Eric Ripert may say that the fish is the star of the plate at Le Bernardin but at Tang Jai Yoo in the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown, the suckling pork is most decidedly the headliner at the table. There were gasps of delight when it was placed on the Lazy Susan and spun to the different stations.
The pork skin is crispy and a little sweet and is shaved of any fat making it seem surprisingly light. The skin can be eaten plain or wrapped in a flour crepe and dabbed with hoisin sauce. Like a potato chip, you can’t just eat one.
When the skin has been eaten, the pork is whisked away as the rest of the dinner is served: We had stone crabs, a steamed fish, and duck stew.
As we ate, families came and went, the proprietor eying each table to be sure they were being filled quickly. There is no time for indecision. He had given us a bit of the stink-eye when we asked to hold off ordering until our full party had arrived.
Twenty minutes later the pork returned. It can be stir fried with noodles or deep fried. We had ours roasted simply with garlic to eat with fresh chili sauce and white rice.
It was a delicious meal enjoyed in the old school charm of an old school Chinese restaurant off of a traffic-filled street in old school Bangkok.