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[BKK] Nostalgic Streetside Curry at Jek Pui Curry

TL;DR Must-visit in Yaowarat. Very flavourful curry with a nostalgic streetside food experience. 

If you ever visit Bangkok's Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat, you must hunt down Jek Pui Curry and have a meal there. Jek Pui is not just about a curry meal, but also about the nostalgia of sitting on a plastic stool by the side of the street, no tables, and balancing your plate of curry in one hand while eating with the other. The stools are so iconic that Jek Pui has been nicknamed "musical chairs rice and curry".

Coming from Singapore where street food has been shepherded into orderly, sanitised hawker centres, the vibe of Jek Pui Curry felt so raw and so nostalgic. (Still love my hawker centres!)

How does this place work?

Ordering is simple. The menu is the red banner behind the cart with yellow text. They've now updated it with English translations of the Thai dishes. Their signatures are of course their curries: yellow curry with pork, red curry with beef, green curry with chicken, and green curry with fish balls.

The also have other non-curry dishes: stir fried crab, roasted pork ribs, sweet pork, stir fried bamboo shoot chicken, chicken wing with red sauce, pork panaeng.

The bottom half of the banner in Thai explains the pricing. Each dish is 40 baht. Extra portions 60 baht.

If you want to add a braised egg (พะโล้ Pha Lo), that's 10 baht per egg, and they sell it in 2s and 4s. Chinese waxed sausages/lap cheong (กุนเชียง Gun Chiang) are 20 baht per bag. Rice and plain noodles are 10 baht per bag.

Even with no Thai, you should be able to get some food with gesturing and pointing. The shop workers also have very basic English which should help in the communication process.

But, how was the food? 

I'm no expert about Thai curry so I defer to my mother's opinion here. We ordered the green curry with chicken (40 baht) because my mother was craving for that. According to my mother, it was amazingly delicious.

As a non-curry lover myself, I really enjoyed this. The curry was really fragrant, a bit sour, not extremely spicy, and very flavourful. The chicken pieces were also very tender without being too dry.

We were in a rush for time so we unfortunately could not get more food. But watching the other diners eat really made me want to try more different dishes. The yellow curry with pork is definitely what I'm getting the next time.

(I also really recommend this blog post [link] by Mark Wiens about Jek Pui)

What's a good time to go?

This shop mainly serves the evening dinner and supper crowd, and opens from 4pm to 9pm, roughly.

How do I get there?

Personally, the most straightforward and least confusing way to get there is by metered taxi. The shop name in Thai is ร้าน ข้าวแกงเจ๊กปุ้ย (เจ้เฉีย) Khao Gaeng Jake Puey. If the taxi driver does not know where it is, have him bring you to Yaowarat and walk your way there. Walk along the main street and turn in on the side street opposite Wat Kanmatuyaram. If you go at the right timing, you will not miss the iconic red plastic stools.

By public transport, there's quite a few ways to get there depending on where you're coming from, using a combination of bus, river boat, metro, and foot. I will leave it to google maps to recommend to you the best way to get there.

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