Tang Jai Yoo is one of the oldest and best-known Taechiu (Chaozhou/Teochew) restaurant in Bangkok's Samphaeng (Chinatown) district. I remembered going there as a toddler over 4 decades ago. The restaurant itself is twice as old, and is now run by the 4th-generation of the family that founded it. Tang Jai Yoo is also one of the favourite venues for family celebrations for the Bangkok branch of our clan. Thai-Chinese (especially Bangkokians) are very much assimilated into Thai culture, but at family events, they'll lapse into the Taechiu dialect, and dishes served at Tang Jai Yoo closely reflect the type of cooking one gets in Swatow (Shantou), China, where the Taechius come from.
Dinner this evening:
- Cold jellied ham with goat-skin in aspic, accompanied by an asparagus (canned variety)-and-pineapple salad. This dish has been Tang Jai Yoo's house specialty for decades (this dish is also found on the menus of Tang Jai Yoo's great 80-something year-old rivals down the road: Jim Jim Restaurant at 89 Soi Yaowaphanit, and Sin Kwang Meng Restaurant at 4-8 Thanon Phatsai).
- Oyster omelette: relatively similar to the type one finds in Malaysia, wetter than the version in Singapore, and doesn't have the lettuce leaves as in the Taiwanese version.
- Steamed crabs with shredded ginger: very nicely done with fresh, sweet-fleshed Thai crabs.
- Steamed crabs with olives and minced pork: this is rather special as I'd not encountered this dish elsewhere.
- Steamed pork dumplings: superb minced pork, like Fujianese "sio bee" - very tasty.
- Stuffed rice rolls ("cheung fun") with minced pork-prawn filling, topped with shallots and dark soy-sauce.
- Steamboat with slivered pork, vegetables and straw mushrooms: this is a Chaozhou favourite and ubiquitous on the dining tables of any meal in the Chaozhou diaspora around the world.
- Braised sea cucumber and sharksfin: very tasty version here - the generous amounts of sea cucumber/sharksfin (relative to the renditions we get in Singapore) made this very special indeed.
- Stir-fried Taechiu "mee tiau" noodles with yellow chives, beansprouts, shitake mushrooms and chicken strips - another Chaozhou staple, very chewy noodles, simply stir-fried with no gravy.
- Sugar-coated yam - a very traditional Taechiu dessert.
Tang Jai Yoo is always dependable for a good Taechiu meal in Bangkok - the cooking's robust, but stayed true to its Chaozhou roots. This place is definitely up there as one of the top 3 places for traditional Chinese-Taechiu (Chaozhou) food in Bangkok, together with nearby, equally old rival establishments: Sin Kwang Meng and Jim Jim.
Tang Jai Yoo Restaurant
85-87 Soi Yaowaphanit, off Thanon Yaowarat
Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100
Tel: +66 (0) 2224 2167/+66 (0) 81753 0100
Nearest MRT: Hua Lamphong