Raan Jay Fai
327 Maha Chai Rd, Khwaeng Samran Rat, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Photo by Christoph Sator/ age fotostock
Bangkok Street-Food Queen Does the Wok of LifeA kitchen dynamo whose energy belies her age of 72, Supinya Junsuta, aka Jay Fai, is chef-owner of one of the Thai capital’s most renowned shophouse restaurants—the eponymous Jay Fai—and one of the city’s most recognizable foodie personalities. In her trademark heat-resistant goggles, essential protection from a searing inferno of hot oil, she cuts a distinctive figure. And her fame and the crowds have only grown since the Michelin Guide judges gave her eatery Thailand’s first and only Michelin star for street food in 2017 (so much so that she has expressed a wish to give the star back). Her lofty reputation is founded on the alchemy she produces from her scalding wok, with stir-fries such as pad kee mao talay (drunken noodles with seafood) and other dishes like fluffy khai jeaw poo (crab omelet) and a complex tom yam gung (hot and sour shrimp soup) more than justifying the (relatively) steep prices.