Deep-fried xiao long baos, hand-pulled noodles, crackling claypot rice, if you’re looking for authentic old-school Chinese restaurants in Bangkok, here are some of the places you should check out right now.
The best old-school Chinese restaurants in Bangkok
Nestled in the winding alley of Songwat’s A Nia Keng Shrine is one of the earliest authentic Hakka-style restaurants in Bangkok. The place was originally run by a 90-year-old grandma who, along with her family, moved to Thailand and settled in Songwat. Now, the place is currently helmed by the second generation owner, serving their signature red Hakka noodles (THB250), using khao mak (Thai red yeast) to blend into the noodles–on our recent visit, the owner said it had the ability to help your digestive system.
Tang Chua Li
Long before mala hotpot became everyone’s go-to spot for midnight cravings, this Chinese establishment introduced Bangkok’s Talat Noi folk to their fish-head hot pot, now for over 80 years. Their speciality is their fish head hot pot (starting at THB400 – THB600), using Chinese bighead carp, whose firm, plump, flesh–despite occasional interferences from tiny bones–is so impressive that people normally go for a second. Don’t miss their Hweh Sae (THB250 – 450), the pink-hued white fish sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds. Dip them in a jujube soy sauce mixed with crushed peanuts, sesame sugar, and plum juice, offering a sweet and slightly sour taste.
For more information, visit Tang Chuan Li.
Hong Teong Long
This authentic Chinese hole-in-the-wall restaurant is your ideal spot to quell your late-night cravings for Chinese food–after all, it operates until 4am. Originally known as “Khom Daeng” (red lantern), this place specialises in all things Cantonese, boasting a wide array of dumplings and stir-fried selections. Our top-pick favourite is their Sheng Jian Baos–think of your usual xiao long bao but with a crispy exterior that still oozes with delicious broth. The only downside? You have to wait around 45 minutes to an hour for this order.
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Fuk Yuan Suki Seafood
How ‘old-school’ is ‘old school’? For this Chinese old-school restaurant nestled in Ratchadapisek Soi 17, it hits all the marks–the wrinkled menu, the mismatched interior, and somewhat hard-to-spot location. The chef owner hails from Hong Kong and has over 30 years experience in claypot rice making. The prices are also really affordable, too, think THB250 for a whole claypot rice with braised beef. Their pork char siu is not to be missed either.
Ting Tai Fu
Not to be confused with the mall favourite Din Tai Fung, this wallet-friendly Chinese restaurant in Ramkhamhaeng should not be lumped together with your typical Thai-Chinese noodle shops. Whether it’s xiao long bao (soup-filled dumpling) or noodles, everything here is made from scratch. Right at the entrance, snakes of dough swirl and form into shapes to make fantastically chewy hand-pulled noodles. Order their braised beef noodles (THB120)–the noodles taste very fresh and the beef will melt in your mouth. Head there during the weekends to try their dao xiao mian (knife-cut noodles), and you can gulp down a large mouthful of thick blocks of noodles.
For more information, visit Ting Tai Fu.
Huay Kwang is so saturated with Chinese restaurants right now to the point where there are many jokes about how it might be the next Yaowarat–we somewhat agree with this–but that doesn’t mean it’s all that bad. In fact, the influx of new Chinese restaurants in the neighbourhood also means that you have more options to choose from, and one of our favourites is this 24-hour hand-pulled noodle spot Lanzhou Noodle. Here, enclosed in the glass room is the lamian shifu (pulled-noodle master) who kneads and rolls the dough with lightning speed, swiftly thinning and pulling them into a string of noodles. There are five levels of thickness and shapes available, ranging from maoxi (hair-thin round noodles–think slightly thinner spaghetti) and er xi (the bulkiest round noodles) to jiuye (thin-flat noodles) and kuan (thickest flat noodles). The braised beef noodle soup starts at THB150, but we highly recommend you to try their hot dry noodle with deep red chili oil.
Kor Chun Huad
This Thai-Chinese khao tom establishment has been operating for 58 years. Though we have to admit that it requires a bit of a pilgrimage to reach this spot—considering the closest public transportation available is BTS Talat Phlu, which doesn’t get you anywhere near the spot—their food offerings have been winning a lot of hearts, usually the local ones. We loved their palo moo yen (pork aspic), a savory jelly that pairs perfectly well with their sour sauce. All-time favourites also include the palo pork offals, fried tofu sheets, and just simple pork nam liab (stir-fried minced pork with Chinese chives).
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