[Bangkok, Thailand] Some call this the Bangkok version of Hooters, where the male servers at Chatuchak are dressed shirtless, all with budging chests, toned bodies and ripped abs. They actually sell Thai Somtam, aka spicy green papaya salad.
Customers may drool more at the good looking men wearing costumes of Thai ancient characters, rather than the food served. We hear that there are female servers too, but didn’t see any of them during a weekend visit.
The somtam stall named Tum Tard Arb Sub is found at a more obscure Zone D of Chatuchak Market.
Some of the tourists who walked past would stop their tracks and gaze, others may ask for a photo, or two, or three, or more. Giggling. The servers would shyly oblige. They seem happy to pose.
We made our way in the merciless heat sweating buckets at JJ market to search for them, by showing their photos on the mobile to various (friendly looking) stall owners. The third person happened to know (check out the address below if you are really lost).
After spotting those three guys – hunky, muscular, pretty good looking with THOSE ABS, we knew it was time to hit the gym after this food trip to Bangkok.
The ‘models’ were sourced from Facebook, and paid a pretty good salary of 2000 baht per day.
Owner Khun Tony was wearing red, singing and dancing around to loudly played Thai songs. He was definitely more entertaining to watch.
This sexy stall just sold papaya salad, such as Thai Papaya Salad (180 baht), Salted Egg Papaya Salad (180 baht), Grilled Chicken Papaya Salad (190 baht) and Seafood Papaya Salad (270 baht).
I ordered a mix, and unlike the usual ones I get in restaurants, this somtam came in a large metal tray. Salted duck egg, crab stick, muscles, dried shrimps, vermicelli were lined around. Huge portion, cannot finish.
“Phet, phet!” Somtam was spicy, considering that I had a high tolerance level. Objectively speaking, there were certain ingredients I like, such as the salted egg, but the seafood added had an unpleasant smell and fishy taste.
Gimmicky or what?
A little. Eating somtam with guys with TIGHT glittery blue bottoms walking around could be uncomfortable to some. Plus, they were standing up pounding the salad with a large wooden stick. In this heat.
Before you dismiss this stall, at least Khun Tony did put some thought it, with the ‘uniform’ of Thai mythology characters, complete with dancing to folk music.
One passerby took a picture of my somtam, AND a picture of presumably the most good-looking server, but didn’t order at all. He was not the only one. Aiyah, at least tip please.
There is a tipping box “All money to His Education” for tourists who come to take photos. A good cause at the end of it, so it’s not just about “sex sells”.
I foresee more servers at other cafes and stalls using good looks and losing their clothes to sell food. Not the first, won’t be the last.
Tum Tard Arb Sub
Chatuchak, JJ Market. Opposite JJ Outlet, Close To Chatuchak Market Gate 1
Tel: 085-445-7941, 081-171-1455
Chatuchak Market is adjacent to the Kamphaengpecth Station (MRT) about 5 minute walk from Mochit Skytrain (BTS) Station and Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park) Station (MRT)
Opening Hours of JJ Market: 6pm – 12am (Fri), 9am – 6pm (Sat-Sun)
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