Jay Fai Restaurant is one of those restaurants whose massive success lies on the person behind the stove. Owner/chef Jay Fai learned to cook when she was 8 years old, and has been cooking literally every dish at the eatery since it opened 50+ years ago.
Her masterpiece, Phad kee mao is known throughout the city and revered by personalities such as Martha Stewart, who touted Jay Fai “the best cook in Thailand”. This open-air Maha Chai restaurant sells their specialties such as drunken noodles, crab omelet, and stir-fried noodles at prices 3 times more expensive than the rest of Bangkok but that doesn’t stop people from packing the place.
Waiting for your orders at Jay Fai is not an agony because you get to see “The Mozart of the Wok” in action, deftly handling two pairs of spatulas and woks at the same time. Her accomplice in cooking her famous dishes is the hot fire spewed out by live coals. It renders thick, toasted noodles with a smoky flavor that complements the flavors of the succulent jumbo prawns and crisp vegetables.
What to order: Fried drunken noodles, Crab omelet, Stir-fried noodles
Price range: 200 to 800 baht ($5.77 to $23.07)
When: 16:00 – 01:00 (Daily except Sunday)
Where: 327 Maha Chai Road, Samran Rat, Khet Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
How to get there: Take the Khlong Saen Saep canal boat to Phanfa Lilat station, exit towards Ratchadamnoen and make a left on Maha Chai Road. Or take a cab or tuktuk to the restaurant.