What to eat at JJ, Bangkok's weekend market
Room 126, Soi 38/3, Section 2, 08-1648-2282.
This wooden khao gaeng shop, with its red clay plates, boran-style cutlery and coconut shells used as cups, is famous for its fresh ingredients. Make sure you try the delicious kanom jeen naam phrik (B40). The rich peanut sauce over noodles is a perfect combo with the deep-fried morning glory leaves. Dishes are around B50 each, and you need to get there early as they tend to run out fast due to the regular swarm of loyal customers.
Room 105, Soi 1, Section 4, 08-4098-3083.
Thanks to its numerous tables, you won’t have to wait for a seat, but a meal at this crowded eatery won’t be a tranquil experience. With some 20 somtam varieties ranging from B40-75, the must-order is obviously the classic somtam Thai (B40) which strikes a perfect balance between sweet, spicy and sour. The deep-fried chicken with sesame seeds (B60) has a scrumptiously sweet aroma and crisp texture. They do Vietnamese dishes, too; the naem neung (small B70, medium B130, large B170) is a best-seller for a good reason.
Raan Yaam Jae-Euang
Room 65, Soi 38/1, Section 2, 08-3343-2502
This tiny lot is an amazing one-man show starring Joe and his two run-down stoves. You will be waiting in line for a while here but it’s worth it. The must-try is the tom yam kung (B60). The secret of his soup isn’t just the fact that he puts coconut meat into the mixture but that he uses condensed milk, giving the tom yam a creamy texture while still maintaining its kick-in-the-mouth sourness and spiciness. A complementary dish to the famous soup is an order of Joe’s fluffy omelet with ground pork (B40). The rice is a bit dry here, but who cares when the main dishes are this good. Other must-haves are his yam dishes (B50-60), and thod man (fish cakes, B30-40). If you have an iron stomach, try some juicy blood cockles with spicy seafood sauce (B50).
Room 122-123, Soi 3, Section 3, 02-513-0145/6
This tranquil spot boasting white couches, a garden bench and teashop is a great spot to recuperate thanks in part to its chill French soundtrack. Skip the smoothies and coffee and go straight for the vanilla tea latte (B65), a concoction of vanilla black tea, vanilla syrup and milk served on ice. They also have cakes and sandwiches on offer.
Room 079-080, Soi 38/2, Section 2, 08-1937-2675.
Uncle Add, the patriarch of this old school orange juice shop, has been squeezing OJ for 25 years. This time capsule has a steady stream of thirsty tourists and loyal customers which means the uncle ends up squeezing about 6,000 little oranges a day. The perfectly sour and sweet OJ comes in small (B12) and big glass bottles (B50). It’s one baht extra if you want ice.
Section 8, 02-272-4783
Comfortable seating, a live house music DJ and splendid cocktails. This spot has been around 12 years and is owned by a family that knows how to mix up an extra-smooth martini (B250), though the Long Island Iced Tea (B250) is their specialty. We know what you’re thinking: every single bar in Bangkok claims theirs is the best. The extremely potent concoction has the usual gin-white rum-tequila-vodka mix, but they also splash in some Kahlua and real lemonade—an eccentric twist to a classic drink.
Soi 36, Section 1, 08-6510-1060.
The signs that you are at a legit Mapraw Hawm stall are the coconuts hanging on the parasols and the toothpicks bearing the insignia of the coconut ice cream shop. They serve their homemade coconut ice cream in young coconut husks. Not only is their i-teem kati refreshing, but they also give out free cups of coconut juice. Their second stall stands opposite the Phufa shop (opposite MRT Kamphaeng Phet).
Chatuchak Chao-Kuay Boran
Room 202 and 214, Soi 3, Section 3, 02-542-0732, 08-6568-7025
This homemade chao-kuay sticks to a traditional recipe, using brown sugar, not syrup. You can sit at the small shop while slurping on the slightly bitter and sweet noodles or take them to go in the bowl. You can also buy the tender black noodles packaged to take home.