You eat at Jay Fai for the theatrics as much as for her food. She maintains sole control over each dish that leaves her kitchen from start to finish, tossing multiple dishes at a time in fiery woks set up virtually on the street. The flames roar and sizzle as she grabs burning coals with her bare hands to adjust the heat. With, I might add, a full face of perfect make-up, without breaking a sweat. Jay Fai’s stamina is admirable considering she’s in her seventies. This lady is a machine!
Having eaten here before, we were chomping at the bit to get back for Jay Fai’s pad kee mao. Considering it’s roughly ten times the price of what you’d expect to pay a street vendor (about $10.50AUD) you’re probably wondering what makes it so special. Well, let me tell you. It’s the slippery, silky, slightly charred rice noodles, the liberal dose of red chillis and the biggest, juiciest morsels of seafood you’ve ever encountered in a dish like this- prawns, squid and hunks of crab-meat. It’s the fragrant, just-wilted holy basil and finally the smoky essence, the wok hei that curls around each ingredient and binds the whole plate together.
Jay Fai’s crab omelette is legendary too but having loaded up on pad thai next door before-hand, it will have to wait until next time.
Good to know:
Pad kee mao 350THB
327 Mahachai Road
Telephone +66 (0)2-223-9384
Open Monday to Saturday 2:00pm to 1:00am
The easiest way to get here is by taxi.
Eat here when you have some time up your sleeve. Jay Fai is the only chef and she does a roaring trade in take-out as well as cooking for the restaurant- single handedly!
Images: Thomas Southam