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by Boonsiri Suansuk


Oodles of Noodles

by Miss Terry Diner

There are culinary gems to be found all over Pattaya and Jomtien and the place visited this week was one of them. Great food, wonderful ambience and so cheap it was laughable. This was not a five star restaurant having a “special” - this was just something special in Thai cuisine. Welcome to the Jomtien corner noodle shop.

This “sort of” restaurant is on the corner at Jomtien opposite the Hanuman statue and next to the Kitchen Studio. Run down towards Jomtien from Thepprasit Road and it is on the right at the corner before you run up to the Dongtan Police Box. Miss Terry had been told about this noodle shop on more than one occasion and so it was decided that the Dining Out Team of three should try.

The “kitchen” is situated on the pavement outside a shop house, in which there are some tables and chairs, but the main eating area was further out on the footpath, where four long tables with 8 stools per table were arranged. Looking after the tables was an older lady who was assiduously cleaning the tabletops when we arrived. On the tables are the long metal containers with Chinese style metal soupspoons and chopsticks, plus the containers with sugar, dried chilli, chilli paste and vinegar (with chopped chilli in it)! The final three items are the ubiquitous toilet-roll holder, toothpicks and a large bottle of fish sauce.

The cooking area is actually one of those glass fronted noodle carts, but a very large one, with the soup stock pot being much larger than normal. Bags of “Bamee” (egg noodles) are on display as well as large hanging cabinets with red pork, roasted pork, sausages, hard boiled eggs and wontons. We also noticed that the chopping boards were kept clean and hygienic practices were being observed. Again, it’s not five star, but it was clean.

“Ethnic” dining such as this does not require a menu, as the locals know what is on offer, but from our point of view it was almost the wander round the tables and point to what others were having style of selection, but to make it easy practice the following “Bamee nam moo dang” and you will have ordered an egg noodle soup with red pork! Hold up the number of fingers for the number of soup bowls and you are more than half way there! We, in fact, educated a young Norwegian couple and they managed successfully too.

Having selected our stools we had no sooner sat down when immediately three plastic mugs with ice arrived and a new bottle of drinking water was opened and poured over the ice. Who says that cold water served at the table was the province of the silver service five star restaurants only? Here we were perched on plastic stools at the side of the road!

The soup arrived very quickly and they were steaming bowls of noodle soup. A most important feature with food of this type is that the stock is maintained at a high temperature. We added our own mix of condiments to our own individual tastes. For the unwary, the dried chilli is very hot, the chilli paste hot and the vinegar mildly hot. If you find you have made your soup too spicy, then you can reduce the temperature with the sugar, but the answer is to be sparing in the first place. You have been warned.

There were other steamed rice based dinners available which could have been ordered by the aforementioned point and grunt method, but it was not necessary. The bowls had been so large and very filling that we had no desire to look for more food. We asked for the bill and were told that our noodles were 35 baht a bowl. Three people dining out for just over 100 baht.

It was fun, the locals enjoyed having us, the owners liked us and we liked the food - and the price. We’ll be back!

The Jomtien Noodle Shop, opposite the Hanuman Statue and next to the Kitchen Studio, Thappraya Road, Jomtien. Telephone? You’ve got to be joking!

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