When I say that the aromatic five spice goose breast is the reason for their local fame, you know there’s Chinese heritage behind the cooking skills. Hokkee Pochana is a shophouse restaurant you don’t know about unless you’re a local or you stumble upon it, like I did, walking the backyards of Bangkok to feed you with recommendation on where to eat in Bangkok. Hokkee Pochana is an old-fashioned eatery with more than 50 years on their back. More importantly, they avoid all the pitfalls and serves a really good plate of goose.
I have tried quite a number of goose restaurants in Bangkok before I’ve been able to put my words behind a recommendation for aromatic stewed goose (five spice goose), or haan phalo to use the local name. To often, the meat lacks juiciness, leaving you with a chewing experience. To often the broth is to sweet, and sometimes it’s to salt. At Hokkee Pochana it’s all very good. The meat is lean and at the same time juicy with just enough fat under it’s skin. The five spice sauce (broth) has a delicious balance between sweetness and saltines. They put star anise and cinnamon in the center instead of sugar – ant thereby avoid to make the sauce to sweet. It comes with a tart and mildly spicy dipping sauce with vinegar, garlic and fresh chili. Not my all time favorite, but certainly good enough.
Hokkee Pochana’s technique is browning the goose slightly before sautéing them with Chinese Broccoli. A process that brings out the best in the meat. I strongly recommend you too try haan phalo at Hokkee Pochana or somewhere else – be aware that if it’s dry or sweet you’re with the wrong vendor.
The interior is old school all the way, so you easily understand they have been in the business for a lifetime. A tip if you’re out there on the streets of Bangkok, searching for good food in unknown territory, is to not forget that wooden tables and chairs is one of your best markers to find something genuine. And as soon as I looked in I was in no doubt whether to enter or not and the intuition didn’t fail me this time either. Hokkee Pochana delivered a memorable plate.
To put it straight, Hokkee Pochana is among the few haan phalo (Chinese-style aromatic stewed goose) masters in Bangkok.
Hakkee Pochana has a good kitchen, so next time I will reserve a bit of space for their aw suan (small oysters fried with rice flour, egg, herbs including spring onion, and sauce) and their naw mai thalay phat yawt khanaa (razor clams stir-fried with tender Chinese broccoli shoots and sliced shiitake mushrooms).
There is a lot of modernization going on in this rather obscure part of the city, resulting in many good eateries to disappear, but I think Hokkee Pochana avoids the demolition this time.
Name: Hokkee Pochana (also written Hok Kee Pochana)
Food: Known for their naan phalo or aromatic stewed goose (five spice goose). They have plenty of other dishes as well, including aw suan (small oysters fried with rice flour, egg, herbs including spring onion, and sauce), deer and razor clams.
Open: Daily 9 am – 9 pm
Price: 230 for a plate of goose with blood. Add rice and soda water and the bill sums up to 260.
Address: Chula Soi 34, Pathumwan. They also have a newer and bigger branch at Banthat Thong Road near by.
How to get there: Take the MRT to Hua Lamphong and walk from there.