Bangkok: Raan Jay Fai

Coming out of my hiatus for this particular place, just because we had spent so much effort trying to dine there. We were in Bangkok mid-July because our friends managed to get an elusive reservation at Jay Fai (which needs no introduction, obviously). I kept bugging Tdy everyday as to whether we should go or not, and on Thursday the week of, we finally bit the bullet and bought tickets to Bangkok!! We booked our hotel on Friday, and at an ungodly 7am on a Saturday morning, we set off on our whirlwind adventure.

This is THE 1000 THB crab omelette. Deep fried in a vat of oil, this pillow of deliciousness was surprisingly, not oily at all. Stuffed full of crab, accompanied with the house chilli sauce, each bite was super satisfying. If you’re a crab fan, this is for you. That being said, this wasn’t the best dish we had though…

img_4268Now, these two dishes above are something to write home about. Pictured above are the dry yellow crab curry (THB 1,500) and drunken noodles (THB 600) respectively, aka my two favourite dishes of the day. The dry yellow crab curry was not unlike anything we’ve ever had (sorry for the double negative, but the point is, JUST ORDER IT), full of eggy, crabby goodness. Fantastic on its own but my inner asian did crave some rice to eat it with just so I can maximise the enjoyment of every. single. bite. of that chunky gravy.

While the dry crab curry was good, what really stole the show was the drunken noodles, specifically, the texture of the drunken noodles. It was thin and chewy, and I would go so far to describe it as a very thinly stretched mochi. Imagine that, and then stir fried with lots of veggies (yay!!) and chunks of that massive-sized seafood that Jay Fai’s famous for, as well as the insane wok hei.. so freaking good. I did wish there were more noodles and less seafood though – carbs >> jumbo seafood any day of the week when you have such an expert managing the wok and the fire.

Tom yum soup with seafood – again, as with all things Jay Fai, this was full of seafood (which is frankly, monstrous in size). It was mildly spicy and very sour (I love) but I wouldn’t say it’s life changing.

The lady herself pictured, hard at work.

Now, on to the important thing: reservations. They are absolutely necessary if you want to eat here, unless you don’t mind turning up at 11am to get a queue number for when Jay Fai opens at 2pm (and you still have to wait for your number to be called as you may not be in the first round of seating). We got a reservation 3 months out by way of email.

While we made our reservation time at 2.30pm, we had to wait till all our friends arrived before we could get seated (as a girl previously ordered dishes and waited 6 hours for her friends!!!!!!). I must say the staff made a lot of effort to seat us despite us missing our reservation time by over an hour; our friends arrived from the airport at 3.45pm and we were seated almost immediately. We waited about an hour for the food (as well, there’s only one chef, and the restaurant was fully packed) but it’s all good when you’ve got great company and can swap travel delay stories.

I think if you do make the decision to queue at Jay Fai, you should come as early as possible to get a queue number and know what you’re getting yourself into. The wait is long and sometimes tempers flare – if you want to eat Jay Fai’s food, you just gotta wait, plain and simple. I don’t think I would go back without a reservation to be honest, but I’m just glad I managed to try her food (and spend time with friends – both new and old – while at it)! Bring your appetite!!

Raan Jay Fai
327 Maha Chai Rd, Khwaeng Samran Rat, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Directions: Just take a Grab.

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