Food that Overflows onto the Sidewalk in Yaowarat

By Mark Wiens 18 Comments

Jaow Restaurant

Location: Yaowarat, Chinatown, Bangkok, Thailand
Address: Yaowarat, Soi Plaeng Nam (On the corner of Thanon Charoen Krung and Soi Plaeng Nam) Phone: 24 02 623 0907, Check out the map here!
Price: Dishes are around 50 baht with rice, a buffet feast will cost about 100 baht per stomach

It is my duty as a human and citizen of this world to bring this precious dining establishment to your immediate attention.  While nosy-ing about one day like I often do in Bangkok’s Chinatown (Yaowarat), my subconscious senses lead me directly to an eatery that shocked me.  On the quiet Soi Plaeng Nam (side street) perpendicular to the boisterous Thanon Yaowarat and Thanon Charoen Krung lies this culinary Shangri-La that should be on the food pilgrimage map in Bangkok, Thailand!

bangkok chinatown restaurant

The pre-cooked piles of the best Thai-Chinese food neatly displayed will make your jaw drop to the ground with excitement.  The smiling chef in her baby blue apron will chit chat with you and even offer you a few samples of the most enticing dishes.

bangkok yaowarat food

To list the dishes would take an extensive and mostly unimportant list that fluctuates from day to day, so I won’t.  Rather, my advice is to go there, have a look, maybe taste, and then order whatever looks delicious.

chinatown feast

I got my hands dirty with a red curry fish dish, a plate of stir-fried green vegetables (pad yod mala), and a tofu seaweed soup (gang jued).

This black vegetable concoction called “Ga Na Shy” is cooked in a thick oil and is a Yaowarat specialty.  It’s actually quite a lot better tasting than it looks!

yaowarat chinatown eatery

Jaow Restaurant is a spectacular display of ready made food.  Though most of the dishes are meant for takeaway order and ballooned up in plastic bags, there are 2 or 3 tables to sit at if you choose to “dine-in.”  Lucky for all of us, the restaurant is easy to spot as the array of delicacies overflows onto the sidewalk on a makeshift table supported by plastic chairs and gas bombs.

This small eatery is an incredible place and I can hardly resist myself from moving into the neighborhood with the sole purpose of Jaow.

-Migration Mark

18 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Karlijn

    8 years ago

    I’ve got about the same picture with the same lady taken 15 years ago when I first visited Bangkok. It was on our first night in Bangkok, we were very jetlagged, it was extremely hot and humid, we found this place, sat down, had a feast of food and (quite a few) Singha’s… and did not write down where it was. I searched for it every single time I went back to Bangkok but never found it back. Thanks to Google and your site, I found it back now and will definitely go there in March, yay! Thanks a lot!

  • Josh

    9 years ago

    Does anybody know if this place is still in operation?

    • Mark Wiens

      9 years ago

      Hey Josh, I believe they have had to move due to construction, but there are a couple of other similar places on the same street.

  • Sha

    14 years ago

    try out shark’s fin soap and cat meat! >>>> <<<<<(the last one is just kidding:P) in fact, i go to Yaowarat just for the Guayjaab,hehehe, mostly we eat at siom/Sathorn area and river side around Rama3,both Thai and Chinese food,those are great!:D

    • Mark Wiens

      14 years ago

      Wonderful! I still haven’t had shark’s fin soup in Yaowarat, but I’ve had it a few other places. It is available all over there!

  • Mark Wiens

    14 years ago

    Yah Shannon, I am already saddened to think about leaving Thai food behind. You will just have to come travel back through again soon!

  • Shannon OD

    14 years ago

    That first image just transports me right back to SEA! Now you have me hankering for Thai food – and good Thai food which can be a tall order back in the US in some places!

  • Mark Wiens

    14 years ago

    @Sha: hahah Shaoxia, thanks for commenting and for the great advice about that dish! I have been to that Guay Jaab restaurant a couple of times and it is amazing! Do you have any other recommendations for restaurants in Yaowarat that I must eat at?

    @Mark: So true, I've been in Bangkok for a year now and I still get excited like a little kid every time I get to eat Thai food (which is 3 times a day!).

  • Mark Lawrence

    14 years ago

    WOW that all looks appetizing! One of the things I miss about Bangkok is the abundance and variety of flavors and food everywhere. Seeing this post made my stomach growl.

  • Sha

    14 years ago

    Haha, that black vegetable mountain is actually kale borecole, which is good for health cause it contains high nutrition, and the name “Ga Na Shy” actually comes from Taechiew language, in Mandarin is ‘gan lan cai’, it’ll be really funny if I hear you say that word, lol. By the way, there’s a very famous ‘GuaiJaab’ roadside eating shop, which is on the Yawarat road about 5mins walk from Shangri-la restaurant, if you haven’t try it then u must! It’s really great…anyway, those food displayed in this restaurant all look so delicious 😀

    • Michael Chang

      11 years ago

      @Sha: Yes! I love-love-love gan lan cai! It’s amazing over rice or with vegetables. I’m currently running out of my supply and I desperately need to find more (that’s actually how I ended up here). It’s a pickled vegetable in olive oil. I’ve been trying to figure out whether the vegetable is kale or olive leaves. In the jar that I have, there are large black olive seeds here and there. However, my research into “gan lan cai” and “gai lan” says that it’s most likely kale. But I’m not 100% sure. Either way, though, it’s heavenly and addictive, even though it may not look appetizing at first glance.

  • Mark Wiens

    14 years ago

    @Earl: I highly agree with you, the food selection and abundance is just on another level. Those eateries in the back soi’s of Yaowarat are also incredible!

    @Gourmantic: Hehe, it is a bit greasier than I prefer, but the lady insisted I sample it, and it was pretty good!

    @Aurora: She does have a few vegetarian dishes too, and a tofu soup that’s quite delicious.

  • Aurora @ Extended World Travel

    14 years ago

    Oh wow, impressive! Being a vegetarian I don’t know how much of that I would be interested in eating, but still, very impressive! :)A

  • Gourmantic

    14 years ago

    Mark, you make me hungry for food I’d never want to eat! 🙂 Like that oily black mountain…

  • Earl

    14 years ago

    Oh man, this post has made me yearn for Thai food! Every time I’m in Bangkok I normally head over to Chinatown to eat along the sois behind the main cloth market. And I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed, especially with the handful of Thai-Indian fusion eateries. I’m not sure there is anywhere else on the planet with such an enticing array of food on offer than in Bangkok!