Am back home in Bangkok, for a few days anyway, and one of the places I wanted to eat at and blog about was a restaurant I came upon only relatively recently. Tang Jua Lee is a longstanding restaurant in Bangkok's Chinatown, but since undergoing a relatively recent a face-lift, has something of a modern feel:
The restaurant's specialty is hotpots, which come in a few different forms. The tastiest is probably a hotpot of deep-fried fish head meat (tastes much better than it sounds) served in a broth seasoned with dried plum and thin slices of ginger (illustrated at the top of this post). The dried plum (buay in Thai) provides a pleasantly salty tartness that is quite unlike tamarind or lime, the normal souring elements in Thai-style sour soups.
They also do a suki-yaki-type hot pot, where you're provided with a simple broth loaded with a few basic ingredients:
which you supplement with raw ingredients (fish, meat, tofu, veggies, etc.):
I've eaten here three times now and have sampled Tan Jua Lee's non-hot pot dishes, and can confirm that it's the type of place where just about everything is solid. Most recently, in addition to hot pot, we had a dish of Chinese-style pickled veggies:
and a stir-fry of goat meat:
The latter was of the few dishes I've ever encountered in Thailand that used fermented black beans. It was very good, although I'd say that they went a bit overboard with the kheun chai, Chinese celery.
On previous visits I have tried their tasty flash-fried greens:
made Chinese style, with few bells and whistles but with lots of smokey flavour, and their excellent or suan, oyster omelet:
which is rich and garlicky, without being gloopy or overly-eggy.
Tang Jua Lee 2212 Th Khao Lam 02 236 4873 11am-10pm
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