Thip Samai Pad Thai – Best Pad Thai In Bangkok? Popular Eatery Near Chinatown Has Long, Long Queues
[Bangkok, Updated 2017] Thip Samai has been touted to offer the best Pad Thai in Bangkok, so much so that their Pad Thai is described as “legendary”. Jing Lor?
The Pad Thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly available as street food and at casual local eateries.
Cooked with soaked dried rice noodles, eggs, chopped firm tofu and flavoured with tamarind pulp and fish sauce, this is a MUST-HAVE dish if you visit Thailand.
So how about Thipsamai’s version?
The eatery about 10 minute drive away from Chinatown has been around since 1966, and is popular with locals and tourists alike.
(While you are there, you MAY want to check out Raan Jay Fai a few steps away. Known for its Drunken Noodles and Crab Omelette, prices are steep though.)
Goodness. A long snaking queue of about 40 people in the line at any one time, seemingly about 60-70% foreigners, while the rest were Thais.
Fortunately, movement was fast, and we got seats after a 20 minute or so wait. The queue during peak hours can be up to an hour.
“This Pad Thai restaurant is so famous that even my parents will come here.” My Thai friend Khun-B quipped. “BUT, it is way over-rated…”
Nevertheless, he still brought me all the way here. #friendship
The ‘kitchen’ is at the front of the eatery, with a few sections: Two were doing the initial frying (big fire big fire) over charcoal, a group of men carried out the assembling, while the guy nearest the road was fry-wrapping the noodles with egg – a bucket at the side, with operations like systematic clockwork.
Let’s start with the Orange Juice.
The bottles differ in price from time to time, and this fateful day, it was 140 baht (SGD$5.50) per bottle.
“This is daylight robbery. I just had another orange juice at JJ market for 50 baht, and I thought THAT was expensive.”
When I asked Khun B which was better, the reply was, “Well, Thip Samai’s has more pulp.”
I found it too sweet for my comfort level, and would recommend sharing a big bottle.
I ordered the Pad Thai Haw Kai Goong Sot (90 baht, SGD3.50) which came wrapped with egg.
The moderately thin layer of egg enveloped around the stir-fried noodles like a pillow, and when dug in was almost like unveiling a treasure chest.
Hmm… slight wok-hei, though I expected more. That is to say the Pad Thai wasn’t as piping hot as I expected – both times I visited.
I reckoned that the same plate went through too many processes with long waits in the assembly line, from adding the egg, ingredients, plating to delivering to the customer.
Slightly to the sweeter side, the tasty parts were the thin egg and the special orange sauce added. I could say it was a good plate of Pad Thai, but not an exceptional one.
I must have had something better at some random street stall. However, as this is a Pad Thai institution of sorts, many would have included this in their bucket list anyway.
Thip Samai Pad Thai
313 Maha Chai Road, Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2221 6280
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 1:30am Daily
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Bamee Gua (Wireless Road, Bangkok)
Polo Chicken (Wireless Road, Bangkok)
Jeh O Chula (Soi Charat Muean, Bangkok)
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