Bangkok's best roast duck?
Larai Sap Market off Silom Road
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Like many hole-in-the-wall Bangkok restaurants, one of our go-to roast duck joints goes by a very straightforward name: Khao na ped ba mee, which translates simply as “Rice or egg noodle with duck”. It's tucked down a side alley in the terrific but hidden away Lalai Sap market off Silom Road.
After getting sidetracked by the markets plethora of street food vendors, we made it to the restaurant at a little past 13:00 when their lunch rush had just subsided. They were already preparing to close down for the day since their duck supply was running low, but luckily they had just enough left to dish out a helping of ba mee nahm ped.
Tempered with onion, garlic, cilantro and scallion, the broth had a soft, comforting appeal that complements rather than overpowers the subtle flavour and textures of the roast duck itself. Drawing loads of return customers on their lunch breaks, this is a very good version of a common Chinese-Thai street dish.
Hardly an afterthought to the tender strips of duck, the homemade ba mee egg-wheat noodles rounded out the dish and drove home its overall “comfort food” appeal. Something about the way ba mee noodles seem to effortlessly relax their way on to the spoon makes them fit into this particular dish like a glove. Though it’s good at any time of day, this dish is especially suited to the morning.
Although ba mee ped is the restaurant’s signature dish, they also serve seeklong muu daeng (roasted red pork ribs with rice) and khao na ped (roast duck with rice in a sweet and spicy sauce), both of which are sure to make your tongue happy as well.
The restaurant is open from 07:00 to around 14:00 (or whenever they run out of duck), but if showing up between 11:00 and 12:30 expect to wait for a table as it gets packed during that time. There’s no English menu — in fact there’s no Thai menu either apart from a sign posted on the wall — but if you can’t manage to communicate your desired dish in Thai a basic request for “duck noodle” or “duck rice” should suffice. All dishes cost between 35 and 60 baht.
To get here take the BTS (skytrain) to Chong Nonsi and leave the station through exit 4. At the bottom of the stairs walk straight on the main road for a short distance and then take the first right down the side street at Top Charoen Optical. Larai Sap market will begin shortly, and not too far in look for another smaller alley to the left, which at its beginning is occupied by a couple of fruit vendors and noodle stands off to the sides. Khao na ped ba mee restaurant (there’s no English sign) is at the end of this alley, on the right. Lalai Sap is a day market open from around 06:00 to 16:00.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 2nd March, 2015.