Sawasdee torn chao (good morning) krub! Have you ever walked passed the street food stall/ small local restaurants selling noodle and wonder how you would go about ordering? Although you may have wanted to try, you were forced to walked away by uncertainty and the language barrier. At Chao Hostel, we only want the authentic Thai experience for you and here is our solution!
Firstly, there are many different types of noodles around. The ones we are referring to are not the stir-fried ones like Pad Thai, Pad See Eiw, Khanom Jeen or Rad Na.
Kuay Tiew are dishes that consist of fresh noodles that are simply boiled and cooked in delicious broth with mince pork and your own preference in the wide range of Thai/ Chinese-influenced sides such as prawn balls, fish balls, fried fish skin, blood curds, tofu, liver and many more! The noodles flavours are often complimented with sugar, dried red chiles, fish sauce, fried garlic with oil, and vinegar.
Choosing Your Noodles
The most common types of noodles are as follows:
Thin Noodles (Rice Noodles) – Sen Lek
Large Noodles (Rice Noodles) – Sen Yhai
Egg Noodles (Yellow) – Sen Bah-Mie
Vermicelli (Rice Noodles) – Sen Mie
The thin, large and vermicelli noodles are white in colour as they are rice based noodles, similar to the likes of Pad Thai, Pad See Eiw or Pho noodles. The egg noodles are your typical ramen, yellow coloured noodles, with an appearance similar to spaghetti. If we were to loosely compare Sen Lek and Sen Yhai to the Italian pasta family, Sen Lek appears more similar to a thin version of linguine whilst Sen Yhai is an excessively expanded and flatten out version of pappardelle. Whilst vermicelli is very much the same but much thinner and are white in colour.
Soup or No Soup:
The word for soup in Thai is actually the same as in English as the word has also adopted into the language. However, when you order noodles there are certain ways to order your dishes. The word “Naam” in Thai means water, but is also a word for liquid.
Say, for example, you would like to order Thin noodles with a spicy savory kick to it (Tom Yum style) with soup, you will say:
Sen Lek (Thin Noodles) + Naam (with liquid/ soup) + Tom Yum
Or if you want to order, Large Noodles with mince pork and fish balls and no soup, you will say:
Sen Yhai (Large Noodles) + Haeng (which means dry) + Moo Sub (Mince Pork) + Loog Chin (Fish Balls)
Bare in mind though, if you do not specify what you want in terms of sides and additions, you may end up with the “lot”. Which, for your benefit, it could be rather an adventurous experience.
Caution and Allergies:
Unfortunately, these dishes are not very vegetarian friendly. If you are allergic to shrimp/ prawns and peanuts. We have some words and phrases for you:
– Phae = Allergic
– Goong = shrimp/ prawns
– Tua = peanuts/ nuts
– Mai Sai = Do not put in…
– Phae + Goong = Allergic to shrimp/ prawns
– Phae + Tua = Allergic to peanuts/ nuts
– Mai Sai + Goong = Do not put in shrimp/ prawns
– Mai Sai + Tua = Do not put in peanuts/ nuts
And of course, to be polite to the Thai locals, always end your sentences with ka (for female speakers) or krub (for male speakers).
Recommendations: Restaurant and speciality
One of our favourite restaurants for these noodle dishes in fact does not have a proper or fancy name, as it has been called “Raan Kuay Tiew Kang Wat Iam” for generations.
Raan (Restaurant) + Kuay Tiew (Noodles) + Kang (Next to..) + Wat Iam (a shorten name for the Iam-Woranuch Temple).
Runned by the ladies of the family, Priyanuch, Tui and Rung, the family-owned restaurant has been around at least three generations and is extremely popular around lunch time among the locals and those who work at the Bank of Thailand nearby. We recommend you pay this restaurant a visit around 11:30am or around 1:30pm if you would like to avoid the local crowd.
This little noodle place also has a speciality for making wonderful Yen Ta Fo.
Yen Ta Fo (in Thai) or Yong Tau Foo (in Chinese) originates from China and belongs to the Hakka Cuisine. It is usually served with mixture of Large Noodles with morning glory vegetables, a mix of seafood and tofu. It’s unique red/ pinkish colored soup makes it distinctive to the other noodle dishes that the restaurant serves. Commonly found in Southern China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and of course Thailand, where there are large Hakka, Hokkian and Teochew communities.
If you are happen to be in the old town area and eager to try out these dishes, we highly recommend you pay this hidden local gem.
Please see to the google maps link for the location of this restaurant:
176/1 Samsen Rd, Khwaeng Ban Phan Thom, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200
02 628 9253
This cute little place with a green entrance can be found tucked up between the walls of the Iam-Woranuch Temple and Casa Nithra Hotel. Hence, its simplistic yet charming name.
Happy food hunting guys!
From all of us at Chao Hostel, Sawasdee krub!