noodles are positively encouraged to ignite and flame during the frying process:


providing the dish with an intensely smokey flavour and scent. But, as my dining companion pointed out, because they're using palm oil this singeing also provides the 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. And rather than scrambling the eggs with the noodles as is done elsewhere, at Pheng Phochana the eggs are saved for last and are wrapped around the noodles in the form of a thin omelet. Another unusual aspect of the dish is that it's garnished with tiny pa thong ko, deep-fried bits of dough. This provides the dish with pleasant crunchy element that's otherwise lacking. And lastly, they do a couple unique spins on the dish including kuaytiaw khua thaleh, a seafood version, and kuaytiaw khua tharo, in which the protein element is Taro, the popular squid-flavoured fish snack.

Pheng Phochana Cnr Soi Soi Chulalongkorn 20 & 5 081 899 2173 3-11pm

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