You don’t come here for the service, which is pretty rough. In fact, you better be nice to them. Nor do you come for the atmosphere—a shophouse whose soundtrack is the honking and revving of Victory Monument’s ceaseless traffic. But Jakkee has been making stellar Thai and Thai-Chinese food for 50 years, with their famous rad na (noodles in gravy) the undoubted highlight. Most diners here are regulars who already know exactly what they want, but there is a short menu for neophytes where all the available variations of Jakkee’s succulent rad na take up half the page, and khao pad (stir-fried rice), dumplings and some deep-fried appetizers take up the rest. One such appetizer is the scrumptious hae kuen (shrimp rolls, B60): perfectly executed, with a crunchy exterior and tender ground shrimp inside, they taste homemade. You’ll also notice nearly every table orders soup before tucking into the signature rad na. The giew goong nam (B60) comes with plump, fleshy shrimp dumplings and a broth whose savory flavors shine on its own, without the heap of MSG usually present in this dish. Rad na stalls are some of the most ubiquitous in Bangkok. So what makes Jakkee’s so special? Attention to detail. The magnificent mee krob rad na (B100) has some of the juiciest, most tender and most aromatic beef out there (if a tad sweet on occasion). The kale is carefully selected (fresh, crunchy and not too bitter). The mee krob (fried noodles) are fried just right, not too brittle (as is often the case), and yet capable of holding their crispiness even when soaked in gravy. Even the humble sen yai noodles with pork (B100) manage to excite the palate, thanks to tender meat and rich, toothsome noodles—and the same great gravy. Beyond noodles, you’ll be equally pleased with such treats as the khao pad Samor Dum (stir-fried rice with Chinese olive, B130). The num liab (Chinese olive) is not too pungent, while bits of fiery, fried, dry chili balance out the dish’s fermented and oily notes. Jakkee is the kind of place that fancy Thai restaurants have nightmares about. Despite occasional issues with consistency, the kitchen is committed, highly specialized, and just can’t be beat on its own turf, rad na noodles. Of course, you’ll have to eschew air-con and smooth service for the privilege, but the trade-off is well worth it. Open daily (except the first Mon of every month).
|Address:||Jakkee, 1/35-36 Ratchawithi Soi 7 (Soi Wattana Yothin in Soi Rangnam), Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 9am-2pm|
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