When you visited Bangkok, one of the ‘must try’ food aside from Pad Thai and Tom Yum Goong or Basil Chicken, would be Boat Noodles. It is said that the boat noodles has been served since 1942, and was originally served from boats which going back and through Bangkok’s canals. Unlike nowadays where the boat noodles restaurant has a lot of staff, in that time the owner will have to do everything on the boat by himself, from preparing the dishes, cooking until handing it over to the customer, this is the reason why the portion of the boat noodles would be very small. And to preserved the history of the noodle, it is still served in a small portion and small bowl until nowadays.
Though boat noodles can be considered as one of the signature dish of Bangkok, but you hardly found this restaurant. You’ll be able to find it inside a mall food court selling boat noodle, but outside of food court, the best place to find boat noodles restaurant would be the Victory Monument BTS area. And the place that I’ll be introducing today would be Pa Yak Noodle, which also located around the Victory Monument BTS area. Out from the BTS area, you just need to walk along the sky bridge until you reach the place where it sells the noodle boat. So you don’t have to worry about crossing the road or walking under the hot sun. Not only Pa Yak Boat Noodle, but the rest of the boat noodle restaurant also located along this street. So, if you prefer other Boat Noodle to Pa Yak Boat noodle, you can do the huntng here.
Most of the boat noodle restaurant would have the similar operating time, which starts around 10 AM to 10 PM. While for Pa Yak Noodles, it opens everyday starts from 10.30 AM and closed at around 9 PM. Though the place is kind of crowded, but since the portion of the noodle is so small, it is fast to serve and fast to eat, so you don’t have to wait too long to get your seat, meaning you can just come by here anytime you want without to have to worry about the long queue.
Basically every boat noodle restaurant would have the same basic menu variation which are pork noodle, beef noodle, tom yum noodle, and pink sauce noodle. Other than that, they would normally varies between what they sell for their side dishes. Like some would have pork cracklings, the other would sell some traditional Thai coconut cake in a very cute size, etc. And normally the noodle would vary between 10 THB to 15 THB per bowl depends on the restaurant. For Pa Yak Noodle, it costs 10 THB per bowl. Wait! Don’t say it’s cheap, because the portion is super cute as well, so yeah you might end up eating 8-10 bowls. For me, I’m full around 4-5 bowls, so it’ll cost me around 40-50 THB every time I eat here.
Pork Boat Noodle
One of the basic menu boat noodle restaurant have will be the pork boat noodle. Unlike the one I tried back in Singapore Bukit Timah Area which is more rich in flavor and is spicy, the original boat noodle here in Bangkok did not taste spicy at all and slightly a little bit salty for my taste. The owner recommend me to put slightly a little bit of sugar and mix it well before eating another bowl, so when I order my second bowl, I tried the way the owner recommend and it works like magic. The soup is now less salty and taste just nice, and if you prefer something spicy, you can add the chili flakes they prepared for you on the table.
Beef Boat Noodle
Meanwhile for the beef boat noodle it tastes slightly a little bit sweet compared to the pork boat noodle even without having you to put in some sugar in it. So remember not to add a sprinkle of sugar to your beef boat noodle, otherwise it’ll taste weird. And, if you love internal organs (which I like very much), Pa Yak Boat Noodle here also have the beef internal organs soup served with rice if you’d like to try. I tried it, and honestly I think their beef internal organs soup taste a lot better than their beef boat noodles.
Tom Yum Soup Pork
I don’t know what is the reason, but they only served this style in pork noodle. Just like how tom yum taste, it taste a little bit sour with a hint of spiciness inside the soup. Not too salty and strong, but the taste is rich and slightly sweet since they cooked it with peanut as well. So after one sip of the noodle, I instantly choose this as my most favorite variations of boat noodles. This one is really great just how it is, you don’t have to add any other spices. It tastes good just the way it is. Yummy!
Pink Sauce Boat Noodle
If you’re not that good at handling anything with vinegar, then I would warn you beforehand. This one has a strong vinegar smell, so yeah, be prepare before you order this one. The soup taste just like the one they have on a Yen Tao Foo which have pink sauce, and it’s not to my liking. The dishes has a strong vinegar smell, that’s minus one for me. But luckily the soup didn’t taste like vinegar at all. It taste slightly a little bit more sour than the tom yum soup, but less spicy. If you love sour things and not afraid of the vinegar smell, then you might want to try on this one, since it might turn out to be one of your favorites.
So out of the four menus I’ve had, I must say that the tom yum soup is my most favorite. The second would be the pork noodle, and the other two is so so for me. I didn’t even bother to order the beef noodle and pink sauce noodle on my next visit. But since everyone has their own personal preference, you might want to try everything before deciding on which bowl to go for your meals.
Aside from the soup flavor, you can also choose the type of noodles you’d like to have. They have vermicelli, rice noodles (like the one I had on my noodles above), thick rice noodles (largely known as kue tiau), or the yellow noodles. They have the samples of the noodles on your table, so when you order just point out which type of noodle you would like to have in your soup.
I love to travel and eat!! I'm a freelance Korean English Chinese Bahasa Indonesia interpreter, who love to blog and write. I worked in a plastic surgery hospital in Korea for 5 years before pursuing my interpreting and writing jobs. My previous blog on plastic surgery (which has been permanently closed down T-T) has been published in a book.