Boat Noodles @ Victory Monument, Bangkok – You Can NEVER Stop At One Bowl!March 7, 2012 | 12,101 views
Churning out bowls after bowls of the famed Boat Noodles of Bangkok; watching them in action was akin to poetry in motion; seamless transition between every single process.
If it’s your first time here, and wondering why the flurry of Bangkok food posts in a Malaysian food and travel blog, don’t worry. This site ain’t spammed, hacked or the author gone bonkers. Well, I might have. That would best explain the current under-the-weather spell that I’m in. But anyway, before departing to the Pearl of the Orient tomorrow (3 days in Penang … sadly, for work again), let me share with you ANOTHER Bangkok street food piece that you might or might not be familiar with.
Boat noodles near to the Victory Monument in Bangkok.
And why you can’t stop at one bowl? Let’s see …. there were patrons indulging in 5-10 bowls EACH, while we were there!! Fascinated? Read on …..
Although the peaceful tranquility this river once possessed might have gone with the wind (of commercialization and congestion), the sheer reminiscing thought of the nostalgic experience still evoke a certain kind of emotion in some; especially the old timers.
Now, as if the previous market runs (Nang Loeng and Or Tor Kor), and the half day at Bang Rak were not local enough, we decided to venture slightly off track to alight at Victory Monument BTS station and walked northbound before reaching this small canal running south-east; crossing the main road of Thanon Phahon Yothin.
Not exactly hard to find, since many of the locals (very evident) alight at this station and walked at breakneck speed (at least that was what I felt!) to every direction; crossing the elevated pedestrian pathway northbound towards Phahon Yothin area. You’ll pass by the Victory Monument while you’re on your way there, and be glad that you’re not stuck in the jam in a cab or squeezed in a public bus!
There were definitely more than ONE stall serving the delightfully-local creation! And if you had the similar assumption like me that the boat noodles (also known as “Kuay Tiew Rua” to the locals) will be served from anchored boats by the sides of the canal, I won’t blame you.
They USED to serve the bowls of dark broth, intensely-flavoured rice noodles from their boats, much like how we used to try them at the Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak approximately two and a half years ago. But modernization took precedence, and the traders were coerced (forced?) to settle by the banks instead, and the rest …. was history.
Now, every shop was proudly branding their boat noodles at the BEST amongst the rest, yet we did not manage to find one that was empty, or at least less than half filled with people.
If you don’t read Thai (like this Motormouth here), then you’d best trust your instincts and walk in to one of the premise and pray for the best experience. Hint? Go with the crowd. The workers are dressed in purple, pink and neon green, with a few other shops wearing almost similar colours. We chose the green one, since the shop looked to be packed almost the brim, and had air-conditioning just like most others.
Now, the menu is in Thai. And most workers do NOT speak English too. But there will be at least one to a shop that can cater to your English queries. Incessant curiosity is frowned upon here, so don’t go all fancy and ask for Pad Thai if you’re not looking for a smackdown session; Bangkok style.
Either pork or beef, go all out and order 5 bowls. Or more. Seriously.
Every single bowl came with a measly amount of rice noodles dunked in a spicy and sweetish broth, heavily spiced and laden with luscious flavours from the meats. ‘Kangkung’ or water convolvulus/morning glory and chopped coriander made up the ensemble that was gone within … less than a minute. For best effect? Pump in a few spoonful of the dried chili flakes and maybe a dash of sugar and fish sauce.
We saw the other eager diners scooping 3-4 bowls into one and happily lapping up every strand of the fine rice vermicelli and every single drop of the tasty broth. How could you resist? When you’re also served with complimentary servings of fried wanton skin tied in knots and crispy pork rinds fried with salt, pepper and dried chillies?!
Now, if you ask me whether this excursion was worthy of the time and effort, definitely yeah ….. You can’t go wrong when the locals overwhelmed tourists to a ratio of something like 10 to 1 … or maybe 15 to 1!
Spicy, robust, delicious and CHEAP. Every bowl goes for 10 baht/RM1/USD0.30, and drinks of bottled cola was about the same price. For less than 100 baht/RM10/USD3.30 per pax, you can feed your appetite to a burping (and obnoxiously spicy) finish!
VICTORY MONUMENT BOAT NOODLES
Ratchawithi 10, off Thanon Phahon Yothin,
North of Victory Monument.
Take the BTS and stop at Victory Monument BTS station, and walk northbound towards the monument itself. Once passing the monument, look down to the streets and find this stretch of stalls lining the canal. Here’s a GOOGLE MAP to assist you. GPS Coordinates : 13.765621,100.539064