Monday, April 30, 2018

Best Pad Thai Ever @ Thipsamai near Wat Saket [Bangkok, Thailand]

I just returned from a five-day trip to Bangkok and no, i am not going to come out with an itinerary this time as i had generated quite a few covering the city of angels over the past few years; a three-day one, a four-day one and a six-day one.

However, i do wish to cover a few places i just visited in my blog and one of them was so memorable; it deserves to be mentioned first. An eatery known as Thipsamai (previously known as Pad Thai Pra-Too-Pee) which i visited twice in a row on the last two nights of my trip!

It has a legendary following in Bangkok and there's only one main dish for sale; pad thai (ผัดไทย). Classified as one of Thailand national dishes, i had fond memories of it when i first had it in Singapore and the best before Thipsamai blew me away was at a street stall in Ao Nang.

In spite arriving just shortly after their operating hours at 5 pm, a long queue had already formed and it didn't help us that it started drizzling moments later. Best thing? We had no brolly!

Scrambled to buy an umbrella from the 7-11 convenience store right opposite Thipsamai and darn was i fast as the rain got heavier right after i returned. Surprisingly, the queue cleared pretty fast and we got into the air-conditioned premises in about 20 minutes.

Unlike most dining establishments, the cooking was done in full view of those queuing to enter or walking past the restaurant. Aside from the speed and efficiency of the chefs that left me in awe, you can't deny the enticing aroma and wonder if the food would be worth the wait!

One thing to note - there's an air-conditioning charge of 10 baht per adult and 5 baht for each kid! Although baffling as we never had to pay for air-con in Singapore, prices of food in food courts (usually air-conditioned) are commonly higher as compared to non-air-conditioned coffee shops in our little red dot.

A stainless steel basin filled with ice and bottles of orange juice. The phad thai is definitely the must-order but you shouldn't disregard the pricey orange juice (160 baht, closed to S$7 for a large bottle). Seems like the prices do fluctuate but anyway, more on the orange juice shortly.

The air-conditioned premises that consisted of two sections! Eavesdropping on a conversation by a table of Malaysians / Singaporeans, the back section was newly added and according to one of the ladies, the whole place was non-air-conditioned in the past.

Menu in Thai?! How to bloody order?

Rest assured, there's a pictorial menu full of attractive, mouthwatering pictures with English translation! Take your pick and write your orders on an order list which i would be sharing nearing the end of this post.

Condiments on the table which included sugar, chilli and a container of crushed peanuts! Once you have ordered, the servers would also put a plate of raw beansprouts, spring onions and slices of lime on your table.

Big Orange Juice - the brand is Surapong Fruit's and the orange juice was said to be produced from selected oranges with no added colouring or preservatives. The first sip reminded me of those freshly squeezed oranges from street stalls; fragrantly sweet with a hint of saltiness that enhanced the palatability.

The difference with the street vendors' version was nuanced with one exception; the generous pieces of orange pulp at the bottom of the bottle! p.s. we drank from the bottle as the restaurant charges 2 baht for a plastic cup and an additional 2 baht for ice. =_=

Superb Pad Thai (Small Prawns) - after a wait of 15 minutes, this was finally served on our table! Honestly, it did appear rather normal with eggs, bits of tofu, beansprouts and garnished with coriander leaves and red pepper.

This superb version came with small deep sea prawns which is a mid-range pad thai. You can opt for the cheaper pad thai (60 baht) with just dried shrimp and without egg or the more expensive big prawns pad thai at 200 baht.

I slurped in a mouthful and can literally feel my pupils dilating; coated with a thin layer of gravy, it was unlike any of the pad thai i had before in my 38 years of life! I usually prefer my Thai fried noodles to be sweeter but this isn't just a matter of sweetness; the dish itself is a perfection in terms of taste and flavour!

The wrapped with egg version was priced the same under Superb Pad Thai (Small Prawns) and visually, more appealing for social media platforms like instagram.

Featuring the same orangey rice noodles fried over charcoal, it continued to wow the three of us. Personally, i prefer the non-wrapped version. By the way, do sprinkle a spoonful of peanuts (from the wooden container) for that irresistible nuttiness!

Pad Thai Song Kreung - most expensive of the lot that not only had the bigger sized deep sea prawns but also covered with a generous serving of crab meat, squid and sliced mango!

We went with glass noodles and even though it didn't impress us as much as the rice noodles, the taste was still good. What we took issue with was that there were just too much toppings and all of us agreed that we should have just gone with the normal Superb Pad Thai instead.

Pad Thai (Takeaway) - Our tummies were too full at the end as we already had an early dinner two hours earlier. However, we didn't feel like we had enough of Thipsamai pad thai and requested for takeaway of their cheapest pad thai!

I was not expecting the packet of raw beansprouts and spring onions that was thrown in. In addition, you can also find a sachet of crushed peanuts and chilli flakes. Very professional woah!

Had it for breakfast the next morning and even though the texture was drier, it remained delicious and we regretted not buying more! Those who are staying in airbnbs with a kitchen; please remember to purchase a few packs for takeaway!

Why a picture of the restaurant again?! As mentioned in the beginning of this post, we were back the next day and the queue was an incredible 50-person long!

This time round, we waited 40 minutes for a table and another 20 minutes for our pad thai! After going through all versions of Thipsamai's pad thai, all three of us ordered the same kind this time; the superb pad thai (small prawns) with egg.

As good? Obviously! Only regret?
We should have purchased a few packs back to Singapore!

=====

Location
313-315 Maha Chai Rd,
Khwaeng Samran Rat, Khet Phra Nakhon,
 กรุงเทพมหานคร 10200, Thailand
(near the beautiful Wat Saket)

Location Map
As above.

Operating Hours
5.00 pm to 2.00 am

Order List
As above

Pricing
Big Orange Juice - 160 baht
Superb Pad Thai (Small Prawns) - 90 baht
Pad Thai Song Kreung - 300 baht
Normal Pad Thai (Takeaway)- 60 baht

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