It’s hard to find a full-flavored pad thai in Silom, particularly at lunch- time rush hour. But hidden deep in the bustling district down an alley in Soi Sala Daeng is a place that all the white collars crave. In the front yard of a 100-year old Thai house, the smiling cook, Pranee Thanee, 46, works tirelessly at the wok, not resting until the last customer has returned to the office. We caught up with her for a little chat just before it got busy.

BK: How did you come to open this shop?
My mother used to work at this house when I was a kid. I’ve worked here as a housekeeper for years. Then their children went abroad so I had a lot more free time, even though I was taking care of the owner of this house. He suggested that I start a little side business, and I agreed, because I wanted a way to pay my kid’s school fees. So I opened this shop.

BK: What’s the hardest part about starting up?
I had to find the money to open the shop. I asked for a B40,000 loan, which I’m still paying back to this day. When we opened, people were really skeptical about the sur- vival of my shop. But I survived.

BK: Why did you choose pad thai?
I’m not sure. I just figured it was the best food to sell in Silom, where there are so many different offerings.

BK: Were you taught how to make pad thai?
Never. I used to sell made to order food in my province some years ago, so I thought it wouldn’t be too hard to make my own pad thai.

BK: What’s your secret?
Nothing special, really. It could be the tamarind sauce that we make ourselves every weekend. We just use tamarind, sugar and salt, but it’s difficult because it takes two hours of simmering, and we do 14 bottles a week.

Pad thai (b30), pad thai kung sod or pla meuk (b40), kanom pakkad (b30) 47 Sala Daeng Soi 2 (behind Silom Complex), 086-403-0106 Open daily 7am-2.30pm.


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