A street food joint, run by a 70-year-old, has won one Michelin star in Bangkok’s first ever Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018. By Plavaneeta Borah
Among the 17 restaurants that bagged a spot in the recently-released Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018, was a Thai shophouse, Raan Jay Fai, run by the 70-year-old Jay Fai. Though an odd pick in a list of swanky fine dine restaurants, the award did not come as a surprise to food lovers back in Bangkok, who lovingly call her Aunt Fai, and swear by her legendary Crab Omelette (Khai Jeaw Poo).
Credited as a food institution in Bangkok, Auntie Fai started her eatery 40 years ago when the city wore a different look, void of malls and bustling restaurant scene. Her humble eatery was the go-to place to enjoy delightful wok-tossed seafood dishes—from piping hot drunken noodles with prawns to rich, yellow crab curries. At 70, she still hand picks all her ingredients and heads the open kitchen wearing her signature skiing goggles (to protect her eyes from splattering hot oil). She is unmissable!
A meal at her tiny shophouse is not cheap; a plate of Crab Omelette costs USD30 but her portions are large and the seafood of top quality. Evenings are very busy at the shop and sees a beeline of locals and foreign tourists alike.
Meanwhile, the Michelin Guide has in the past too recognised street food stalls in other countries for their ace food and service, such as Hong Kong’s Tim Ho Wan (a hole-in-the-wall dim sum place) and Singapore’s Liao Fan Hawker Chan.