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Tang Jai Yoo

89 ถนน เยาวพานิช Khwaeng Chakkrawat, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
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A Bourdain-Blessed Chinatown Stalwart   Thailand
Suckling Pig at Tang Jai Yoo   Thailand
A Bourdain-Blessed Chinatown Stalwart   Thailand
Suckling Pig at Tang Jai Yoo   Thailand

A Bourdain-Blessed Chinatown Stalwart

One of the longest-standing restaurants in Chinatown’s Yaowarat Road area, Tang Jai Yoo fits the template of many of the dining venues in this part of town. The decor is faded and the harsh lighting would cast a sickly glow on even the most glamorous diner. Unlike glitzy restaurants elsewhere in the city, people come here solely to eat. Superstar TV chef Anthony Bourdain is among those to have lauded its signature whole roast suckling pig. Other choice items on the Thai-Chinese menu include steamed crab with black olives and ground pork, and deep-fried mantis prawns with chili and salt.

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almost 8 years ago

Suckling Pig at Tang Jai Yoo

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.