One of Chinatown’s better street food stalls is to be found close to the design hotel Shanghai Mansion on Yaowarat Road. They have a very good fish maw soup too, but stuffed flat noodles with pork is the dish to choose if you only have room for one dish. The rice noodles comes with bean sprouts, pork, calamari and shiitake mushrooms. Everything drowned in a soy-based sauce. On the table you have the usual condiments, including vinegar with mashed green peppers and Chinese black vinegar.
I have to admit that Guaythiew Lod (or guay tiew lord) is one of my favorite street food stalls in Bangkok’s Chinatown. These guys could have moved indoor a long time ago, as many of the successful street food vendors all around Bangkok have done over the years. But they don’t, they endure, they do as they always have done, for more than 25 years. They continue to serve their lovely stuffed flat rice noodles along Yaowarat road, stealing a few square meters on the sidewalk outside a Seiko shop. Three small tables behind the stall, loose plastic stools spread out, occupying a few more square meters of Yaowarat road as well. Actually taking control of a full lane of the famous road, as cars using it as temporarily parking, waiting to get their take away package delivered. It’s as authentic as a street food stall can be.
The cuing starts when they open and continues until closing time. It’s popular, it’s famous, and it’s worth the waiting. You shouldn’t need another reason to get down on one of those plastic stools with the plate in one hand and the fork in the other.
What it is? It’s a Chinese-style delicacy. The flat noodles are covered with pork, shiitake mushrooms and squid, and topped with bean sprouts, scallion and deep-fried garlic and then bathed in a sweet soy sauce. Tiny dried shrimps are embedded in the noodle dough, giving it a nice salty tang. My only complaint is that the portions are a bit smaller than before. But for the price, the solution is of course to order another plate. It’s pure snack.
I’m normally not a fan of to many flavors on one plate, but sometimes there is room for exceptions. And Guaythiew Lod is one of them. It not only works, it actually works incredible well. A fantastic dish, taking your taste buds on to a roller coaster you seldom experience. It’s a popular dish and also served many places in Bangkok, but few of them, if any, can match the Yaowarat version.
And if you have room, be aware that the stall next to it, sharing the same tables (same owners), have a really good kra por pla (fish maw). Because of the slightly slimy texture, fish maw soup often get the thumb down among tourists and westerners. A big mistake when cooked well, as it is here. The tangy and salty mixture is a pure delight. The version here is rather exceptional and one of Bangkok’s best. This is nothing to chicken out from, if you consider yourself a foodie. You won’t regret.
And also not to forget, I like the atmosphere here. Simple and straight forward. An ideal spot to do people watching with really good food on the plate. This is the local way, and don’t be afraid to dump down at a table as long as there is an available chair. Normal politeness to ask or point to the free stool before receiving a nod is of course welcomed.
Name: Guaythiew Lod. (Also written Guay Teow Lod or Guay Tiaw Lord plus a few more alternatives)
Food: Guay Thiew Lod (stuffed flat rice noodles)
Price: 45 bath a plate. 60-100 Bath for the fish maw
Open: Tuesday to Sunday 6:30 pm – 1 am
Phone: +66 (0)2 225 3558
Address: Yaowarat Road, Chinatown. In front of Seiko watch shop, next to La Scala shark fin restaurant and two houses away from the design hotel Changhai Mantion.
How to get there: Take the MRT (Metro) to Hua Lamphong station and walk from there. An alternative is to take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Ratchawong pier, especially if in rush hours. You can take the express boat from Tha Tian pier or Tha Chang pier near the Grand Palace, or from Sathon pier near Silom area.