My 3-day trip to Bangkok wasn't just focused on fine dining establishments. We are in Thailand, after all, and one must make time for the more "authentic" and "local" fare - especially given how many times we've been told by Thais that food at the places we we've been visiting were "not really Thai food". HaoKouFu and I discussed how we could fit these into our itinerary, and decided that we would have to hit these places for late-night supper.
The two of us each suggested a place, and as it turns out the two eateries were literally within 50m of each other - on Thanon Mahachai. We checked a number of blogs and looked up TimeOut Bangkok, and were satisfied that both places would be open till the wee hours.
So... on my first night here, we didn't eat very much at the party for Asia's 50 Best Restaurants. Not that the food wasn't good - can you imagine a bunch of Asia's best chefs being served crap food?? - but we just wanted to get a taste of what's out there. So the Great One, HaoKouFu, and I met up with a couple of fellow attendees from Hong Kong and headed over.
It was around 11:40 p.m. when we got off the taxi in front of Pad Thai Thip Samai (ผัดไทยทิพย์สมัย) - arguably the most famous eatery serving the "national dish" of pad Thai (ผัดไทย). But the restaurant was closed, and there were no tables out on the sidewalk.
We were stunned. Wasn't this place supposed to be open till 1:30 or 2:00 a.m.?! What happened?! This was certainly a disappointment, but all was not lost. All we had to do was to walk a few steps to Raan Jay Fai (ร้านเจ๊ไฟ).
There are a number of dishes to order here, but the place is arguably most famous for their crab omelet. Actually, infamous might be more suitable in this case, because these are pricy. Whereas our crab omelette cost merely THB 90 at Krua Apsorn (ครัวอัปษร), the ones being served up here range from a whopping THB 800 to 1,000.
We also order some of their famous "drunken noodles" - one with prawns and one with mixed seafood.
Which was why two nights later, we found ourselves back on Thanon Mahachai. This was after the Jet Setter and I had a huge dinner at Gaggan, and HaoKouFu had finished her dinner at Le Du, and the Great One had gone through a long dinner at Nahm. None of us were hungry, but we were determined to hit this busy street once more before we left town.
By the time I joined the others, orders for three different pad Thais had already been placed. As I was still pretty full from dinner, I was just happy to tag along and nibble...
But we weren't done yet. We went back to Raan Jay Fai (ร้านเจ๊ไฟ) for more crab omelet (!!!)
P.S. When we finally left Thanon Mahachai past midnight, Pad Thai Thip Samai was still heaving. I wonder why it closed so early Monday night...?