Welcome back to the second episode of Discover with Amari Host! Pear, the Amari Host at Amari Watergate Bangkok, returns to take us on a food tour in Chinatown.
Each Amari Hotel has an Amari Host, a friendly helping hand whose job is to welcome all guests. Destination guides, travel tips and super problem-solving skills: there’s nothing our Amari Hosts can’t do!
Today, as a public service to our wonderful fans, Pear shares one of her favourite go-to spots for flavourful Chinese dishes in Bangkok: Yaowaraj! While there are literally hundreds of eateries and food stalls throughout this part of town, we decided to visit and taste-test five spots for an evening food tour.
Yaowaraj is one of the oldest and most culturally rich communities in Bangkok. Originally a Chinese settlement, Chinese traders set up shops selling all sorts of commodities: food, fabrics, gold, herbal medication, and antiques.
With her trusty food guide book, Pear decided to try out these recommended shops for the ultimate taste test.
Yaowaraj is easily accessible from MRT Hua Lamphong, also nearby the Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong Station). From the station, it’s a short walk through to Chinatown.
As it was still early and most food stalls open in the evening, Pear decided to see the interesting sites in the neighbourhood. The Chinese Gate was built in commemoration of His Majesty the King’s 72nd birthday in 1999. Marking the ceremonial entrance to Chinatown. , the Chinese Gate leads visitors to Yaowaraj Road and Charoenkrung Road.
Also down the road to Yaowaraj is Wat Traimit (Thai: วัดไตรมิตร), home to the world’s largest golden seated Buddha statue.
Yoo Chinatown Fishball (ยู้ ลูกชิ้นปลาเยาวราช)
Our first stop was Yoo Chinatown Fishball, a simple shop house that sells noodles and fishballs. This family-run restaurant has been in business for over 80 years now, and now have a few other branches throughout Bangkok.
- Highlights: The fishballs are nothing to scoff at – soft, flavourful and fresh, these homemade fishballs are worth the visit.
- Recommended dishes: With different noodle options to choose from, it’s hard to decide! But Yoo Chinatown Fishball personally recommends the Yen Ta Fo (pink soup) and the spicy Tom Yum soup.
Despite being a long-established shop, the shop is kept clean and orderly.
**If you’re on a tight schedule but want a taste, Yoo Chinatown Fishball also has branches at the Platinum Mall food court across the street from Amari Watergate Bangkok, as well as the second floor of Don Muang International Airport, easily accessible from Amari Don Muang Airport Bangkok.**
Krua Porn-lamai Hot Pate (ครัวพรละมัย กระทะร้อน)
Further down Yaowaraj Road is Krua Porn-lamai Hot Plate, a street stall tucked neatly outdoors in Soi Plaeng Nam. Like most street stalls in Bangkok, the wooden tables and plastic chairs are lined up along the sidewalk for customers to sit and eat. Aside from the signature hot plate dishes, the street stall also offers grilled meats, Thai-style suki soup, and other a la carte items.
- Recommended dishes: The Chinese-style Oyster Omlette is a favourite among locals, served on a hot plate. (Tasty tip: Thais abosultely love to pair it with sweet chili sauce for a better flavour.)
Sweet Time Desserts (ขนมหวาน Sweet Time)
After the savoury dishes, it was time to have some dessert. The third stop of the evening was Sweet Time Desserts, another street stall that specialises in Chinese-style desserts. With over 10 items on the menu (with optional sizing), this shop has been selling well for over 20 years. It’s really the perfect way to cool off after walking around in Bangkok.
Pear’s Picks of the Day
- Chilled Tapioca & Cantalope in Coconut Milk
- Bua Loy (or Rice Dumplings in Sweet Coconut Cream)
- Iced Assorted Beans in Syrup (Regular & Special)
Kanom Pang Jao Aroi Ded Yaowaraj (ขนมปังเจ้าอร่อยเด็ดเยาวราช)
The lines are always long at our next stop: Kanom Pang Jao Aroi Ded Yaowaraj. We think the smell of sweet breads and promise of good tastes is what lures customers. This stall sells simple breads with fillings, yet it is one of the most popular spots on Thai social media. Pear decided it was a must-visit.
Kanom Pang Jao Aroi offers at least nine fillings. Customers then can choose from three bread types (toasted, soft, and toasted on the outside, soft on the inside). It’s a nice touch to be able to mix-and-match dessert. And, thankfully, while the queue never really ends, the wait wasn’t too long. In less than 15 minutes, Pear received her box of toasted goodness.
**For the best flavour and eating experience, customers should have the breads while they are fresh and warm.**
The Canton House (Chinatown Branch)
We thought dessert would be enough, but Pear learned something important about Chinese-style cuisine: it’s delicious, but you’ll never be truly full no matter how much you eat. One last stop was made at The Canton House, a sit-down dim sum restaurant that also serves a la carte dishes.
The restaurant was spacious and well-lit, as well was air-conditioned. Most items on the clear and extensive menu were traditional, like dumplings and fried wontons. There were a couple of items with a more modern Thai twist on tradition, such as the steamed prawns in soya sauce and the use of asparagus or broccoli for vegetables. Let’s be honest though: when everything looks great, you end up ordering everything. Thankfully this restaurant is very much affordable.
It was the perfect way for Pear to end her food tour.
Do these five food stops have you hungry yet? It was a lot of fun for Pear to guide us on this Chinatown food tour. We guarantee it’s a great way to discover Bangkok!