There is a small Soi in Chinwatoen connecting Charoen Krung and Yaowarat and it is called Padhung Dao but also known as Soi Texas. During daytime this is a busy area with small businesses, gold shops and street sellers occupying the side walks but in the evening small eateries pop up everywhere. Stalls transform into kitchens and plastic chairs will be out up with shaky tables to feed the hungry.
And here, at both corners of Soi Texas and Yaowarat road two quite similar and famous seafood restaurants are located. One is called R & L Seafood, easily recognizable because the waiter wear bright red aprons, the other one is called T & K Seafood and here the waiters are dressed in green. Both places serve traditional Thai seafood cuisine and are famous amongst the locals for their delicious food.
Of course, the locals also explain that the food at both places was much cheaper a decade ago and that both restaurants became too expansive with the rising fame. But they return then anyway for the delicious food the price.
R & L Seafood
corner Soi Padhung Dao and Yaowarat road, Samphanthawong, 10110 BKK
open Friday to Sunday, 18:00 – 03:00
phone: +66 (0)81 637 5039, price approx 200 up (pp)
As mentioned before, R & L Seafood, which actually stands for Rut & Lek, is easily recognizable because the waiters all wear red aprons and shirts. They are usually crowded but once you let one of the waiters know that you are keen to eat there then they will find a free spot for you. They also have an air conditioned restaurant that is accessible from Yaowarat and quite well hidden and the entrance is next to stairs where prostitutes wait and look rather tired. They’re probably hungry because they smell the mouthwatering seafood all night!
The menu offers seafood of all sorts and many of the main ingredients are waiting on iced shelves on the street to be cooked, grilled or steamed and made into delicious dishes. Rut & Lek seafood is especially famous for the crab rice and grilled prawns, a dish everyone seems to order here. What we recommend though is something a bit more unusual. It grilled fish in tinfoil,. filled with herbs.
The fish is packed in a paste made of herbs and lemongrass then wrapped in tinfoil and grilled and so the tenser meat is soaking up all the taste of the herbs and the outcome is a delight! So this is our favorite dish here but there are others that we also liked, for example the shrimps steamed in a not too spicy lime sauce, the Tom Yum soup and the already mentioned grilled prawns.
T & K Seafood
49-51 Soi Phadung Dao (corner Soi Padhung Dao and Yaowarat road), Samphanthawong, 10110 BKK
open Friday to Sunday, 18:00 – 02:00
phone: +66 (0)2 223-4519, price approx 200 up (pp)
At T & K Seafood the waiters wear green and are equally busy as the waiters at the opposite restaurant. Ask for a free table and you might have to wait a bit but the very well organized staff will get you a free table as soon as possible.
The whole house on the corner of the Soi belongs to this restaurant and so there are plenty of options to sit in a cool air conditioned room. The entrance is right behind the kitchen where huge amount of prawns are grilled. Don’t be shy and just step in and the waiters will guide you to a free table.
T & K Seafood is especially known for their fish steamed in lime and chili sauce. The taste of the sauce is very beautiful. The broth tastes intense with garlic and chili’s swimming in it and coriander on top of it. The fish is usually a sea bass with tender meat. We recommend to order either plain or fried rice together with this tasty dish!
Other dishes we tried include tasty and fresh oysters as well as boiled cockles. My companions liked them though I have to say that I am generally not a big fan of it. What we all liked again and surprised us was a dish we ordered randomly and out of vague curiosity: crab cakes served in the shell. This you should definitely add to the dishes on your things-to-eat-list at T & K Seafood!
This story was originally published on the 12.12.2013 at http://www.crankylittlemonster.com/blog/chinatown_seafood.html