Yaowarat road in Chinatown is well known for its vast array of street food options and it was there I headed with a friend earlier this week for a late dinner. “Lek and Rut” on the intersection of Yaowarat and Thanon Phadung Dao is one of the better known stalls and specializes in seafood items. Rickety tables and chairs fill the pavement and side streets, spilling out onto the road where you can also find a handful of carts with seafood on display in case you want to choose your own fish.
We started with a couple of local oysters which came served with a lump of ice on top to chill them and a selection of condiments from fresh lime and chilli to crispy fried shallots and a local herb. I don’t like chewing oysters so I just added a squeeze of lime and a bit of chilli to mine but my friend N added a bit of everything to hers to get all the flavours.
The rest of our dishes arrived pretty quickly afterwards – when this many people are waiting to be fed you don’t mess around and I watched as tables around us were turned in a matter of seconds so new guests could be seated and served.
We shared a crab curry; prawns in black pepper and a pea shoot stir-fry between the two of us and I of course went for a large Singha as well. The crab curry admittedly wasn’t the best I have had; there was nothing wrong with it as such, it just didn’t leave much of an impression on me. I think I’ve been spoiled by the crab curry noodle dish at soul food mahanakorn – I certainly can’t imagine finding another crab curry that comes close to theirs.
I was really impressed however, with the prawn stir-fry, the black pepper sauce was suitably fiery and the prawns were really nicely cooked .You could definitely taste the freshness which is always an important consideration when dining on the street like this. I also found the pea shoots excellent.
They had been gently stir fried with fresh chilli and garlic in a soy sauce, yet the subtle flavour of the pea shoots was still apparent even with all the other components of the dish. There was a great buzz on the street and it was fun people watching. The crowd seemed very much to be local with just a handful of tourists (possibly as we were there on a Monday night when the guide books advise you that much of Chinatown is closed)
I think the bill cane to around 400 baht each which is definitely at the higher end of street food dining pricewise but still good value, especially when you consider the fact we had seafood (and a couple of beers) Where are your favourite street stalls in Bangkok – what should I try there? I have been pretty bad at exploring Bangkok’s streetfood scene so far and this is something I need to rectify in the New Year! All and any advice would be gratefully accepted!