Sawang is a decades-old bamee (wheat and egg noodles) joint virtually across the street from Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station. It's easily located by its overabundance of florescent green lighting and the aged and rather grumpy owner who sits in a chair out front. Some aged promotional material inside desribes Sawang as "The most expensive bamee in Thailand." Yet despite these ominous attributes, it's now my favourite place in town to eat the dish.
Discovering Sawang -- it was a tip-off from Jarrett -- was well timed. Over the last few months I've been in something of a restaurant rut here in Bangkok. I've been making the effort to try places new to me, but most of those that I've been directed to have been mediocre, or worse. Sawang has the benefit of being both good and close to my home.
Several things about bamee stand out here. The roast pork is fatty and bacon-like and worlds away from the limp, lean, red-painted stuff you find at the vast majority of Bangkok's bamee restaurants and stalls. The noodles are toothsome and tasty and lack the disturbing whiff of ammonia that lesser restaurants use as a leavening agent. And unlike most bamee places which tend to separate their liquids, the broth at Sawang is essentially the same water used to boil the noodles:
thus its cloudy appearance (see pic below). It's also worth mentioning that they're fairly liberal with the MSG here; on my first visit a thumb-wide trail of the white crystals ran down the side of my bowl.
The kiaw (wontons) here are simply shrimp encased in a thin dough wrapper:
They're simple and tasty, but I prefer the heartier version at Mankorn Khao, in which the shrimp are surrounded by minced pork that's been blended with an intense mixture of coriander root, garlic and white pepper. The bowl above was served with generous chunks of fresh crab claw meat, and at 100B (about US$3), is one of the more expensive around.
Sawang 336/3-4Thanon Phra Ram IV 02 236 1772 5-11pm Tues-Sun
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