As farangs, we are very well catered for as far as dining out is concerned. There are restaurants with menus dedicated to most types of farang cuisine, and also have a token Thai menu to keep one’s partners happy. All very fine, but we should not forget that we are aliens in a mystical land populated by people called “Thai” who read, write and speak a strange language called “Thai” and who eat food from a cuisine called “Thai”. Not experiencing true Thai cuisine is a missed opportunity.
So this week’s review is of a 100 percent Thai restaurant. There are no names in English, the menu is all Thai, and even the name of the restaurant is only given in Thai. Yes, this is a restaurant where you will definitely need your Thai partner.
The name of the establishment is Krua Jay Wun, which I believe is the name of the owner, but no sign in English.
So where is it? It is on Nongprue Road, which does not even have a signpost either, but is easily found by turning left off Siam Country Club Road (coming from Pattaya) at the Mitkamol Cross Roads, the one with traffic lights, and known as “Chicken Cross Roads” by the locals. About one km along and past the Greenfield Villas on your left, the restaurant is another 200 meters further on the left and just before a car sales. Some bamboo mini-salas at the front and then into the restaurant proper.
The restaurant has fairly basic ‘rustic’ wooden furniture. The open kitchen is along one side complete with six large rice cookers on the go. One is reminded that rice is a staple in Thailand.
On your table is a holder with the menu, with an order form attached to it. I suggest you order a beer first, while your Thai partner reads the ‘all-Thai’ menu. Being so ethnically ‘pure’, there are no small bottles of beer, only large ones, and zero English in the menu.
Looking over your partner’s shoulder at the menu, you will see that the most expensive dish appears to be a large one at B. 150, while the small is B. 90. This covers both Tom Yum Goong and Tom Kha Gai.
Deep-fried pork jerky is B. 90, and shrimp curry is a special at B. 120. Noodle Rad Na is B. 40-50, chicken green curry is B. 90 small or B. 150 large.
As well as the inexpensive nature of the dishes, the other factor is just how busy Jay Wun is in the kitchen, with two assistants kept busy getting food to the diners.
The next step, after selecting your menu items, is to fill out the order form, which is (you guessed it) all in Thai, with drinks at the top and then space for you to indicate your choices. The utensils box on your table will show the number of the table, which must go on the order form as well. Sounds complicated, but it isn’t really, as Jay Wun attaches the order form to the range hood and there are no mistakes, as the diner is the one who completes the order form.
The review team was one farang (basic spoken English only) and two bilingual luk krung children, so it was a fun time for all three of us.
Our order included a chicken green curry, deep-fried pork jerky, an omelet, two bottles of soft drink and a Heineken beer (large).
We were all very happy with our choices and the portion sizes were satisfactory. The green curry was a little spicier than we have been used to, but was not too much for our palates.
The bill at the end was B. 310, a very inexpensive evening meal for three. This local restaurant is worthwhile trying one evening, but do remember to have a Thai speaker/reader in your group!
Krua Jay Wun, Nongprue Road, after Greenfield Villas, closed Sundays, open Noon till 11 p.m. when the kitchen closes, off-street parking.