Jay Fai: Bangkok’s Michelin Starred Street Food Chef
The building is unassuming and without a sign. You might walk right by this shop in old town if you didn’t know better. If you do know better, you’ll know it’s 71 year-old owner, Jay Fai, has recently been recognized by Michelin for her excellent quality street food utilizing large portions, fresh ingredients and hand cooking techniques. Her parents started this restaurant and she has been hard at work in it for decades. Last year Michelin gave her the recognition she deserves in their new Bangkok City guide which also rates street food.
We stopped in for dinner on our first night in Bangkok after getting reservations a couple of weeks before our trip. We were pleasantly surprised that the rumors were true – the food was excellent, as to be expected from Michelin. It was a far cry from trying random street food and dealing with stomach issues. This one already had their seal of approval.
The Crab Omelet
This omelet is packed with high quality, large chunks of crab. While the hand fried exterior looks oily, her technique assures that it is not. The dish pairs perfectly with the sirachi like pepper sauce provided and its unusual burrito shape holds the ingredients together with a crisp alternative to the juicy crab within. This is her signature dish and a must taste.
This dish was recommended to us when we asked the server what she’d recommend. It also included large chucks of delicious, fresh crab paired with a typical thai curry along with onions and thai chili. It was fresh and simple without being overpowering and it was our favorite dish.
The drunken noodles had been well rated and we were not disappointed with the large rice noodles, crisp vegetables and its smokey flavor. Another reliable Jay Fai dish.
While Jay Fai did not raise her prices after Michelin came calling, she is dealing with long lines waiting for a table in her shop each night. She is so busy, even with the added staff that rumor has it she wants to give the star back. This is not uncommon for chefs dealing with the popularity gained after this award.